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

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2019-10-04. Previous Versions

Works (continued)

Designation of Areas

Marginal note:Designation

 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate areas where no work may be constructed or placed.

General

Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

 For greater certainty, approvals issued under subsection 7(6) or (13), terms and conditions imposed under subsection 7(9) or 9(2) or (3) or section 10.4 and orders given under paragraph 11(2)(a), (b) or (d) or subsection 13(1) or (2) are not statutory instruments as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act.

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 318]

Obstructions

Marginal note:Non-application

 Sections 15 to 18 do not apply in respect of a wreck to which Part 1 of the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act applies.

Marginal note:Obstruction

  •  (1) The person in charge of an obstruction in a navigable water must immediately give notice of the existence of the obstruction to the Minister, in the form and manner, and containing the information, specified by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Measures

    (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the Minister under subsection (3), the person in charge of the obstruction must

    • (a) place and, as long as the obstruction is present, maintain, by day, a sufficient signal and, by night, a sufficient light, to indicate the position of the obstruction; and

    • (b) immediately begin its removal and carry on the removal diligently to completion.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s powers

    (3) The Minister may order the person in charge of an obstruction in a navigable water to repair, secure, move, remove, dismantle or destroy it in the manner that the Minister considers appropriate or, if he or she is satisfied that it is necessary in the circumstances, may order the person to do any other thing with respect to the obstruction.

  • Marginal note:Failure to comply

    (4) If the person in charge of the obstruction fails to comply with paragraph (2)(a) or (b) or an order made under subsection (3), the Minister may do any thing with respect to the obstruction that he or she considers appropriate.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 15
  • R.S., 1985, c. 1 (2nd Supp.), s. 213
  • 2009, c. 2, s. 331
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 318
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 54

Marginal note:Potential obstruction

  •  (1) The Minister may order the person in charge of a potential obstruction that has persisted for more than 24 hours in a navigable water to repair, secure, move, remove, dismantle or destroy it in the manner that the Minister considers appropriate or, if he or she is satisfied that it is necessary in the circumstances, may order the person to do any other thing with respect to the potential obstruction.

  • Marginal note:Failure to comply

    (2) If the person to whom an order is given fails to comply with it, the Minister may do any thing with respect to the potential obstruction that he or she considers appropriate.

Marginal note:Minister’s powers

 If the person in charge of an obstruction or a potential obstruction in a navigable water is not known or cannot be located, the Minister may repair, secure, move, remove, dismantle or destroy it or do any other thing with respect to the obstruction or potential obstruction that he or she considers appropriate.

Marginal note:Property belonging to Her Majesty

  •  (1) The Minister may order any person to secure, remove or destroy a wreck, vessel, part of a vessel or other thing that is cast ashore, stranded or left on any property belonging to Her Majesty in right of Canada and impedes, for more than 24 hours, the use of that property as may be required for the public purposes of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Failure to comply

    (2) If the person to whom an order is given fails to comply with the order, the Minister may do any thing with respect to the wreck, the vessel, the part of a vessel or the thing that he or she considers appropriate.

Marginal note:Sale

  •  (1) If a person in charge of an obstruction or potential obstruction in a navigable water fails to comply with paragraph 15(2)(a) or (b) or is not known or cannot be located, or if a person to whom an order is given under subsection 15(3), 15.1(1) or 16(1) fails to comply with the order, the Minister may sell by auction or otherwise, as he or she considers appropriate, the obstruction or potential obstruction or the thing referred to in subsection 16(1). The Minister may apply the proceeds of the sale to make good the costs incurred by the Minister while acting under subsection 15(4) or 15.1(2) or section 15.2 or subsection 16(2), as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Surplus

    (2) The Minister must pay all or any portion of the surplus of the proceeds of the sale to the person in charge of the obstruction or potential obstruction sold or to any other person that is entitled to the proceeds.

Marginal note:Debt

  •  (1) The amount of the costs incurred by the Minister while acting under subsection 15(4) or 15.1(2) or section 15.2 or subsection 16(2) constitutes a debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Recovery by Her Majesty

    (2) Such debts are recoverable from

    • (a) the person in charge of the obstruction at the time the obstruction was occasioned;

    • (b) any person through whose act or fault or through the act or fault of whose servant the obstruction was occasioned or continued;

    • (b.1) the person in charge of the potential obstruction at the time potential obstruction was identified;

    • (b.2) any person through whose act or fault or through the act or fault of whose servant the potential obstruction was occasioned or continued; or

    • (c) the person to whom the order referred to in subsection 16(1) is given.

Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

 For greater certainty, an order given under subsection 15(3), 15.1(1) or 16(1) is not a statutory instrument as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act.

 [Repealed, 2019, c. 1, s. 138]

Deposit and Dewatering

Marginal note:Throwing or depositing sawdust, etc., prohibited

 No person shall throw or deposit or cause, suffer or permit to be thrown or deposited any sawdust, edgings, slabs, bark or like rubbish of any description whatever that is liable to interfere with navigation in any water, any part of which is navigable or that flows into any navigable water.

  • R.S., c. N-19, s. 19

Marginal note:Throwing or depositing stone, etc., prohibited

  •  (1) No person shall throw or deposit or cause, suffer or permit to be thrown or deposited any stone, gravel, earth, cinders, ashes or other material or rubbish that is liable to sink to the bottom in any water, any part of which is navigable or flows into any navigable water, where there is not a minimum depth of 36 metres of water at all times, but nothing in this section shall be construed so as to permit the throwing or depositing of any substance in any part of a navigable water if it is prohibited by or under any other federal Act.

  • Marginal note:Non-application

    (2) The prohibition in subsection (1) does not apply with respect to the dumping of fill done in compliance with an approval issued under subsection 7(6).

Marginal note:Dewatering and other actions

  •  (1) No person shall take any action that lowers the water level of a navigable water or any part of a navigable water to a level that extinguishes navigation for vessels of any class that navigate, or are likely to navigate, the navigable water in question.

  • Marginal note:Historic canals

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a historic canal as defined in section 2 of the Historic Canals Regulations.

  • Marginal note:Navigation not extinguished

    (3) For the purposes of this Act, navigation is not extinguished if the Minister is of the opinion that there are sufficient measures in place to mitigate the impact of the lower water level on navigation and he or she approves the work whose construction, placement, alteration, rebuilding, removal, decommissioning, repair, maintenance, operation or use lowers the water level of a navigable water or part of a navigable water.

Marginal note:Exemption by order

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, by order, exempt from the application of any of sections 21 to 23, any rivers, streams or waters, in whole or in part, if the Minister receives an application for an exemption and the Governor in Council is satisfied that it would be in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (2) An application for an exemption under subsection (1) must be made in the form and manner, and contain the information, specified by the Minister.

Marginal note:Powers of certain persons

 Sections 21, 22 and 26 do not affect the legal powers, rights or duties of harbour masters, port wardens, the person responsible for the management of the St. Lawrence Seaway or a port authority established under the Canada Marine Act in respect of materials that, under those sections, are not allowed to be deposited in navigable waters.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 25
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 321

Marginal note:Minister’s powers

  •  (1) The Minister may

    • (a) order any person who is contravening section 21 or 22 to stop throwing or depositing or causing, suffering or permitting to be thrown or deposited any material or rubbish;

    • (b) order any person who contravened section 21 or 22 to remove the material or rubbish in question or to do any other thing with respect to it, including taking all measures necessary for the safety of navigation;

    • (c) if a person fails to comply with an order given under paragraph (a) or (b), cause any thing to be done with respect to the material or rubbish in question, including its removal and disposition;

    • (d) order any person who is contravening subsection 23(1) to stop taking the action that is lowering the level of the navigable water;

    • (e) order any person who has contravened subsection 23(1) to take any action necessary to restore the level of the navigable water to the level that the Minister considers acceptable; and

    • (f) if a person fails to comply with an order given under paragraph (d) or (e), cause any thing to be done with respect to the navigable water, including the taking of any action necessary to restore the level of the navigable water to the level that the Minister considers acceptable.

  • Marginal note:Debt

    (2) The amount of the costs incurred by the Minister while acting under paragraph (1)(c) or (f) constitutes a debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

    (3) For greater certainty, an order given under this section is not a statutory instrument as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act.

Marginal note:Designated places to deposit materials

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate places in any navigable water that is not within the jurisdiction of any person referred to in section 25, where stone, gravel, earth, cinders, ashes or other material may be deposited even if the minimum depth of water at that place may be less than 36 metres.

  • Marginal note:Ministerial approval

    (2) The Minister may, on application, authorize the deposit of materials in a place designated under subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Application

    (3) An application under subsection (2) must be made in the form and manner, and contain the information, specified by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Non-application

    (4) For greater certainty, this section does not apply with respect to the dumping of fill done in compliance with an approval issued under subsection 7(6).

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-22, s. 26
  • R.S., 1985, c. 1 (2nd Supp.), s. 213
  • 2009, c. 2, s. 336
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 321
  • 2019, c. 28, s. 58
 
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