Well, I'll provide a preliminary answer, and if my colleagues want to jump in or kick me, I'm sure we'll find out.
Let me just step back a bit and explain that the Canada Water Act provides us with broad authority to undertake research and monitoring, either on our own or—and importantly, jointly—with the provinces, both on water quality and on water monitoring.
So I think I would answer the question by going to the final slide that I presented. That is to say that all of our work on water is underpinned by research and monitoring. Perhaps more importantly, the research and monitoring that we do is intended not just to inform interventions by the Government of Canada but to inform decision making by all levels of government. The Canada Water Act provides us with legislative authority that we need in order to generate real-time data and trend data with respect to water quality and water monitoring.
It, together with the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Department of the Environment Act, provides us with broad authority to undertake a wide range of research; to improve our ability to undertake monitoring; to improve our ability to understand what's happening in the water; and to share that information with our regulatory colleagues within the department, but also with decision-makers at other levels of government who intervene in protecting and making decisions about water flow and water quality.
That's a broad answer, hopefully on point with respect to the authorities under the Canada Water Act.
Your question about legislative authority is a much broader question. I would assert that we have extensive authority to undertake scientific activities and monitoring on a range of water-related activities. The more difficult question has to do with the allocation of responsibilities for directly intervening in managing water quality. For water quantity, clearly the federal government's authority is restricted to transboundary waters, and so we have a number of statutes that address transboundary waters and give us transboundary authorities.
Water quality is a matter that is of course not written in the Constitution, but for which we have very broad authority under the Fisheries Act and under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to intervene at a national level with respect to significant water pollution-related activities. Then similarly, provinces have extensive authority to address water pollution as well.
Notwithstanding that I'm a lawyer and love to talk about law reform, I think the real issue has to do with the way in which the relevant jurisdictions interact and the way the composite of various authorities at all levels interacts to protect water quantity and water quality.