Protecting Canada’s fresh waters should be on the next federal government’s agenda, whichever party wins on October 19. And curbing runoff pollution needs to be on the agenda.
This is a key message in Federal leadership for our living waters, a call to action for the next government of Canada that individuals and organizations are asked to support in advance of the coming election. The call to action is the first project under Our Living Waters, a new collaborative initiative administered by Tides Canada, coordinated by the Freshwater Alliance and supported by over 80 freshwater groups from across Canada. Our Living Waters aims to amplify the voice and impact of Canada’s freshwater community.
The goal: that all Canadian waters be restored to good health and protected.
Stormwater runoff, which has been identified in the U.S. as one of the leading sources of pollution to water bodies in urban areas, is singled out as an item for action in Canada as well. The call urges federal government action to address the country’s $88 billion infrastructure deficit through a 10-year strategic plan that puts emphasis on green infrastructure, rainwater management, and water conservation and efficiency.
Our Living Waters identifies four themes and associated actions:
Mobilizing water knowledge
- work with academic and research institutes, watershed agencies, NGOs and communities to develop and implement a common national approach to assessing and publicly reporting on the health of Canada’s water
- build and restore capacity within Canada’s federal agencies for science and evidence-based policy making
Modernizing and implementing water law and policy
- modernize the federal legislative and policy framework for freshwater protection and management
Building water sustainable cities and economies
- eliminate Canada’s water infrastructure deficit by investing in green infrastructure and water conservation
- enhance Canada’s water technology sector in partnership with the private sector, investors, academic institutes and business accelerators
Supporting a collaborative water community
- mandate a minister for water in the federal cabinet to create a focal point to coordinate various federal agencies responsible for water
- create a funding source for community, aboriginal and stewardship organizations working to protect and restore Canada’s waters
This blog post was published in The Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin Issue 32.