Environment Minister Robert Mitchell tabled the much awaited white paper on the proposed water act.
It is time to get informed and get involved. A group from the Coaltion for the Protection of PEI Water is working on a letter for the papers to assist Islanders in learning about the process and encourage government to work with Islanders to develop a comprehensive, sustainable act.
Here is a brief description of the timeline:
- Fall 2015: public consultations on the white paper and what should be in the Water Act carried out in several communities. A panel made up of some members of the Environmental Advisory Council will be at every meeting, and the meetings will be moderated by the highly respected Jean-Paul Arsenault, who used to work for government and helped with a lot of those previous Reports and Roundtables (which are linked in the white paper).
- Winter/Spring: Department of Communities, Land and Environment works on draft Legislation
- Spring 2016: second series of public consultations on draft water act
- Fall 2016 (November): Water Act legislation tabled in the P.E.I. Legislature.
This is a very short timeline, and may be too ambitious. BC spent 6 years on their act and are still working on the legislation.
Public engagement and input need to be truly incorporated into the document.