WENDAKE, QC, March 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Through an innovative Government of Canada program, Parks Canada, in collaboration with other key federal partners, will work with Quebec Aboriginal Tourism to support the development of projects targeting the cruise line industry and supporting Aboriginal tourism in Ekuanishit, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, and Gespeg, in Gaspésie and the Côte-Nord. The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, along with Quebec Aboriginal Tourism, today announced the implementation of an Aboriginal tourism cruise line initiative, the result of an agreement that will provide $1,204,700 in funding over three years.
In line with the Canadian Tourism Commission's prediction of a surge in cruise ship traffic along the Saint Lawrence River, this important initiative was developed to promote economic growth and attract tourists to these communities by generating momentum and by promoting synergy through authentic experiences and activities offered to international visitors.
This large-scale, joint project is a direct response to both the need for development and for diversification of the Saint Lawrence River region and the Canadian and Quebec cruise line industries. By encouraging privileged regional partnerships namely between port of call officers and members of the Cruise the Saint Lawrence Association, this project can help promote the emergence of Aboriginal tourism offerings that meet international standards. In Canada, the cruise line industry is a fast-growing market, and Parks Canada is strengthening its ties with Aboriginal communities which are privileged partners in this tourism strategy that will benefit us all.
- The funding is provided by the Government of Canada's Strategic Partnership Initiative (SPI), which was designed to increase Aboriginal participation in complex economic development opportunities by coordinating support and efforts of several federal partners.
- The SPI identifies and advances complex projects that require the efforts of more than one federal department. To achieve this, federal partners work together to develop strategies based on environmental scans of existing and emerging possibilities in various sectors of the economy.
"Our government is a proud partner in this initiative that aims to encourage job creation and sustainable income for First Nations. Focused on the cruise line industry and developed to promote tourism, the project will enable the communities involved to stimulate long-term economic growth. This investment clearly establishes our government's commitment to coordinate support for economic development in Aboriginal communities."
The Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"The privileged partnership between Quebec Aboriginal Tourism, the federal government, and the Ekuanishit, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, and Gespeq communities is a key element in establishing not only a successful and sustainable Aboriginal tourism offering, but also one that respects our culturally rich and diverse heritage. These three initiatives will also enable us to meet the needs and expectations of international clients, of the tourism industry, and of all markets."
Executive Director of Quebec Aboriginal Tourism
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Parks Canada, 1-855-862-1812, www.twitter.com/parkscanada; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160; Quebec Aboriginal Tourism, Patricia Auclair, Communications Officer, T. 418-843-5030 M. 418-254-5067, [email protected]