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OTTAWA, Ontario, August 8, 2002 -- Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps today announced the appointment of Alan Latourelle as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Parks Canada Agency.

A public servant for two decades, Mr. Latourelle, 42, has held increasingly senior positions at the National Capital Commission and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and has served for the last three years as Chief Administrative Officer for the Parks Canada Agency.

Ms. Copps said, "Mr. Latourelle is a proven manager of a large, successful and diverse organization, with the ability to deal with emerging issues across Canada. Mr. Latourelle's wide understanding of the Agency, his expertise in federal-provincial-territorial relations, his solid relationships with Aboriginal peoples and his record as an executive are decided assets for the future of Parks Canada."

Current CEO Tom Lee will continue as Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage until January 28, 2003. This will ensure continued support for a number of important files on which Mr. Lee has vast knowledge.

"Tom's commitment to long term vision and his achievements for the organization have been tremendous" said Minister Copps. "His personal and intimate knowledge of Canada, its lands and waters, and its people made him an exceptional first CEO for the Agency".

Mr. Lee has guided the Parks Canada Agency throughout the creation and implementation of a new policy framework, including legislative renewal, starting with the Parks Canada Agency Act, the Canada National Parks Act and the recent Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. The decisions to focus on the ecological integrity of Canada's National Parks and to end commercial development in national parks are among major accomplishments achieved under Mr. Lee's stewardship. Mr. Lee oversaw the initiation of major efforts to increase the recognition of Aboriginal peoples, women and multicultural communities in new National Historic Sites of Canada.


Kerry Edmonds
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of
Canadian Heritage
(819) 997-7788

Backgrounder associated with this News Release.