Minister Prentice Announces Tough New National Regulations to Protect Canada’s Water Resources
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- August 6, 2009 -- The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, today announced new regulations for managing municipal wastewater. The proposed regulations will set national performance standards, timelines and monitoring and reporting requirements, and are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in December 2009.
The Minister made the announcement at a speech delivered to the Saint John Board of Trade, where he reaffirmed the Government’s strong commitment to ensuring that Canada’s precious water resources are preserved and protected now and in the future.
“This Government is taking real action to ensure that all Canadians have access to clean and safe water,” said Minister Prentice. “The proposed regulations will ensure that, across the country, the release of wastewater effluents does not pose unacceptable risks to human and environmental health and fishery resources.”
The new regulations deliver on the Government’s commitment to implementing the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Municipal Wastewater Strategy. They will be developed under the Fisheries Act for more than 4,000 wastewater treatment facilities.
“We recognize the key role that provinces, territories and municipalities play in the management of the wastewater sector and we are working in partnership with these jurisdictions and other stakeholders through the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment to improve wastewater effluent quality,” said Minister Prentice.
Minister Prentice outlined the Government’s commitments to protecting Canada’s water resources. “We have put in place a strong, comprehensive approach to ensure that our water resources are used wisely, both economically and ecologically. Through this approach, we are making investments in regulating and enforcing laws, monitoring, science, and cleaning up of problem areas, as well as building partnerships to protect our fresh water.”
Under the Action Plan for Clean Water, the Government of Canada committed $96 million to restore Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and several areas of concern in the Great Lakes. The Action Plan complements a number of other initiatives, such as the St. Lawrence Plan, which has allowed the Government to invest $323 million over the past 20 years on priorities such as water conservation and protection.
Further commitments to protect Canada’s water resources include:
- Accelerating First Nations’ infrastructure projects, focusing on schools and water through $515 million under Canada’s Economic Action Plan;
- Investing in infrastructure through the $33-billion Building Canada Fund to help municipalities and First Nations communities across Canada upgrade their wastewater treatment facilities;
- Regulating specific industries like metal mines and pulp and paper to reduce the toxicity of their effluents; and
- Investing $2.5 million over five years to support the United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) Global Environment Monitoring System GEMS/Water.
“As stewards of the third largest supply of freshwater in the world, it is essential that we preserve and protect our major watersheds for future generations,” said Minister Prentice. “Through this comprehensive approach on water, this Government is taking action to help Canadians become better stewards of our precious water resources.”
For more information, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=9C4881EA-1 and www.science.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=en&n=70FE597E-1
Making Water Stewardship A Top Priority: The Government of Canada’s Comprehensive Approach on Water
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Environment Canada Media Relations
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