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Canadian Navigable Waters Act

Version of section 2 from 2019-08-28 to 2024-05-28:

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designated work[Repealed, 2019, c. 28, s. 47]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ferry cable[Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 317]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 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minor water[Repealed, 2019, c. 28, s. 47]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 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, 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 means the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada established by subsection 2(1) of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act. (Tribunal)


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 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

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