An Act to amend the Navigation Protection Act (Nanaimo River and Koksilah River)

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Sponsor

Jean Crowder  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of June 16, 2015
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Navigation Protection Act in order to add the Nanaimo River and the Koksilah River to the navigable waters listed in the schedule to that Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Navigation Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

June 16th, 2015 / 10:10 a.m.
See context

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-694, An Act to amend the Navigation Protection Act (Nanaimo River and Koksilah River).

Mr. Speaker, I am introducing this private member's bill today to add the Koksilah and Nanaimo rivers to the Navigation Protection Act, because rivers on Vancouver Island are in trouble. Like most rivers on the west coast of North America, our rivers are suffering from drought conditions. A smaller than normal snowpack this winter meant very little spring freshets that feed these rivers.

The Koksilah River was once known for its run of steelhead, but overfishing in the 1980s nearly extirpated them from the river. Now impacts from logging, agriculture, and low summer flows continue to endanger its recovery. Along with the Cowichan River, the Koksilah drains into the Cowichan estuary, an important intertidal area that hosts migratory waterfowl, abundant eel grass beds, and the occasional otter. If summer flows are too low, the spawning salmon must be captured in Cowichan Bay and transported upriver to their spawning beds.

The Nanaimo River flows 78 km from its headwater on Mount Hooper to the Strait of Georgia. While it is celebrated as a great recreational river, it also provides drinking water to 86,000 residents. However, the surface water is only part of the story. The Cassidy aquifers are near the terminal end of the river. While the river recharges the aquifers during the high spring flows, the opposite happens in the late fall when the cool groundwater from the aquifers helps recharge the river, providing ideal conditions for salmon runs.

Sadly, there is no federal protection for either of these rivers, even though they both provide fish habitat for the west coast's iconic salmon. That is why I propose that these two rivers should be added to the list of those protected by federal legislation under the Navigation Protection Act.

I want to thank my seconder, the member for New Westminster—Coquitlam. I also want to thank the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca for his very strong support of the bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)