GATINEAU, QC, May 14, 2020 /CNW/ - The health and safety of all Canadians, including visitors, employees, and local communities, is the priority for the Government of Canada in the operation of federal protected places. Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are following the advice of public health experts and continue to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Being outdoors and in nature brings a number of health and wellness benefits. As all Canadians do their part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important they have access to places where they can get fresh air, exercise and practice physical distancing.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that starting June 1, 2020, the Government of Canada will gradually resume some operations at certain national parks, national historic sites, historic waterways, and national marine conservation areas. This will include access to some trails, day use areas, and green spaces, and some access for recreational boating, as well as the gradual resumption of some key field-based ecological and cultural resource protection activities. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also gradually resume some operations at selected national wildlife areas, including conservation activities and day use access for visitors on June 1, 2020.
Parks Canada will continue to work closely with local tourism-related businesses and associations throughout the gradual resumption of operations. The Agency will also inform visitors of the appropriate physical distancing, hygiene and safety measures to follow.
Until June 1, suspensions of visitor services and closures of facilities announced in March remain in place, including over the Victoria Day long weekend. For their own safety, Canadians should not try to access locations that are closed.
All camping facilities remain closed until at least June 21, 2020, while Parks Canada assesses whether and how these services might resume. Group activities and public events will be prohibited until further notice.
Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada operate a wide variety of federally protected places across Canada and different measures are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in different jurisdictions. As a result, opening dates, visitor access and services will vary across the country. The government will only open places where measures for the health and safety of employees and visitors are in place.
The Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada websites will provide detailed information soon on what locations are open, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for visiting and what services may be available. Canadians are encouraged to visit pc.gc.ca frequently for information and updates.
"As we all continue to do our part to flatten the curve of COVID-19, access to nature and the outdoors is important for our health and well-being. The Government of Canada will begin gradually re-opening national parks, national historic sites and national wildlife areas across the country for limited visitor day use beginning on June 1. They will remain closed through the May long weekend while we prepare. Our priority remains the health and safety of Canadians and it will be critical that we all respect the guidance of public health experts, avoid non-essential travel and enjoy these special places responsibly. By working together, we can help keep our families, friends, and neighbours healthy and safe."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
- Backgrounder: Visitor Access and Services at Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada places
SOURCE Government of Canada
For further information: Moira Kelly, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-271-6218, [email protected]; Media Relations, Parks Canada Agency, 1-855-862-1812 (toll-free), [email protected]; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free), [email protected]