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Our successes

Since 1963, we've led in creating over two-thirds of Canada's protected areas. That amounts to about half a million square kilometres - an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory!

CPAWS 2016-2017 Successes:

Over the past few months since our last report in November 2016, CPAWS has celebrated significant successes to some very long campaigns:

  • On February 22, CPAWS welcomed the passage of Bill C-18 in parliament. which strengthened the Rouge National Urban Park Act to ensure that nature conservation is a first priority for managing the park.  The passage of the bill added 17 square kilometres to the park, making it 21 times the size of Central Park.
  • On February 21, we launched an important challenge to Canadian decision-makers to protect 17% of Canada's wild spaces by 2020.  Much of our work in the next three years will be dedicated to ensuring quality high value ecosystem-based protection ensuring biodiversity and ecological integrity.
  • On February 15, we celebrated the newest Marine Protected Area for Canada's ancient and unique glass sponge reefs in the Hecate Strait, which CPAWS has been working to protect for over 16 years.  This announcement received extensive online coverage particularly following a tweet by Leonardo DiCaprio congratulating CPAWS and federal officials for this significant area.
  • On February 6, 2017 we celebrated Parks Canada's reintroduction of Plains Bison to Banff National Park.
  • January 9, 2017, we welcomed and encouraged participation in the biggest public consultation on the future of Canada's national parks.
  • December 20, 2016 CPAWS welcomes the joint-Canada-USA commitment to protect the arctic, designating all Arctic Canadian waters off-limits for future oil and gas licensing.
  • December 19, CPAWS released its fourth annual Caribou Report, our review of government action to conserve Canada's boreal caribou. With most provinces far demonstrating slow to no progress in developing plans to recover caribou populations, there is much work to do in the coming year to pressure the governments to advance protection.
  • On December 16, 2016 we welcomed the designation of St. Anns Bank as a marine protected area.


As of November 2016:

  • Gros Morne buffer zone concept was supported by UNESCO World Heritage Committee and by a Newfoundland Government panel on fracking;
  • After three years of discussions, the Rouge National Urban Park has proposed legislative amendments (drafted by CPAWS) that would prioritize ecological integrity in the management of the park;
  • The Mother Canada statue proposed for Cape Breton Highlands National Park was cancelled;
  • CPAWS’ annual parks report got over 100 media stories in July, flagging our concerns about mismanagement of national parks and reductions in science capacity – prompting the minister to begin a nationwide consultation on the matter in January 2017;
  • CPAWS’ report on progress for marine protected areas in North America was published in June, resulting in wide media coverage and the largest reception briefing on Parliament Hill in CPAWS’ history;
  • The federal government is finally revisiting its proposed size for Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area to be in line with the Inuit desires to more than double the area in the coming year, making it the largest marine protected area in the country at just shy of 100,000 square kilometres;
  • Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake in the NWT completed public consultations with over 5000 individual letters sent to decision-makers in support of the massive new protected area that would be managed by the local Dene First Nation;
  • CPAWS Yukon and the local indigenous communities were given leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the protection of the Peel Watershed. This along with a new government may finally mean protection of this precious place.  The Supreme Court hearing is scheduled for March 22, 2017. There are many events planned leading up to the hearing in both Yukon and Ottawa.
  • Many outdoor educational programs were run this year at the chapter level. The Southern Alberta chapter’s program was given a national-level award in 2016 by The Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication to add to its trophy case.


Click on image below to view our
past successes 1963-2017:

Celebrating 50 years of wilderness protection