Fresh, clean water sustains life. But while it seems abundant and constantly flowing, it is ultimately a finite natural resource. The protection of our lakes, rivers and underground aquifers is a critical concern, especially as pollution continues to impact our major waterways, and as droughts and floods become more frequent and severe.

To tackle all these complex challenges together, a reelected Liberal government will:

  • Establish and fully fund a Canada Water Agency in 2022, working with partners to safeguard our freshwater resources for generations to come, including by supporting provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners, in developing and updating river basin and large watershed agreements.
  • Modernize the 50-year-old Canada Water Act to reflect our new freshwater reality, including addressing climate change, and Indigenous water rights.
  • Implement a strengthened Freshwater Action Plan, including an historic investment of $1 billion over 10 years. This plan will provide essential funding to protect and restore large lakes and river systems, starting with the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System, Lake Simcoe, the Lake Winnipeg Basin, the Fraser River Basin, and the Mackenzie River Basin.
  • Invest $37.5 million in the Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario, the world’s only large-scale centre for freshwater science and which the Harper government tried to close. This new funding will also support international freshwater science and research by encouraging international cooperation efforts, including that with the African Great Lakes.
  • Offer willing municipalities means to manage and regulate boating on their lakes and rivers so that they promote free access, while ensuring the safety of boaters and the protection of the environment.