October 20, 2016
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
Department of Transport Canada
House of Commons
Re: Review of the Navigation Protection Act
We write on behalf of our client, the British Columbia Metis Federation (BCMF), in respect of the federal government’s review of the Navigation Protection Act.
It has come to our attention that this review has begun and that presentations before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in connection with the review are currently underway. We also understand that a deadline of November 9, 2016 has been imposed for the receipt of written submissions by the Standing Committee in connection with the review.
In September 2016, the BCMF applied to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency for funding for the very purpose of participating in the Navigation Protection Act review process. To date, the BCMF has not received a response to their funding request. Nor were they advised that the current review was proceeding in the absence of confirmed participant funding. We now understand that the review process may conclude before your Ministry makes any decision regarding the outstanding funding request.
The BCMF is extremely frustrated by and disappointed with the process the federal government has adopted with respect to this review, and the lack of information that has been provided about it. We do not see how such a process can be considered fair when it fails to follow the very protocols established to enable our client to participate in it.
The BCMF would like to participate in the review process and would like an opportunity to provide both oral and written submissions to the Standing Committee. We request that you provide the BCMF with a response to their request for funding by Monday, October 24. Assuming the funding request is approved, this will provide our client with the time required to prepare both oral and written submissions for the Committee’s consideration within its current timelines. If the BCMF does not receive a response by October 24, then the BCMF reserves their right to present oral and written submissions to the Standing Committee within a reasonable time following the approval of their funding request.
Dr. Bruce McIvor
First Peoples Law Corporation
cc: The Honourable Judy A. Sgro, Chair, Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and
Cathy Hainsworth, Manager, Navigation Protection Act Review, Transport Canada
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Participant Funding Program,
Keith Henry, President, British Columbia Metis Federation
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/2016-10-20-BCMF-Letter-to-Minister-of-Transport-re-Navigation-Protection-Act-Review.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this letter in PDF format.[/ilink]