By William Crooks
Local Journalism Initiative
Transport Canada has streamlined the ability of local municipalities to regulate water navigation. In an announcement given at Camp Massawippi in Ayer’s Cliff, Jacques Demers, Mayor of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley and President of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities, Elizabeth Brière, MP for Sherbrooke, Marie-Claude Bibeau, MP for Compton-Stanstead and Minister of National Revenue, and Pascale St-Onge, MP for Brome-Missisquoi and Minister of Canadian Heritage spoke on the topic to a crowd of around 50 people, with many local politicians and representatives of organizations present.
Brière spoke a few introductory words and introduced Bibeau.
“It has been exactly seven years and one month that we have worked on this,” Bibeau said. We are trying to do everything in our power to allow municipalities in the region to regulate the navigation on their waterways, she continued, for security reasons and to protect the environment.
“We have worked hard… and persevered,” she went on. The former regulations were too long and too complex. Transport Canada has proposed some new modifications to modernize these regulations, which have recently received “royal sanction”. These modifications render the municipalities’ role clearer and improve the speed at which their demands will be consulted.
It is now easier and faster, she reiterated, for local relevant groups to put navigation restrictions in place on the waterways under their control. This includes speed limit changes, limiting certain activities on the water and limiting the power of the motors that can be used. These may be permanent restrictions or for specific time periods.