OTTAWA, Jan. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today issued the following statement regarding the Province of British Columbia's decision to move forward to protect lands in the South Okanagan, including an invitation to Parks Canada to discuss the possibility of a new national park reserve:
"Our Government is committed to preserving and expanding our national parks and protected areas.
"A new national park reserve would provide an opportunity to protect one of Canada's iconic natural and cultural landscapes and share this unique and inspiring landscape with Canadians and visitors from around the world.
"It would also bring us a step closer to establishing a system of national parks that represents each of Canada's 39 distinct natural regions and contribute to reaching Canada's 17 per cent biodiversity land target by 2020, in collaboration with the Provinces, Indigenous groups and other key partners.
"I look forward to discussing the potential for a new national park reserve in the South Okanagan with the Province of British Columbia and local Okanagan Nation communities."
Parks Canada was not a party to the development of the province's protected areas plan for the South Okanagan, nor involved in its public review. The Agency looks forward to future discussions.
SOURCE Parks Canada
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For further information: Caitlin Workman, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-991-1441, email@example.com; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 855-862-1812, firstname.lastname@example.org