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Government of Canada announces public Consultation on Canada Water Agency

Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking discussion paper feedback and participation in national and regional virtual discussion forums

On December 17th the Government of Canada announced the launch of their public consultation on the new Canada Water Agency, including a discussion paper and national and regional virtual forums in January and February 2021.

The Canada Water Agency Discussion Paper, "Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency," presents key issues and sets of questions for consideration in the Government of Canada's approach to creating a Canada Water Agency. Responses to these questions can be submitted using the online survey tool. Input will be accepted until March 1, 2021. Feedback can also be sent directly by email to ec.water-eau.ec@canada.ca or by regular mail.

In addition to the discussion paper, the Government of Canada will host a virtual national freshwater policy forum in January and a series of regional forums in February to provide further opportunities to participate in the consultations. More information and registration is still to come by Environment and Climate Change Canada, however, save the dates:

January 27 & 28
National Freshwater Policy Forum

February 2
Regional Freshwater Forum - Atlantic

February 4
Regional Freshwater Forum - Québec

February 9
Regional Freshwater Forum - Ontario

February 11
Regional Freshwater Forum - North

February 16
Regional Freshwater Forum - British Columbia

February 18
Regional Freshwater Forum - Prairies

Dr John Pomeroy, Director of the Global Water Futures Program, on the new Canada Water Agency:

"A well designed and mandated Canada Water Agency could directly address the water and climate crisis and put Canada on the right track for water sustainability. The Canada Water Agency can be the leadership we need to create and share the science and information, strengthen transboundary management, and improve collaborative planning, and which can bring all us together for reconciliation. This is the transformative change necessary to safeguard Canada's freshwater in the face of a changing climate. The experience of water scientists, managers, and knowledge keepers is needed now during this once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to revitalizing Canada's approach to water management. I strongly encourage participation in the discussion paper review and the forthcoming forums."

Global Water Futures and partners presented a series of webinars that brought forth ideas and recommendations on how the new Canada Water Agency could provide water security for Canadians. The six national virtual events featured 49 water experts, leaders and knowledge holders, and were attended by more than 2300 participants from every province and territory and from all water related sectors including all levels of government, Indigenous governments and organizations, academia, industry and civil society. The Water Security for Canadians Initiative, including webinar archives and supporting materials, can be found at https://gwf.usask.ca/outputs-data/major-outcomes/water-security-4-canada.php.

For more information on the Agency consultation, visit the Government of Canada's PlaceSpeak consultation site.

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