Priority projects in Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay and Banff national parks to focus on critical infrastructure, visitor safety, and improved visitor experiences
BANFF, AB, Jan. 23, 2023 /CNW/ - The network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of memories from coast to coast to coast. Investing in these locations helps support the health of natural and built heritage, increases climate resiliency and creates jobs in local communities, while providing visitors with high-quality, safe and meaningful experiences across the country.
Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced approximately $71 million over three years for projects in the mountain national parks. The projects include critical infrastructure improvements in the community of Lake Louise, upgrades to Parks Canada dispatch in Banff and Jasper, as well as several roadway and bridge improvements. This investment is part of the Government of Canada's recently announced funding of $557 million over three years to ensure the continuation of infrastructure projects and maintenance work for Parks Canada's assets supporting the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors.
Through this federal investment, Parks Canada will continue to improve critical infrastructure in communities, maintain high standards for visitors, and enhance safety on the highways and roadways that take the public and visitors to and through the mountain national parks. In the Lake Louise area, critical repairs to community water and sewer infrastructure will improve service quality for residents, stakeholders and visitors, while the redesign of Lake Louise Drive will improve safety and visitor experience. The Parks Canada dispatch centres in Banff and Jasper will receive equipment upgrades to ensure quick and effective responses, essential for public safety during emergency situations. Lastly, Parks Canada will conduct repairs and rehabilitation on primary and secondary highways in Jasper, Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks, and initiate design work for bridges in Jasper National Park, improving the safety and travelling experience on these important corridors.
Since 2015, federal infrastructure investments have enabled Parks Canada to improve the condition of approximately 5,000 assets across the country. These upgrades help ensure public safety, quality and reliability in visitor offers, incorporate green technologies and climate resilience, while connecting Canadians with nature and history.
"The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Parks Canada assets so the cultural, environmental and economic vitality that national heritage places bring to Canada can continue into the future. Parks Canada's robust roadway improvements through the iconic mountain national parks will provide safer traveling experiences for Canadians to connect with nature. Improvements to Parks Canada's first response capabilities with dispatch equipment upgrades will maintain quick and effective response times in dangerous situations. Critical infrastructure upgrades within the community of Lake Louise will improve service quality, resulting in tangible benefits for visitors, local communities and businesses and the nation's tourism industry."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South
"Canada's national parks are core to our Canadian identity and to our tourism portfolio. Our government works with local Indigenous groups and rural communities to ensure that we provide visitors with high-quality experiences while protecting our natural wonders for future generations. Today's investments will upgrade critical infrastructure in national parks across Canada, improving the quality of life for surrounding communities while keeping the parks safe and accessible all year round."
Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre
Parks Canada's wide-ranging infrastructure portfolio includes more than 18,500 built assets such as highways, bridges, dams and other marine infrastructure, historic buildings and fortifications, water and wastewater treatment facilities, campgrounds, visitor centres and operational buildings and compounds.
Parks Canada's ability to meet its mandate of conserving and presenting national heritage places in Canada is founded on its assets. More than just supporting visitors as cornerstones of Canada's tourism industry, these assets play critical functions, such as transportation, water management, public safety, and services to residents and businesses, while being a source of shared pride for Canadians.
Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks are part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Site and are renowned for their dramatic mountain landscapes on both sides of the Continental Divide in Alberta and British Columbia.
Ecological integrity is Parks Canada's first priority. Impact assessments are used to manage the impact of infrastructure projects, and when possible, increase ecological gains for park ecosystems.
From January 30 to February 13, 2023, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, is inviting Canadians to participate in the 2023 Minister's Round Table on Parks Canada's national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas. An online engagement portal will be available and will welcome input from the general public at letstalkparkscanada.ca.
SOURCE Parks Canada
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