A Message from the Minister
© Parks Canada
Parks Canada provides Canadians with opportunities to experience and connect with the natural and cultural heritage places that define who we are as a country and bring us closer together.
Since 2006, Parks Canada has taken concrete steps to increase the size of Canada’s network of protected areas by more than 50 percent. Last year alone, two national park reserves were added: Sable Island and Nááts’ihch’oh. Efforts to expand Canada’s natural legacy will continue in places such as Bathurst Island, Lancaster Sound, the Southern Strait of Georgia and the Mealy Mountains.
Parks Canada also leads the way in enabling Canadians to commemorate and appreciate the people and events that shape our country. The year 2013 will mark several important milestones including the 300th anniversary of the founding of Louisbourg, and the continued commemoration of the War of 1812.
The ability to connect with Canada’s history and natural legacy benefits both individuals and communities. Along with providing benefits to personal health and well being, national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas create economic opportunities and provide valuable ecological services. Parks Canada places contribute $3.3 billion annually to the Canadian economy, sustaining more than 41,000 jobs in hundreds of communities across the country.
Visitation is crucial because it increases public awareness of our protected places and helps create life-long supporters of the vital work we do in conservation.
In the upcoming year, efforts will be made to connect with urban Canadians, new Canadians, and youth. Initiatives such as My Parks Pass, the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge Youth Ambassador Program, and the establishment of the Rouge National Urban Park will help to reach out to these important groups who are less familiar with Parks Canada’s special places.
Parks Canada’s integration of protection, public awareness and visitor experience is increasingly recognized worldwide. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s endorsement of our integrated approach to conservation is a source of pride for all Canadians. It inspires us to connect Canadians with the people, places and events that define our magnificent country.
The original version was signed by
The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
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