Exemption by Order in Council

Throwing or depositing of material likely to interfere with navigation in navigable waters was a prohibited activity under the previous legislation and continues to be prohibited under the Navigation Protection Act (NPA). For example, the dumping of mine tailings into navigable waters could be prohibited.

The NPA clarifies that “dewatering” is included by specifically naming it as a prohibited activity. Dewatering means drying up the navigable water.

The prohibition of these activities applies to all navigable waters in Canada, not just those listed on the schedule to the NPA. Only the Governor in Council has authority to exempt waters (and any water that flows into a navigable water) from the application of these prohibitions, if it is in the public interest to do so.

The mechanism used to do this is called an Order in Council. Many federal and provincial departments and agencies may become involved in this process. Extensive public consultation and environmental assessment are required.

For more information on this federal government regulatory process please visit the Treasury Board Secretariat website at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca

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