Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on Bill C-69, an act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. This important piece of legislation fulfills some of our earliest campaign promises from the 2015 election: restore credibility to environmental assessments, modernize and rebuild trust in the National Energy Board, conduct a wholesale review of the previous government's amendments to the Fisheries Act and the elimination of the Navigable Waters Protection Act with the intent to restore lost protections and incorporate more modern safeguards.
We made this commitment because we recognized that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. By putting in place better rules that protect our environment, fish, and waterways, by rebuilding public trust and respect for indigenous rights, and by strengthening our economy, these new rules will ensure good projects can go ahead and create new jobs and economic opportunities for the middle class. They provide clarity and consistency when it comes to impact assessments by creating a single agency, the impact assessment agency of Canada, which will lead all impact assessments for major projects. It will draw on the lessons learned through other agencies, such as the National Energy Board, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and offshore boards.
The Minister of Environment and cabinet will have final say over decisions. Our government prioritizes accountability on issues of national interest, and this will allow Canadians to hold our government to account on decisions of importance. The manner in which these decisions are made will be vastly improved by this legislation. Decisions will be made based on science and evidence, not politics, like the previous government's process. We will create more publicly available data to allow Canadians to be informed and involved in these decisions. We are expanding the scope of these reviews to assess their impacts on health, society, and the economy. As the Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women, I am pleased to see that we will be conducting gender-based analysis as part and parcel of these assessments as well.
We will advance Canada's commitment to reconciliation by recognizing indigenous rights and working in partnership from the start with indigenous communities across the country. We will integrate traditional knowledge into the process, and promote active participation from indigenous communities to ensure their voices are heard.
We will maintain a professional approach to these reviews by creating a predictable, streamlined process. Shorter legislated timelines for the project review phase will be rigorously managed to keep the process on track. Our goal, as the previous speaker mentioned, will be one project, one review.
The bill also seeks to amend the navigable waters act. Water is an issue of utmost importance to me. Lake Winnipeg is one of my home province's most important and treasured resources, and I am incredibly pleased to see this bill recognize and prioritize the importance of water. The Canadian navigable waters act would restore navigation protection for every navigable waterway in Canada. Changes to the Fisheries Act will add important new safeguards for our fisheries, including measures to rebuild damaged fish stocks and restore degraded habitat, ensuring that our fisheries and environment are protected for future generations.
This is not our first effort to protect water in this country. The historic investments we made with the oceans protection plan is a testament to our commitment to this essential natural resource. Canada has the longest coastline in the world. Our coasts support traditional indigenous and coastal community livelihoods, attract tourism, and enable the export and import of goods overseas. They are home to an abundance of Canadian fisheries, and play a key role in strengthening the economy and growing our middle class. That is why our government launched the oceans protection plan, the OPP. It is a historic $1.5 billion investment that will create a world-leading marine safety system, restore and protect Canada's marine ecosystems, and strengthen partnerships with indigenous communities.
Similarly, I am proud of the investment we are making in protecting and rehabilitating the water in the Great Lakes. The Government of Canada is committed to protecting fresh water through science, action, and collaboration with Canadian and American partners and, importantly, indigenous peoples. This includes the freshwater resources of the Lake Winnipeg basin. Budget 2017 allocated $70.5 million over five years to protect Canada's freshwater resources, including the Lake Winnipeg basin at $25.7 million and the Great Lakes at $44.8 million.
Through the $25.7 million allocated to protecting freshwater quality in Lake Winnipeg and its basin, Environment and Climate Change Canada will continue to support research, as well as provide financial support aimed at reducing nutrients, enhancing collaboration, and supporting enhanced engagement of indigenous peoples on freshwater issues in Lake Winnipeg and its basin.
I am extremely proud of the legislation we are debating before the House today. When we first came to office, we knew we had to act swiftly on this file, and did so by implementing the interim principles, offering a glimpse of our vision, and ensuring that projects could continue to be assessed. Now, after thorough consultation with the public and stakeholders, 14 months all told, and the parliamentary input of two committees, we are moving forward with the next steps.
Bill C-69 would ensure that the economy and the environment can both continue to thrive and that good middle-class jobs are created in our resource sector. We are providing clarity and certainty for development projects and ensuring that our natural treasures will be protected for generations to come.