CPAWS Welcomes Announcement of Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada

Ottawa, December 7, 2016 — CPAWS welcomes today’s announcement from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, regarding their intent to hold a Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada in January 2017. These public consultation sessions across Canada will serve to gather input on how Parks Canada is delivering on their mandate of creating and managing national parks, national marine conservation areas and other sites they manage, as well as to discuss the future of these treasured places. This is a new, more inclusive approach to delivering on the Minister’s legal requirement to host a Round Table at least every two years on Parks Canada’s performance in managing our national parks and other sites. “This is a great opportunity for Canadians to provide their thoughts directly to the Minister on how our national parks are being managed, and to encourage her to make sure they are well protected for the future,” said Éric Hébert-Daly, CPAWS National Executive Director. “We are certainly looking forward to participating in the Round Table process, and I encourage all Canadians to join us.” Last July, CPAWS released a report documenting a significant shift in how Parks Canada is managing our national parks, away from nature conservation and towards marketing, tourism and commercial development, which is putting nature at greater risk in our national parks. The report documents significant cuts to Parks Canada’s conservation capacity, shifting program objectives, and a major decline in public participation opportunities as being particularly problematic. “We are encouraged that the federal government has promised to re-focus on conserving nature in our national parks by limiting development and re-investing in science based management,” said Hébert-Daly. “We also welcome this open, inclusive Round Table process as a strong start to re-building public engagement in our national parks.” Polling consistently shows that Canadians value national parks as one of the top four symbols of Canadian identity, along with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, health care and the flag, and that  above all else, they value wildlife and unspoiled natural beauty in our parks. The Round Table provides an opportunity for Canadians to share these perspectives directly with the Minister and make recommendations on what should be done to protect these values for the future. -30- For interviews, contact Karen Turner, kturner@localhost, 613-569-7226, ext. 232. Public consultations will be held in cities across Canada, from January 9 to 27, 2017. For more information on the Minister’s Round Table process: