House of commons committee on transport, infrastructure and communities

The Canadian Water and Wastewater Association represents the interests of municipal water and wastewater services in respect to federal or national legislation, policies and programs. More than 24 million Canadians receive drinking water from municipal services and discharge wastewater to those services. The services are provided on a notfor-profit, public service basis. Revenues derived from these services are in most instances, intended to fully pay and maintain the service and the infrastructure although there has developed an infrastructure gap. These services are subject primarily to Provincial or Territorial legislation which sets standards for the quality of water delivered to consumers and the quality of effluents discharged to the environment, and requirements and conditions for the operation of all related facilities and infrastructures.

General comments

CWWA understands that this is enabling legislation and that the impact of the legislation will be determined through the provisions of the regulations to be promulgated under the Act as amended.

CWWA understands that there is both a public perception and a public expectation that situations potentially hazardous to the general public and society should be subjected to higher levels of security than has been the case in other periods, and that accordingly existing governing legislation may require amendment in order to achieve this.

Therefore CWWA, on behalf of municipal water and wastewater services, supports in principle, the provisions of the Bill as proposed.

CWWA believes though that the Committee should be aware in general and in particular, of the dependence of these municipal services on the reliable, prompt and economic transport of chemicals essential for the treatment of water, wastewater or for other operational processes. Changing the security aspects of the transportation of dangerous goods is likely to result in increased costs and possibly stretching supply chains and times. In most cases, the chemical supply chains servicing the municipal water and wastewater services operate on the “just-in-time” approach. As a result, there is little spare capacity in the supply chain, including the transportation element to respond to initiatives that may slow down, or make more complicated the delivery of chemicals and the return of “empty” containers.

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