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

Chapter 9: From Islands to Networks
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(9-10) We recommend that the Minister require Parks Canada to maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of the parks by working in co-operation with adjacent landowners, and by participating in regional land use planning, environmental assessments, and other decision-making processes where outcomes are reasonably expected to affect the ecological integrity of a national park.   UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Parks Canada will advance park values more actively through its enhanced participation in local and regional processes which may affect the ecological integrity of national parks. The extent and timing of such activity are subject to the availability of new funding. In this work, Parks Canada will respect private property rights and constitutionally defined jurisdictions with respect to land and resource management outside national park boundaries.
(9-11) We recommend an amendment to the National Parks Act to incorporate a consequential amendment to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, requiring the Minister responsible for national parks to undertake an environmental assessment when adverse environmental impacts on a national park are expected to occur. (Such an assessment could be done on the initiative of a request by a provincial or territorial government, members of the public, or on the Minister's own initiative. The federal Environment Minister would retain authority to require an environmental assessment under an existing provision of Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.) Suggestions for specific wording of the National Parks Act are contained in Appendix C. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act is currently undergoing the required five-year review, including public consultations. In light of the current review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage did not propose any amendments along these lines to the new Canada National Parks Act. The issue of transboundary impacts is being considered as part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act review.
(9-12) We recommend that the Minister advise the [G]overnment of Canada to amend the Income Tax Act to exempt ecological gifts from capital gains tax and allow for the part sale/part donation ("bargain sale") of land.   DONE. The budget of February 28, 2000 reduced, from two-thirds to one-third, the income inclusion rate on capital gains arising from donations of ecologically sensitive lands and easements. The October 18, 2000 Economic Statement and Budget Update reduced the income inclusion rate further to 25%, for ecogifts completed after October 18, 2000.
(9-13) We recommend that Parks Canada use the State of the Parks Report to measure progress toward the implementation of those portions of the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy that are within Parks Canada's mandate. The State of the Parks Report has not, to date, been used to report specifically on Parks Canada's contributions toward implementing federal or national initiatives, such as the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, but rather has focused on the state of Canada's national parks. UNDER WAY. The ecological integrity of national parks and completion of the national park system are central to the State of the Parks Report, are an important contribution to the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy and will be included in future reports.

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