Water-related public policy issues generally spill over many jurisdictions. This research project seeks to explore how government actors manage and address them. We particularly look at multilevel governance, federalism, interjurisdictional relations, as well as urban and territorial governance. Specifically, we examine the role and expertise of each level of government in relation to the governance of water resources, and consider regulatory, policy, and management issues that involve multiple jurisdictions including municipalities, aboriginal self-governments, provincial, territorial, and federal governments in relation to non-governmental actors in Canada. Our objectives include:

  • Analyzing the roles and responsibilities of key government actors involved in water governance in Canada.
  • Identifying the best approaches to improve dialogue and cooperation between different levels of water governance.
  • Assessing regulatory gaps between governments.
  • Evaluating the challenges and opportunities federalism and multilevel governance can entail in managing clean, freshwater resources.
  • Assessing the state of water infrastructure in Canada.
  • Analyzing the sources of funding for water infrastructure in Canada.


Multi-Level Governance Issues in Freshwater Protection, Management, and Law

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.

0:00:00 Introduction (Panel 1)

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


0:06:19 Sarah Dorner (Panel 1)
Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Microbial Contaminant Dynamics in Source Waters, Polytechnique Montreal

0:24:05 Eric Champagne (Panel 1)
Associate Professor, Director of the Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa

0:44:59 Lauren Touchant (Panel 1)
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Ottawa

1:04:59 Roxanne Guérard (Panel 1)
Visiting Researcher, University of Ottawa

1:22:30 Naysan Saran (Panel 1)
Co-Founder & CEO, CANN Forecast

1:41:33 Catherine Choquette (Panel 1)
Full Professor, Université de Sherbrooke

2:05:53 Questions et réponses – Q&A (Panel 1)

2:31:30 Introduction (Panel 2)
The state of regional water governance: the case of watershed management


2:36:01 Sébastien Cottinet (Panel 2)
Coordinator, Regroupement des organismes de bassins versants du Québec

2:52:41 Daniel Gladu Kanu (Panel 2)
Executive Director, Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective

3:09:28 Paula Siwik (Panel 2)
Executive Director, Mackenzie River Basin Board

3:27:04 Alexandre Lillo (Panel 2)
Postdoctoral researcher, University of Ottawa

3:46:52 Questions et réponses – Q&A (Panel 2)