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The Parks Canada Agency Act (ref. PCA Act, s.1, 1998) requires that management plans be prepared for national historic sites and states that it is in the national interest to ensure the commemorative integrity of national historic sites.

The Historic Canals Regulations under the Department of Transport Act provide the regulatory framework for the management, use and protection of the Rideau Canal and Trent–Severn Waterway in accordance with the Historic Canals Policy and the Management Plan.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act requires that the environmental impact of certain projects or activities on or directly affecting federal lands be assessed, and if significant, mitigated where possible, and not be permitted if the impacts are potentially significant and cannot be mitigated.

The Fisheries Act requires the protection of fish habitat. Under a Level 3 agreement between Parks Canada and Fisheries & Oceans the Canals have a responsibility to protect fish habitat.

The Species at Risk Act requires the protection of species at risk and their habitats on federal crown lands.

The Canada Shipping Act regulates boating activities.

The Navigable Waters Protection Act protects the integrity and navigation safety of navigable waters.

The Historic Canals Policy, which is part of the Guiding Principles and Operating Policies, sets out policies for managing and operating historic canals.

The Federal Wetlands Policy requires that there be no net loss of wetland functions in federally owned wetlands.

Cultural Resource Management Policy, which provides a decision-making framework for the protection and presentation of cultural resources.

Web link for federal legislation:

Web link for Historic Canals Policy and Cultural Resource Management Policy: /docs/pc/poli/princip/sec1/index_e.asp

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