FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2013
CLEARY TAKES ACTION TO PROTECT HERITAGE RIVERS FROM CONSERVATIVE ATTACK
OTTAWA – In a move designed to reverse negligent Conservative changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, New Democrat MP Ryan Cleary (St. John's South-Mount Pearl) introduced a bill in the House of Commons today to restore protection to the Main and Bay du Nord Rivers on the island of Newfoundland.
“Thanks to the Conservatives, our heritage rivers and the right of the public to have guaranteed access to them is no longer enshrined in legislation,” Cleary said. “They are facilitating the destruction of not only our environment, but our history and culture.”
Since the 1880s, the Navigable Waters Protection Act required that any works that could affect the navigation of Canada’s lakes and rivers undergo a strict environmental assessment. However, changes made to the Act by the Conservatives in their latest omnibus budget bill mean that fewer than two per cent of Canada’s waterways are now protected.
“Canada’s lakes and rivers are a public resource that must be protected for future generations,” said NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax). “The Conservatives’ short-sighted legislation will have a detrimental impact on the environment.”
In the fall of 2001, the Main River on the Great Northern Peninsula became the first river in Newfoundland and Labrador to be designated to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. Located largely in the Bay du Nord Wilderness Reserve in central Newfoundland, the Bay du Nord River was the second Newfoundland river designated to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.
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