International Boundary Waters Treaty Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-17)

Act current to 2016-04-12 and last amended on 2014-07-01. Previous Versions

International Boundary Waters Treaty Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. I-17

An Act respecting the International Joint Commission established under the treaty of January 11, 1909 relating to boundary waters

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 1.
Marginal note:Treaty in schedule confirmed

 The treaty relating to the boundary waters and to questions arising along the boundary between Canada and the United States made between His Majesty, King Edward VII, and the United States, signed at Washington on January 11, 1909, and the protocol of May 5, 1910, in Schedule 1, are hereby confirmed and sanctioned.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-17, s. 2;
  • 2013, c. 12, s. 2.
Marginal note:Laws of Canada and of provinces

 The laws of Canada and of the provinces are hereby amended and altered so as to permit, authorize and sanction the performance of the obligations undertaken by His Majesty in and under the treaty, and so as to sanction, confer and impose the various rights, duties and disabilities intended by the treaty to be conferred or imposed or to exist within Canada.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 3.
Marginal note:Interference with international waters
  •  (1) Any interference with or diversion from their natural channel of any waters in Canada, which in their natural channels would flow across the boundary between Canada and the United States or into boundary waters, as defined in the treaty, resulting in any injury on the United States side of the boundary, gives the same rights and entitles the injured parties to the same legal remedies as if the injury took place in that part of Canada where the interference or diversion occurs.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to cases existing on January 11, 1909 or to cases expressly covered by special agreement between Her Majesty and the Government of the United States.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 4.
Marginal note:Federal Court jurisdiction

 The Federal Court has jurisdiction at the suit of any injured party or person who claims under this Act in all cases in which it is sought to enforce or determine as against any person any right or obligation arising or claimed under or by virtue of this Act.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 5;
  • R.S., c. 10(2nd Supp.), s. 64.
Marginal note:Commission may compel attendance of witnesses

 The International Joint Commission, when appointed and constituted pursuant to the treaty, shall have power, when holding joint sessions in Canada, to take evidence on oath and to compel the attendance of witnesses by application to a judge of a superior court of the province in which the session is held, and that judge is hereby authorized and directed to make all orders and issue all processes necessary and appropriate to that end.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 6.
Marginal note:Salaries of Canadian Commissioners

 The members of the Canadian section of the International Joint Commission shall be paid such salaries as are fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 7;
  • 1976-77, c. 28, s. 19.
Marginal note:Secretary and other employees

 A Secretary of the Canadian section of the International Joint Commission and such other officers, clerks and employees as are required for the purposes of this Act may be employed under the Public Service Employment Act.

  • R.S., c. I-20, s. 7.
Marginal note:Administration

 This Act shall be administered by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-17, s. 9;
  • 1995, c. 5, s. 25.

Licences and Prohibitions

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The definitions in this section apply in sections 11 to 42.

analyst

analyste

analyst means a person who is designated under section 20.1 to assist an inspector to verify compliance with this Act. (analyste)

boundary waters

eaux limitrophes

boundary waters means boundary waters as defined in the treaty. (eaux limitrophes)

bulk removal

captage massif

bulk removal means the removal of water from boundary or transboundary waters and the taking of that water, whether it has been treated or not, outside the Canadian portion of the water basin — set out in Schedule 2 — in which the waters are located

  • (a) by any means of diversion, including by pipeline, canal, tunnel, aqueduct or channel; or

  • (b) by any other means by which more than 50 000 L of water are taken outside the water basin per day.

Bulk removal does not include the taking of a manufactured product that contains water, including water and other beverages in bottles or other containers, outside a water basin. (captage massif)

inspector

inspecteur

inspector means a person who is designated under section 20.1 to verify compliance with this Act. (inspecteur)

licence

licence

licence means a licence issued under section 16. (licence)

Minister

ministre

Minister means the Minister of Foreign Affairs. (ministre)

non-commercial project

projet non commercial

non-commercial project means a project involving bulk removal in which no one is required to pay for the water that is removed. (projet non commercial)

transboundary waters

eaux transfrontalières

transboundary waters means those waters that, in their natural channels, flow across the international boundary between Canada and the United States, including those set out in Schedule 3. (eaux transfrontalières)

  • 2001, c. 40, s. 1;
  • 2013, c. 12, s. 3.

Licences

Marginal note:Boundary waters
  •  (1) Except in accordance with a licence, no person shall use, obstruct or divert boundary waters, either temporarily or permanently, in a manner that affects, or is likely to affect, in any way the natural level or flow of the boundary waters on the other side of the international boundary.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of the ordinary use of waters for domestic or sanitary purposes, or the exceptions specified in the regulations.

  • 2001, c. 40, s. 1.
Marginal note:Other waters
  •  (1) Except in accordance with a licence, no person shall construct or maintain, either temporarily or permanently, any remedial or protective work or any dam or other obstruction in waters flowing from boundary waters, or in downstream waters of rivers flowing across the international boundary, the effect of which is or is likely to raise in any way the natural level of waters on the other side of the international boundary.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of the exceptions specified in the regulations.

  • 2001, c. 40, s. 1.

Prohibition

Marginal note:Purpose
  •  (0.1) The purpose of this section is to prevent the risk of environmental harm resulting from bulk removal.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — removal of boundary waters

    (1) Despite section 11, the bulk removal of boundary waters is prohibited.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition — removal of transboundary waters

    (2) Despite section 12, the bulk removal of transboundary waters is prohibited.

  • Marginal note:Deeming

    (3) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) and the application of the treaty, bulk removal is deemed, given its cumulative effects on boundary waters and on transboundary waters that flow to the United States, to affect the natural level or flow of those waters on the other side of the international boundary.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of boundary waters or transboundary waters that are used

    • (a) in a vehicle, including a vessel, aircraft or train,

      • (i) as ballast,

      • (ii) for the operation of the vehicle, or

      • (iii) for people, animals or goods on or in the vehicle; or

    • (b) in a non-commercial project on a short-term basis for firefighting or humanitarian purposes.

  • 2001, c. 40, s. 1;
  • 2013, c. 12, s. 4.
 
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