Bill C-10 gives "absolute power" over waterways

Grand Bank, Newfoundland Labrador
February 22, 2009

Changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act included in Budget Bill C-10 will bring on a host of new changes in other areas that will impact Canadians. Changes that will hurt the average Canadian in the pocketbook, and ease the costs of big or small businesses who may have a need for water or the access to a waterway, to do what they want with it.

By classifying waterways, access for the average Canadian will be limited, and in some cases it will cost money to sail a boat through some areas. It is one thing to pay access fees for a canal; it is another thing to pay an access fee for part of a river where a mine or a paper mill happens to be located.

By giving the power and decision making to the minister, the Harper government has done away with consulting the people. But it is no different of the changes that have been made in other government departments where the ministers controls the direction, policy decisions where input is limited and left to the discretion of the minister. Departments such as the fishery, immigration, national security, transportation all have immense power to make changes without the bother of debate or being accountable to ordinary Canadians.

Lord Acton's saying "Power corrupts" is most certainly operative, the Reform Party focus on power flowing upward has been corrupted.

"Ministerial discretion" is absolute power.

How did the second part of Acton's saying go?

Nancy Clarke