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The National Capital Commission wants to play a bigger role in helping the capital’s many governments take care of the Ottawa River.
Few places around the capital are regulated in such a confusing way and by so many different governments, notes Marie Lemay, the president of the NCC.
Two cities, two provinces, one federal government (including the NCC, Transport Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans), and the Ottawa Riverkeeper watch over it.
“The jurisdictions around the river are so complicated that there’s no forum for the river,” Ms. Lemay told the Citizen’s editorial board Tuesday.
She suggests the NCC should bring different agencies together, but without creating more bureaucracy.
Her suggestion runs parallel to the informal discussions sometimes held around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River by the eight states and two provinces that share those shorelines.
“Nothing that would be too rigid and too strict,” she said.
Today, she said, “the City of Ottawa collects data, City of Gatineau collects data (on the river). Even Riverkeeper is involved. But there’s no central place where people can exchange (information), or say, ‘We’re missing information here; how do we share that?’
“That notion of having a forum, to be able to have all the groups that are involved to be able to address some of the issues, that’s the first step. That’s where I think we could play a role in co-ordinating, because there’s no other organization that spans over the two sides within the capital region.”
She insisted such a forum must be “nothing formal. That would just create more rules. But just a forum that would allow us to share needed information — and maybe take on small projects.”View article
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