Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

"We will seek the required funding to expand the national parks system in collaboration with provincial/territorial governments, Aboriginal organizations, local communities, industries, private citizens and NGOs." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • New long-term funding required to expand the national parks system is being requested as part of standard budgetary procedures.

Donation of Island a Gift to Canadians
On July 1, 2000, Gananoque, Ontario resident The Honourable John Ross Matheson and his family offered to donate one of the Thousand Islands to Parks Canada as a Canada Day gift to all Canadians. Victoria Island, a one-fifth hectare island located 50 metres offshore from Brockville, is "really too good for people to own alone," said Mr. Matheson, a retired judge and former MP and so, on October 6, 2000, it was formally added to St. Lawrence Islands National Park. The island is significant to the national park because it has a healthy stand of pitch pine, a rare vegetation species for the area and a key factor in establishing habitat for plant and animal species that are representative of St. Lawrence River ecosystems. Protection of pitch pine stands has been recognized as a priority for the park as healthy stands are found in only two other locations in the park. The addition of Victoria Island, therefore, makes an important contribution to representing the ecosystems and landscape of the area.

"We will collaborate with provinces and territories toward the completion of Canada's family of parks and protected areas. Canada's Parks Ministers have agreed to make a public report this summer on the implementation of their 1992 Statement of Commitment and the next steps to be taken." (Action Plan)

Progress to Date

  • The new Canada National Parks Act provides a streamlined legislative process for establishing new national parks. In addition, seven new parks and reserves have been included in the schedule to the Act.
  • Parks Canada has substantially finalized negotiations with the Kivalliq Inuit Association to establish Ukkusiksalik National Park on Wager Bay in Nunavut, and negotiations are under way for a national park reserve in the Torngat Mountains of northern Labrador.
  • At the Parks Ministers' annual meeting on August 15, 2000 in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for parks released a report entitled Working Together: Parks and Protected Areas in Canada, highlighting the progress that governments from across the country have made toward completing their systems of protected areas and outlining the next steps planned.
  • Parks Canada and Environment Canada have launched discussions aimed at more effective collaboration in establishing the federal family of protected areas.

Next Steps

  • At the time of releasing the above report, the Ministers indicated that "We recognize that more work remains to be done, and we are committed to continue our efforts to complete our parks and protected areas networks."


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