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Canada launches discussion paper and consultations on new Canada Water Agency


December 21, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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ICONS: © Adobe stock, ILLUSTRATION BY ALISON KEBA

Ottawa – The federal government has launched public consultations to help establish the new Canada Water Agency and improve freshwater management across Canada.

Water challenges such as droughts, floods and deteriorating water quality are intensifying, due in large part to climate change, the government said in a news release.

A discussion paper, available now, “Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency,” seeks Canadians’ input to help identify freshwater priorities for the federal government and build on the federal government’s existing activities to enhance freshwater management, while avoiding duplication and respecting areas of provincial and territorial jurisdiction. The paper is based on the comments made through the PlaceSpeak forum.

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The paper addresses the following issues:
• Freshwater objectives
• Freshwater policy, coordination and multilateral engagement
• Freshwater prediction to inform climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
• Indigenous peoples and freshwater management
• Agriculture and fresh water
• Economic sectors and fresh water
• Freshwater science
• Freshwater data
• Transboundary freshwater management
• Freshwater technology, innovation, and infrastructure
• Engaging Canadians in managing and protecting fresh water
• Overarching discussion questions

The government will host a virtual national freshwater policy forum in January and a series of regional forums in February to provide more opportunities for Canadians to have their say on the discussion paper:

  • Jan. 27 – National Freshwater Policy Forum
  • Feb. 2 – Regional Freshwater Forum, Atlantic
  • Feb. 4 – Regional Freshwater Forum, Quebec
  • Feb. 9 – Regional Freshwater Forum, Ontario
  • Feb. 11 – Regional Freshwater Forum, North
  • Feb. 16 – Regional Freshwater Forum, British Columbia
  • Feb. 18 – Regional Freshwater Forum, Prairies

“Through the Canada Water Agency, our government is looking to strengthen collaboration between the federal government, the provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other partners to find the best ways to safeguard our freshwater resources for generations to come,” said Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency). “Robust consultations are an important part of this process, and I look forward to the input from Canadians.”