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Canadian Navigable Waters Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. N-22)

Act current to 2019-08-28 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Canadian Navigable Waters Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. N-22

An Act respecting the protection of navigation in Canadian navigable waters

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 1
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 316
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 46

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

designated work

designated work[Repealed, 2019, c. 28, s. 47]

ferry cable

ferry cable[Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 317]

Indigenous knowledge

Indigenous knowledge means the Indigenous knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. (connaissances autochtones)

Indigenous peoples of Canada

Indigenous peoples of Canada has the meaning assigned by the definition aboriginal peoples of Canada in subsection 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982. (peuples autochtones du Canada)

major work

major work means any work designated under paragraph 28(2)(b). (ouvrage majeur)

Minister

Minister means the Minister of Transport. (ministre)

minor water

minor water[Repealed, 2019, c. 28, s. 47]

minor work

minor work means any work designated under paragraph 28(2)(a). (ouvrage secondaire)

navigable water

navigable water means a body of water, including a canal or any other body of water created or altered as a result of the construction of any work, that is used or where there is a reasonable likelihood that it will be used by vessels, in full or in part, for any part of the year as a means of transport or travel for commercial or recreational purposes, or as a means of transport or travel for Indigenous peoples of Canada exercising rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and

  • (a) there is public access, by land or by water;

  • (b) there is no such public access but there are two or more riparian owners; or

  • (c) Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province is the only riparian owner. (eaux navigables)

obstruction

obstruction means any thing, including a vessel that is left anchored, moored or adrift or a wreck, that obstructs or impedes navigation or renders it more difficult or dangerous, but does not include a thing of natural origin unless a person causes the thing of natural origin to obstruct or impede navigation or to render it more difficult or dangerous. (obstacle)

owner

owner, in relation to a work, means the actual or reputed owner of the work or that owner’s agent or mandatary. It includes a person who is in possession or claiming ownership of the work and a person who is authorizing or otherwise responsible for the construction, placement, alteration, rebuilding, removal, decommissioning, repair, maintenance, operation, use or safety of the work. It also includes a person who proposes to construct or place a work. (propriétaire)

person in charge

person in charge, with respect to an obstruction, includes the owner of the obstruction and, in the case of a vessel, or part of one, that is an obstruction, the registered owner or other owner at the time the obstruction was occasioned, as well as the managing owner, master and any subsequent purchaser. (responsable)

Tribunal

Tribunal means the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada established by subsection 2(1) of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act. (Tribunal)

vessel

vessel includes any description of ship, boat or floating craft designed, used or capable of being used for navigation, without regard to method or lack of propulsion, including everything forming part of its machinery, tackle, equipment, cargo, stores or ballast. (bâtiment)

work

work includes

  • (a) any structure, device or other thing, whether temporary or permanent, that is made by humans, including a structure, device or other thing used for the repair or maintenance of another work; and

  • (b) any dumping of fill in any navigable water, or any excavation or dredging of materials from the bed of any navigable water. (ouvrage)

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 2
  • 2009, c. 2, s. 317
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 317
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 47

Marginal note:For greater certainty — navigable water

 For greater certainty, the definition navigable water in section 2 does not include artificial irrigation channels or drainage ditches.

  • 2019, c. 28, s. 47.1

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • 2009, c. 2, s. 318

Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Marginal note:Rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada

 For greater certainty, nothing in this Act is to be construed as abrogating or derogating from the protection provided for the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

  • 2019, c. 28, s. 48

Marginal note:Duty of Decision Maker

 When making a decision under this Act, the Minister must consider any adverse effects that the decision may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

  • 2019, c. 28, s. 48

Works

Prohibition

Marginal note:Works

 Except in accordance with this Act, it is prohibited to construct, place, alter, rebuild, remove or decommission a work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 3
  • 2009, c. 2, s. 320
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 318
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 49

Minor Works in any Navigable Water

Marginal note:Minor works

  •  (1) An owner of a minor work may construct, place, alter, rebuild, remove or decommission the minor work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water in accordance with the requirements under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Repair, maintenance, operation and use

    (2) The owner must repair, maintain, operate and use the minor work in accordance with the requirements under this Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 4
  • 2009, c. 2, s. 321
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 318
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 49

Major Works in any Navigable Water and Works in Navigable Waters Listed in Schedule

Marginal note:Notice

 An owner who proposes to construct, place, alter, rebuild, remove or decommission one of the following works may do so if the work, or its construction, placement, alteration, rebuilding, removal or decommissioning, would not interfere with navigation and the owner, before beginning the construction, placement, alteration, rebuilding, removal or decommissioning, deposits any information specified by the Minister in any place specified by the Minister and publishes a notice in any manner, and including any information, specified by the Minister:

  • (a) a major work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water; or

  • (b) a work — other than a minor work — in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water that is listed in the schedule.

  • 2019, c. 28, s. 49

Marginal note:Application for approval

  •  (1) An owner who proposes to construct, place, alter, rebuild, remove or decommission one of the following works must make an application for an approval to the Minister — in the form and manner, and containing the information, specified by the Minister — if the work, or its construction, placement, alteration, rebuilding, removal or decommissioning, may interfere with navigation:

    • (a) a major work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water; or

    • (b) a work — other than a minor work — in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water that is listed in the schedule.

  • Marginal note:Related works

    (2) If the Minister is of the opinion that two or more works are related, the Minister may consider them to be a single work.

  • Marginal note:Additional information

    (3) For the purpose of determining whether the work or its construction, placement, alteration, rebuilding, removal or decommissioning may interfere with navigation, the Minister may require from the owner any additional information that the Minister considers appropriate.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 5
  • 2009, c. 2, s. 321
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 318
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 49
 
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