© Parks Canada
By Robin Lessard
It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as Parks Canada’s new Field Unit Superintendent (Director) for Northern Ontario. As the Interim Field Unit Superintendent since last November, I have discovered a vast and somewhat “wild” region that has sparked my curiosity.
After having spent three years as the Mingan Field Unit Superintendent on Quebec’s North Shore, it seemed only natural for me to continue my journey here. I worked with the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve on diversifying regional tourism in partnership with local communities. Among other things, we were able to implement new lodgings within the park reserve and create a cultural centre with one of the Innu communities. I was also very active with the international cruise line industry to develop this market together with regional and provincial tourism industry leaders. Finally, I had the privilege of collaborating on a pilot project with an Innu community and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.
This posting at Parks Canada was even more enticing, as I came to it after a 25-year career as an officer in the Canadian Forces, where I attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. It was time for me to embark on a new adventure after having travelled across a good part of the country and a few of the world’s most exotic places. So I found myself managing exceptionally stimulating projects in collaboration with various stakeholders and partners, which turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences.
As a great lover of outdoor recreation and sports, I am very happy to be pursuing my journey in this beautiful part of the country along this immense “coastal” region. My family – my wife and two young children – are as excited as I am to see all the opportunities we will have, as they are also lovers of nature and recreational activities.
In the coming months, I hope to have the pleasure to meet with partners like you so we may solidify our relationship and continue working together to promote our region and create new opportunities to explore the area located at the heart of our vast nation.
Until next time!