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Multi-level governance issues in freshwater protection, management, and law

October 14, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm




The Public Law Centre, the Centre on Governance, and the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability present:

Conference overview

With the support of the Alex Trebek Dialogue Forum, the Public Law Centre, the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability and the Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa joined forces to address existing issues around water law and governance in Canada.

On March 22, 2021, the research group organized a first bilingual conference taking an interdisciplinary look at the creation of the future Canada Water Agency. On October 14, 2021, we shifted our focus to other political and community actors who protect and manage freshwater.

Two themes will be discussed:

  1. Multilevel governance and water protection
  2. Regional management and watershed management


Panel 1: Multilevel governance and water protection: regulations, smart cities and community participation.

OVERVIEW: Aging infrastructure, the growing threat of climate change, and the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme events raise questions about how to renew, manage and protect water infrastructure. Faced with these challenges, cities are adapting and investing in technology to better protect communities and provide early warning to public health and emergency services professionals. This panel will provide an opportunity to discuss trends and projects developed by cities across Canada and explore the tools being deployed and the technological solutions being engineered. Finally, this panel will also explore practices and harmonization of regional and municipal regulations and multi-level funding policies for water infrastructure in Quebec and Canada.


  • Sarah Dorner, Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Microbial Contaminant Dynamics in Source Waters, Polytechnique (Montréal)
  • Éric Champagne, Associate Professor, Director of the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa
  • Lauren Touchant, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Ottawa
  • Me Roxanne Guérard, Guest researcher, University of Ottawa
  • CANN Forecast, AquaHacking
  • Catherine Choquette, Full Professor, Université Sherbrooke


Panel 2: The state of regional water governance: the case of watershed management

OVERVIEW: The What We Heard report released by Environment and Climate Change Canada in June 2021 prioritizes watershed management and governance without mentioning community-based initiatives and their place in the future water strategy. This panel will provide an overview of some of the experiences of watershed management by actors who are deploying multiple legal and governance mechanisms to protect and manage freshwater.


  • Sébastien Cottinet, Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec
  • Daniel Gladu Kanu, Directeur Lake du Winnipeg Indigenous Collective
  • Paula Siwik, Directeur du Mackenzie River Basin Board
  • Alexandre Lillo, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Ottawa


October 14, 2021
9:00 am - 3:00 pm


online ZOOM webinar format


The University of Ottawa’s Forum on Water Law and Governance | Le Forum de l’Université d’Ottawa sur le droit et la gouvernance de l’eau
View Organizer Website