August 7, 2020 – (Kingston, Ontario Parks Canada Agency) National Parks provide a safe haven for an abundance of fish, birds and wildlife. They also provide a safe space for Canadians to enjoy nature and socially distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Investing in these locations will help support the health of our natural heritage, create jobs in our local communities and support the Government of Canada’s efforts to combat climate change. Parks Canada is a part of the solution as we build a more sustainable nation while our economy continues to safely reopen.
It is with this in mind that today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, announced federal investments totaling nearly $6 million for projects aimed at the restoration of ecosystems and the recovery of species at risk in Fathom Five National Marine Park and Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Islands and Thousand Islands national parks.
Working with First Nations and Métis communities, local organizations and community volunteers, Parks Canada is building on the success that has resulted in the removal of invasive species to support habitat restoration, the protection of over 750 turtle eggs, and the installation of eight eco-passages, which are under-road passageways that help species safely cross roadways. This new investment will expand on these ongoing efforts to protect reptiles and amphibians in Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Islands and Thousand Islands national parks. This investment will also support local jobs in the region.
In Fathom Five National Marine Park, Parks Canada and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, along with academic institutions and other levels of government, are working together to identify causes of recent Lake Whitefish decline. This important fish species is an indicator of the overall health of the Lake Huron ecosystem, a region that is seeing first hand the impacts of climate change. The project combines traditional knowledge and new technology to map historic information and track current Lake Whitefish population movements through Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.
The Government of Canada is investing in Parks Canada’s conservation and restoration programs to support local jobs in the regions, and to help Canada continue to rebuild better following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we continue to safely restart our economy, our government will continue making investments that will help to support local jobs, protect our nature and fight climate change. I am pleased that Parks Canada and Indigenous communities are partnering to support on-the-ground conservation activities. This is an excellent example of how Canada will rebuild better following the pandemic.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
· Bruce Peninsula National Park protects a globally rare, ancient cliff-edge ecosystem with the oldest trees in eastern North America, over 30 federally listed species at risk, as well as important ecologically, geologically and culturally significant cave systems.
· Coastal wetlands of Fathom Five National Marine Park provide a vital habitat for over 40 species of fish.
· The Government of Canada invests $15 million annually in Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) program to support high priority projects that make a difference on the ground in maintaining or restoring ecological integrity, contributing to ecological sustainability, and helping in the recovery of species at risk.