Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

Chapter 8: National Parks in the Canadian Protected Areas Network
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(8-3) We recommend that the Minister expand the national park system to include ecological representation of all 39 natural regions as defined by Parks Canada. We recommend that the Minister ensure sufficient funds are allocated for new park establishment, and that new parks have sufficient funds for government planning, operations and ecosystem management, without reducing funds of existing parks (recommendation 13-4). Four new national parks, covering 54,412 sq. km, have been created since 1993. The 2001 Throne Speech committed the government to "invest in the creation of new parks". UNDER WAY - FUNDING. The government is actively pursuing new national parks in 8 of the 14 unrepresented natural regions. It is negotiating for the creation of Ukkusiksalik National Park and the Torngat Mountains national park reserve. It is assembling land in collaboration with the B.C. government for a proposed Gulf Islands national park. Feasibility studies are pending or underway in five other natural regions. Funding requirements for completing the national parks system have been included in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. Future progress toward completing the system is subject to the availability of new funding.
(8-4) We recommend that Parks Canada negotiate park establishment agreements that give the highest priority to maintaining ecological integrity by seeking boundaries that meet ecological integrity objectives. Ensure regional co-operation measures are in place to support ecological integrity objectives. This has always been the goal of Parks Canada's negotiations for new park establishment with provincial and territorial governments and Aboriginal peoples. However, prior land use allocation decisions can make the achievement of boundaries with the highest priority on ecological integrity an ongoing challenge. The federal-provincial agreement for Wapusk National Park, recently legislated under the Canada National Parks Act, does include measures for regional co-operation on ecological integrity objectives. UNDER WAY. Parks Canada will continue to negotiate park establishment agreements that give the highest priority to ecological integrity considerations. Parks Canada will also endeavour to ensure that appropriate regional cooperation measures are in place to support ecological integrity objectives, when provincial government support for such measures can be secured.
(8-5) We recommend that Parks Canada improve local support and future regional co-operation for candidate park sites by ... Parks Canada recognizes that local support is essential to the establishment of new national parks and makes every effort to secure and respect the involvement of local communities in park establishment processes. UNDER WAY. Parks Canada will continue its efforts to build and improve upon local support and regional cooperation during park feasibility studies. The specific suggestions for promoting a common vision for land use in the greater ecosystem will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as new park establishment agreements are negotiated.

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