Vol. 147, No. 22 — October 23, 2013
SI/2013-111 October 23, 2013
SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR FIRST NATIONS ACT
Order Fixing November 1, 2013 as the Day on which the Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2013-1060 October 9, 2013
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, pursuant to section 15 of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, chapter 21 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, fixes November 1, 2013 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act received Royal Assent on June 19, 2013. As per section 15 of the Act, “the provisions of this Act come into force on a day or days to be fixed by the order of the Governor in Council.” The proposed date for coming into force is November 1, 2013.
The objective of this submission is to establish November 1, 2013, as the day on which the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act will come into force.
The coming into force of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, an enabling legislation, allows for the implementation of water and wastewater regulations on reserve. This Act fills the legislative gap with regard to water and wastewater regulations on First Nation lands.
The Government has committed to working with First Nations to develop federal regulations on a region-by-region basis. It is recommended that the Act come into force before the regulations are ready to be implemented. The regulations will be implemented in a phased-in manner over the next number of years. Each region will have their own regulatory development phase that is tailored to their needs. This approach was chosen in order to ensure that implementation coincides with a community’s ability to meet regulatory requirements.
First Nations’ health and safety will be at risk, should the coming into force of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act be delayed until the development of all regulations is complete. If an Act of Parliament or a provision of an Act of Parliament has not come into force within 10 years of receiving Royal Assent, the legislation will be repealed. Should the coming into force of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act be delayed until all the regulations are ready to be implemented, there is a chance that this time limit will expire.
Once the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act has come into force, regulations may be implemented on a region-by-region basis.
There are no financial implications associated with the coming into force of the Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act.
The federal government will continue to work with provincial and territorial governments during the development of the regulations and their subsequent implementation. The regulations will be based on existing provincial/territorial regulations, and adapted, where necessary, to take into consideration First Nations’ circumstances.
The Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has maintained an open dialogue with First Nations, First Nations technical and political organizations, provinces and territories as well as other stakeholders over the past seven years. Furthermore, it has committed to working with all stakeholders throughout the regulatory development process.
For more information, please contact
Innovation and Major Policy Transformation
Community Infrastructure Branch