The federal government is making good on its Throne Speech commitment to establishing the Canada Water Agency, and wants Canadians’ input in the process.

The Ministers of  Environment and Climate Change and Agriculture and Agri-Food have jointly released a statement officially launching the public consultation period for the Agency.

“Canadians know the importance of protecting our natural bounty of lakes, rivers, and other freshwater systems. Farmers need a reliable supply of quality fresh water to produce high-quality food for our country and for export around the world. This agency will be designed to complement and work in collaboration with initiatives already underway at the provincial, territorial, and local levels. We encourage Canadians and agricultural stakeholders to make their voices heard as part of these important consultations,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The discussion paper 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 Government of Canada will also host a virtual national freshwater policy forum in January, 2021, and a series of regional forums in February to provide further opportunities for Canadians to participate in discussion-paper consultations, according to a press release.

“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. Robust consultations are an important part of this process, and I look forward to the input from Canadians,” says  Terry Duguid, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (Canada Water Agency).

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