Budget 2018 includes historic investments in nature, conservation and science
VICTORIA, BC, March 16, 2018 /CNW/ - From coast to coast to coast, nature is at the heart of Canada's national identity. Our rivers, mountains, lakes and oceans – along with the wildlife that depend on them – are a natural legacy for all Canadians to discover, enjoy and preserve.
Today, in Victoria, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, outlined how the historic $1.3 billion investment in nature and conservation, announced in Budget 2018, will enable the protection of Canada's natural places and the recovery and preservation of wildlife in Canada.
The investment will contribute $500 million from the federal government to create a new $1 billion Nature Fund in partnership with corporate, not for-profit, provincial, territorial and other partners. The Fund will make it possible to secure private land, support provincial and territorial species protection efforts, and help build Indigenous capacity to conserve land and species.
The remaining funding will:
- Increase the federal capacity to protect species at risk and put in place new recovery initiatives for priority species, areas and threats to our environment.
- Expand national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries.
- Increase the federal capacity to manage protected areas, including national parks.
- Continue implementation of the Species at Risk Act by supporting assessment, listing, recovery planning and action planning activities.
- Establish a coordinated network of conservation areas working with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners.
Canadians love nature. It is an intrinsic part of our national identity. Budget 2018 takes us one step further in protecting Canada's environment, so that future generations of Canadians can build their own memories and feel more connected to this extraordinary country.
The 2018 federal budget also includes $167.4 million to protect, preserve and recover endangered whales in Canada. Whales are among Canada's most iconic marine wildlife – but the survival of some species, including the Southern Resident Killer Whales on the West Coast, and the North Atlantic Right Whale on the East Coast, is in jeopardy. To support the recovery of these species, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, also announced on Thursday $9.1 million through Canada's Oceans Protection Plan for new science funding to improve whale detection and prevent collisions with vessels, and additional research on the factors affecting the health of whales.
Launch of Oceans Youth Innovation Challenge seeks global solutions to improve ocean health
The oceans play a vital role in sustaining communities around the world, yet the health of the world's oceans and marine ecosystems is under profound threat from climate change, plastics and other pollution. That's why Minister McKenna also announced today the launch of the Oceans Youth Innovation Challenge – inviting youth aged 18 to 25 from G7 countries to share, in a video, their vision for healthy and productive oceans in 2050, and their innovative solutions to reach that goal. The winners of the challenge will be invited to share their vision and solutions with G7 ministers as part of Canada's joint ministerial meeting on oceans to be hosted this fall. To deliver on the promise of a cleaner, more prosperous future, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Natural Resources Canada are working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy as a priority theme of Canada's G7 presidency.
New Parks Canada research vessel commissioned
The Minister also took the opportunity to celebrate the commissioning of a new Parks Canada research vessel, the RV David Thompson, in Victoria Harbour today. The vessel will be used for new archaeological and scientific research, including sea floor mapping, research on the impacts of climate change, investigation of shipwrecks and other archaeological sites. Budget 2018 also underscored the importance of science in Canada, committing nearly $4 billion over five years to support the next generation of Canadian research and researchers.
"This historic investment in nature will help protect and preserve Canada's natural legacy for our children and grandchildren to experience, enjoy and learn from. It will help protect our lands and wildlife, promote biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and improve our resilience to climate change. I am also proud of the steps we are taking to protect and restore whales and other threatened species, and to invest in science and research so we can better understand the world around us, our place in it, and the role we can play in solving today's environmental challenges."
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"As the global demand for energy continues to grow, Canada's youth play a critical role in building our clean future. We look to their creativity, talent and ambition to shape tomorrow's inclusive low carbon economy."
– Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
- Quick facts – Minister McKenna highlights Government of Canada's commitment to protect nature, parks and wildlife
- Government announces new initiatives to protect whales under the Oceans Protection Plan
- Government of Canada announces new Oceans Protection Plan actions to protect Canada's coasts and waterways
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Caroline Thériault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-3813, firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free), email@example.com