Canada's New Government provides $1 million for Halifax's Point Pleasant Park restoration

    HALIFAX, March 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency,
today announced Canada's New Government's is contributing $1 million toward
the reforestation of Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. Minister MacKay was
speaking on behalf of the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment,
and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources.
    "Canada's New Government is making this contribution so that Canadians
and visitors from around the world can once again fully enjoy this natural
treasure," said Minister MacKay. "I am proud to be involved in helping make
this happen. Once again this Government is delivering real results for Nova
Scotians and Atlantic Canadians."
    "Together with the people of Halifax and Dartmouth, this Government
recognizes that Halifax's Point Pleasant Park is a treasure that must be
restored from the devastation caused by Hurricane Juan," said Minister Baird.
"Today is one more step to ensure the regeneration of the forest's ecosystem
and biodiversity for the benefit of current and future generations."
    When Hurricane Juan struck Point Pleasant Park on September 29, 2003, an
estimated 75,000 trees - more than 70 percent of the park's forest - were
downed or damaged by the storm.
    "Healthy urban forests contribute to healthy cities and improve the
quality of our lives in many ways," said Minister Lunn. "The restoration of
Point Pleasant Park is important for the Halifax Regional Municipality and its
residents, and this funding shows our government's commitment to taking real
action to produce real results."
    Point Pleasant Park is one of our municipality's greatest natural assets
and one of the most loved and well-used parks in Canada," said Halifax
Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly. "This funding will help us restore
the health of Point Pleasant Park so that HRM citizens and visitors can
continue to enjoy and take full advantage of this wonderful resource."
    Hurricane Juan swept across Nova Scotia early on September 29, 2003
before weakening to tropical-storm strength as it approached Prince Edward
Island. The brunt of the storm was borne by Halifax Regional Municipality, and
particularly Point Pleasant Park. The damage to the city and the park shocked
Canadians, as well as the Nova Scotians who were directly affected. To ensure
the public's immediate safety, the Government provided funding for the initial
cleanup of the park through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements

    Point Pleasant Park is federal land that is leased to the Halifax
Regional Municipality by Parks Canada, which owns and operates the Prince of
Wales National Historic Site, located in the Park.

    (Egalement offert en français)

For further information:

For further information: please contact: Eric Richer, Press Secretary,
Office of the Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada
Media Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008; Foreign Affairs Media
Relations Office, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, (613)
995-1874; Kathleen Olson, Acting Director of Communications, Office of the
Minister, Natural Resources Canada, (613) 996-2007

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