Legislation to create Qausuittuq National Park receives Royal Assent
OTTAWA, June 24, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced the establishment of Qausuittuq National Park – formally enshrining the northern part of Bathurst Island under the Canada National Parks Act as Canada's 45th national park.
Encompassing more than 11,000 square kilometres of Arctic lands and waters, Qausuittuq National Park protects the area's natural and cultural heritage, including the endangered Peary caribou and other wildlife ensuring this magnificent part of Canada can continue to be enjoyed for generations. As part of Canada's system of national parks, Qausuittuq joins one of the finest and most extensive networks of protected natural areas in the world.
The establishment of Qausuittuq will also support local employment and businesses, helping strengthen the local and regional economies. Qausuittuq will be managed in cooperation with Inuit for the benefit, education and enjoyment of all Canadians.
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.
- The name Qausuittuq (pronounced: Qow-soo-ee-tooq) 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.
- Qausuittuq National Park protects key wildlife habitat including travel routes, calving grounds and wintering grounds for Peary caribou and is a significant area for muskoxen.
- Archaeological studies have found evidence of human use on Bathurst Island dating back 4500 years including the presence of Pre-Dorset, Dorset and Thule Inuit cultures in the area.
- With the creation of Qausuittuq National Park, Parks Canada now manages a network of 45 national parks, 168 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas that make up the rich tapestry of Canada's cultural and natural heritage.
"The establishment of Qausuittuq National Park will protect Nunavut's natural and cultural heritage while creating jobs and opportunities for Inuit. This is a clear demonstration of our Government's commitment to protecting the rich cultural heritage of Inuit and ensuring economic benefits for Nunavummiut."
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"This is an exciting announcement for Nunavut and we are pleased to see that the House of Commons unanimously passed the legislation, which has now received Royal Assent, to protect the park for its wildlife habitat and historical importance. Creating a balance between nature and the modern economy are essential to Nunavut's growth and long-term sustainability for generations to come."
The Honourable Johnny Mike, Minister of Environment, Government of Nunavut
Landscape, Nature and People
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Jonathan Lefebvre, Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Parks Canada, 1-855-862-1812, [email protected]