Speaking on behalf of all members of Paddle Canada - individual, instructor and regional members - Mr. Alexander acknowledged that its members and paddlers do recognize the need for legislative change as required to help facilitate economic growth. As directed by our members, Paddle Canada continued our focus on the lack of transparency during the consultation process as well as the lack of clear, concise and definable definitions and standards that will impact the rights of paddlers in this country. As stated by Mr. Alexander, "...how consultation is carried out can either alleviate or generate fears. From my constituency I think it is safe to say that it generated a lot of fear."
To further qualify, Mr Alexander noted the most specific concern address by our members. "...our membership has concern with the following: The amendments place broad authority in the minister or cabinet to exclude certain classes of works and certain classes of navigable waterways from the approval process without subjecting such exclusion decisions to any objective criteria or public notification and consultation. It is the lack of any criteria on this exemption power that has our members most concerned. We submit that, at a minimum, criteria should exist for classes of navigable waterways."
Mr Alexander further reiterated Paddle Canada's position by advising the Senate Committee that in an "open, transparent discussion about such definition, I have complete faith that we would be able to come to some common ground on the definition with my organization." For our efforts, Paddle Canada was invited to keep in touch with the Standing Senate Committee as they continue their hearings and review of the evidence in this matter.
For more detailed background information please visit: http://www.paddlingcanada.com/waterway-campaigns.asp