Statement by FCM President on the Federal Government's Proposed Amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act

The following statement was released on October 22 by FCM president Karen Leibovici following the federal government's introduction of amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act:

"The Federation of Canadian Municipalities welcomes the federal government's commitment to make the Navigable Waters Protection Act work better for our communities and make it more affordable to build basic infrastructure.

The changes announced will allow local governments to spend less time processing paperwork for small, low-risk public works projects by removing redundancies, red tape and project delays that result in higher costs for property tax payers.

Municipal leaders have consistently called for common sense reforms in Ottawa that deliver better results for Canadians. We look forward to working with the federal government to turn the reforms announced into a strong, sensible action plan that strengthens our communities, and protects our waterways and the environment.

As the announcement shows, to effectively and efficiently meet Canadians' infrastructure needs, local governments need the support and cooperation of their federal, provincial, and territorial partners. We must entrench and strengthen that partnership as the federal government completes its new long-term infrastructure plan in the coming months.

Together we can make government more sensible and efficient while also protecting our waterways and natural environment. This is not an either/or choice. Municipal leaders are committed to making sure that an amended Navigable Waters Protection Act contributes to both. As the proposed amendments move ahead, we look forward to being consulted and contributing to the public discussion."