Harper Government Introduces Legislation to Protect High-Arctic Treasure on Bathurst Island
16 Jun, 2015, 09:30 ET
Qausuittuq National Park to be Canada's 45th National Park
OTTAWA, June 16, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, yesterday announced the introduction of a Bill to establish Qausuittuq National Park under the Canada National Parks Act. The Bill is a step towards creating Qausuittuq as Canada's 45th national park and takes action to conserve Canada's lands and waters and connect Canadians to nature in support of Canada's National Conservation Plan.
Qausuittuq, on northern Bathurst Island in Nunavut, will join Canada's system of national parks – one of the finest and most extensive networks of protected natural areas in the world. The new national park will protect the area's natural and cultural heritage, including the endangered Peary caribou and other wildlife, and will give the adventurous tourist unprecedented access to one of the more remote corners of the world.
The Government of Canada is committed to engaging communities and partners to protect and present our natural places while fulfilling requirements under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in the creation of Qausuittuq National Park. Inuit will fully benefit from the opportunities arising from the creation of the national park and the park will be managed in cooperation with Inuit for the benefit, education and enjoyment of all Canadians.
The creation of Qausuittuq supports Canada's Northern Strategy: Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future by protecting our environmental heritage, contributing to the cultural and socio-economic well-being of the Inuit, and exercising our Arctic sovereignty.
- Qausuittuq (pronounced: Kow-soo-ee-took) means "place where the sun doesn't rise" in Inuktitut, in reference to the fact that the sun stays below the horizon for several months in the winter at this latitude.
- Bathurst Island is a traditional hunting and fishing area that has sustained the residents of the community of Resolute.
- A Parks Canada office and visitor reception centre will be located in Resolute, Nunavut, the nearest community.
- Since 2006, the Harper Government has taken action to expand Canada's network of protected natural areas, including a six-fold increase of Nahanni National Park Reserve and the creation of Sable Island National Park Reserve, Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve, Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, and the proposed Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area.
- With the addition of Qausuittuq National Park, Parks Canada will manage 45 national parks – with a total area almost half the size of Alberta – as well as 168 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas.
"Canada's newest national park represents another significant achievement on our Government's record of expanding Canada's national parks system. Qausuittuq National Park will not only protect the rich cultural heritage of Inuit and ensure economic benefits for the community, it takes action to conserve Canada's lands and waters and connect people to this beautiful landscape in Canada's North."
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq,
Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Qausuittuq National Park - Landscape, Nature and People
Parks Canada: A National Park Proposal on Bathurst Island
Canada's National Conservation Plan
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Jonathan Lefebvre, Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Parks Canada, 855-862-1812
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