Water Act debated in legislature
After more than two years of consultation with Islanders, the new Water Act came up for debate in the Legislative Assembly today (November 29).
The historic act (www.princeedwardisland.ca/wateract) is the first of its kind in Prince Edward Island. It will provide water security, guide government decisions involving water management, and allow water challenges to be effectively addressed well into the future.
“We had a lot of public interest in the creation of the Water Act and received a lot of excellent feedback,” said Communities, Land and Environment Minister Robert Mitchell, who tabled the act on November 23. “This modern, and comprehensive act will help to protect our water quantity and quality and ensure fresh, clean water is available now and for generations to come.”
The Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) began consulting with Islanders in July 2015 through public online submissions, and held public consultations from October to December 2015. The EAC summarized their findings based on Islanders’ feedback in a report released in May 2016. This report was used in preparing the draft Water Act, which was released in March 2017.
The Department of Communities, Land and Environment then held a second round of public consultations on the draft act in April 2017, which included:
- four regional public meetings (West, Central, Charlottetown and East);
- more than 100 online comments; and
- 10 public presentations.
“There has been a lot of public engagement throughout consultations on the Water Act,” said Dean Stewart, Environmental Advisory Council chair. “The EAC is very pleased with the open and transparent process and we hope the public is satisfied with the end result.”