moved for leave to introduce Bill C-547, An Act to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act (Fox Lake and other lakes and rivers).
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for York South—Weston for seconding my bill.
Today I introduce my bill to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act to re-protect many lakes and rivers of Nickel Belt. After the government stripped protection from 98% of Canada's lakes and rivers, I received an incredible volume of mail from constituents asking that their lakes and rivers be re-protected. I have named some 34 waterways in this legislation, including Lake Wanapitei, which is a source of drinking water for the City of Greater Sudbury. We know that navigation is directly related to environmental conditions, ecosystem protection, water levels and the commercial and recreational use of water. We must protect the interests of cottagers, boaters, recreational fishers, municipalities, first nations and more.
This is not just an issue for environmentalists. If a river or lake is not protected, it means that anyone can build a bridge, set up ferry service or create an obstruction that will affect navigation on the lake or river.
It is not right that all of these groups and individuals assume the onus to take a developer to court if the proposed protection affects a lake or river. My New Democrat colleagues have launched a campaign to return protection to the lakes and rivers Canadians hold dear. I am happy to include Nickel Belt lakes and rivers in that campaign.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)