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The next edition of the Ottawa Report is scheduled to be sent Monday, February 19.

Latest News

CPWA Participates in Finance Department 2024 Pre-Budget Consultation

The CPWA has made a submission to the annual federal Finance Department pre-budget consultation, in this case in advance of the 2024 budget. The date of this year’s budget presentation has not yet been announced but often falls in March. With an election set to occur no later than October 2025, this will be one of the last budgets before that event.

Government Consulting on “Right to a Healthy Environment”

On February 8, the Government of Canada launched a public consultation and released a discussion document on the Implementation Framework for a Right to a Healthy Environment under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. This document follows the government’s intention in modernizing the CEPA, 1999 by recognizing the right to a healthy environment as provided under the Act.

As the Departments of Health and Environment are in the development phase of the implementation framework, two aspects, in particular, have been included that touch on public works:

  • Water Pollution—work on water quality under CEPA involves leadership on the development of Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, in collaboration with the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water and other federal government departments. Health-based guidelines are developed for drinking water contaminants that are found, or expected to be found, in drinking water supplies across Canada at levels that could lead to adverse health effects.
  • Waste—managing and reducing waste and pollution from waste is a role shared by federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments. CEPA provides ECCC the authority to manage the movement of hazardous waste and recyclable materials through the Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations. Also, Part 7 of CEPA imposes a prohibition on disposal at sea and establishes a permit system to control the disposal of non-hazardous substances into the sea.

In addition, in defining the “vulnerable population” the government indicated that it would take into consideration how exposure to pollutants may differ by location (such as communities located near industrial facilities, waste disposal sites, transportation corridors, and wastewater outlets).

CIB Investing in the Montreal Metropolitan Airport

On February 7, the Canada Infrastructure Bank announced that it is investing in the development of a new domestic passenger terminal at MET – Montreal Metropolitan Airport (YHU). MET—located 15 kilometres from Montreal—is building a new terminal, providing a convenient way for passengers travelling to and from major cities across Canada to visit Montreal. The new 21,300 m2 two-storey domestic terminal will have nine gates, associated taxiways, and landside facilities such as parking lots with barrier-free parking spaces, EV charging stations, and shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off points. Additional landside facilities include terminal frontage roads, road connection from the property boundary to long-term parking lots, landscaping, and an aviation fuel farm.

This project represents the CIB’s third investment in airport infrastructure, and falls within the CIB’s Trade and Transportation sector which supports developing stronger, more efficient trade and transportation corridors. The CIB’s $90 million loan will enable the new domestic passenger terminal filling a gap in the capital investment structure.

Legislative Updates

Upcoming Debates

During the week of February 12, the House will give priority to:

  • Bill C-62, An Act to amend An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), No. 2.
  • Bill C-29, An Act to provide for the establishment of a national council for reconciliation.
  • Bill C-35, An Act respecting early learning and child care in Canada.

Private Members’ Business

  • Monday, February 12: Resuming Second Reading Debate on Bill C-317, An Act to establish a national strategy respecting flood and drought forecasting.
  • Tuesday, February 13: Resuming Second Reading Debate on Bill C-273, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Corinne’s Quest and the protection of children).
  • Wednesday, February 14: Resuming Second Reading Debate on Bill C-351, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (maximum security offenders).
  • Thursday, February 15: Resuming Second reading Debate on Bill C-354, An Act to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions Act (Quebec’s cultural distinctiveness and French-speaking communities).
  • Friday, February 16: Third reading commencement on Bill C-321, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (assaults against persons who provide health services and first responders).

Committee Updates

House Environment Committee

The House Environment Committee met on February 6 and 8 to continue their study on Canadian freshwater. Some of the key themes of discussion included the shrinking size of our freshwater in the face of climate change, groundwater contamination, and calling for more federal-provincial-municipal harmony for wastewater infrastructure management.

Senate Transport Committee

The Senate Transport and Communications Committee is continuing its study of “impacts of climate change on critical infrastructure in the transportation and communications sectors and the consequential impacts on their interdependencies.”

Departmental Updates

Drinking Water and Wastewater Management Investments

On February 9, MP Kody Blois and Nova Scotia Minister John Lohr announced a combined investment of over $1 million in Port Williams to improve access to drinking water and provide the community with an increased capacity to manage wastewater.
For this project, the federal government is investing $400,000 through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Nova Scotia is investing $333,333, and the Village of Port Williams is contributing $268,256.

Green Transit System Investment

The Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities and Mayor Sandra Masters of City of Regina, announced a combined investment of $52.5 million from the federal and municipal governments in greening transit system project.

The project will bring in 20 zero-emission buses for the city and related charging infrastructure to help achieve Regina’s net-zero targets. The federal government is investing $26,106,500 in this project through the Zero Emission Transit Fund (ZETF), and the City of Regina is contributing $26,106,500.

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