Federal 2023 budget important step for fresh water: WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada welcomes Independent Canada Water Agency and $650M for monitoring, assessment and restoration in key freshwater ecosystems

Toronto, March 28, 2023. WWF-Canada welcomes important investments in the 2023 federal budget to maintain momentum toward protecting and restoring 30 per cent of land and waters by 2030, including a new Canada Water Agency; monitoring, assessing and restoring key freshwater ecosystems; protection of endangered whales and their habitats; and ongoing support for species at risk.

With 60 per cent of Canada’s sub-watersheds lacking data for key health indicators, there is a clear need for consistent water monitoring and WWF-Canada has long been calling for an independent national agency to fill these data gaps. Today’s funding announcement to create a Canada Water Agency — with a commitment to be fully established by the end of 2023 — will help strategically address the country’s much-needed freshwater protection and restoration requirements.

The budget also builds on the historic announcement of $420 million for protecting and restoring the Great Lakes made last week during U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit. In total, the commitment of $650 million for fresh water is a starting point to achieving the ambitious targets for nature made at last year’s COP15 UN biodiversity summit in Montreal.

Elizabeth Hendriks, vice president of restoration and regeneration, WWF-Canada, said:

“We’ve made a global commitment to protect and restore habitats across Canada — and when it comes to freshwater ecosystems, we’ve got a long way to go. Our country holds 20 per cent of the world’s freshwater and today’s announcement of new budget for the creation of a Canada Water Agency is an important step towards fulfilling this responsibility. We applaud the budget’s outlined focus on monitoring, assessment and restoration as these are all critical for understanding and improving freshwater health. It’s also essential that this agency maintains independence from political interference, and we look forward to seeing that this agency will exist as a standalone entity by the end of 2023.”


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About World Wildlife Fund Canada

WWF-Canada is committed to equitable and effective conservation actions that restore nature, reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. We draw on scientific analysis and Indigenous guidance to ensure all our efforts connect to a single goal: a future where wildlife, nature and people thrive. For more information visit wwf.ca.