The case of the disappearing FAQ

Sometime between when I wrote this post last night and 10:30am this morning when a reader alerted me to the issue, Transport Canada’s FAQ for the Navigable Waters Protection Act disappeared from the Internet.

I asked the office of Transport Minister Denis Lebel to explain and received the following response.

For years, the Transport Canada website has consistently said “The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWAP) is an act respecting the protection of the public right to navigate.” The Act ensures a balance between the public right to navigate and the need to build works in navigable waters. That has never changed. Some pieces of inaccurate information have been removed. This link now contains correct information.

The FAQ has now reappeared. It appears to me that there are now no references to the “environment” within it.

Update 3:51pm. There now appear to be two references to the word “environment,” both in a single sentence.

Several federal departments and agencies have additional responsibilities to review the environmental impacts of tailings areas, including Environment Canada.

Here and here are apparently copies of the previous version of the FAQ.

Update 4:14pm. The previous version had a section entitled “Questions about the Amendments to Navigable Waters Protection Act.” That section has been shortened and is now titled, “Questions about the 2009 Amendments to Navigable Waters Protection Act.” One of the questions that has been deleted was as follows.

Do these changes mean there will be a decline in environmental assessments?

Transport Canada is committed to a healthy and sound environment.

Before the Act was changed, many routine projects required detailed navigational reviews and environmental assessments – even when they involved waters that could not be practically navigated. The effort required to perform these assessments was not proportionate to the actual navigational and environmental risks associated with the project.

The revised Act will reduce the level of review of these minor projects and allow for more in-depth reviews of the substantial projects that are of greater concern to the Canadian public.