Canadian Navigable Waters Act


Canada is home to millions of rivers, lakes, canals and other bodies of water. These waterways helped shape our country and we continue to rely on them for travel, recreation and transport.

The Canadian Navigable Waters Act protects the rights of all Canadians to use and enjoy these waterways.

It also enhances consultation and engagement opportunities for Indigenous groups.

It requires any project that could interfere with the ability to navigate a waterway — like a bridge or a dam — to be approved by Transport Canada.

It gives the public the chance to provide input before any construction begins and prohibits activities such as throwing and depositing certain material or activities that could lower water levels and prevent travel by boat.

Most importantly, the Act applies to all navigable waters in Canada — so our country’s vast network of waterways can be travelled and enjoyed for years to come.