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The Early Years

Banff National Park, Alberta The CPR played a large role in promoting the early parks, in transporting tourists to them, and in providing luxury accommodation like the Banff springs Hotel.
Banff National Park, Alberta.
© Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection. Circa 1900

In those early days, national parks were managed differently, reflecting the knowhow and values of that era. Canadian laws allowed logging and mining in national parks and large-scale resorts were built in the mountains. It wasn’t until 19 years later that Parliament passed the National Parks Act of 1930, which gave national parks greater protection and included the famous words “dedicated to the people of Canada, for their benefit, education and enjoyment.”

“The parks are hereby dedicated to the people of Canada for their benefit, education and enjoyment and such parks will be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”
J.B. Harkin, 1930, presenting his vision of the role of national parks

 

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