August 06, 2009

Canada’s National Parks and National Historic Sites represent the very best that Canada has to offer. They also contribute to our reputation around the world.   Tourism represents a significant economic opportunity for Canada. In 2007, the tourism sector contributed approximately $28.6 billion to the Canadian economy and employed 653,400 Canadians.  Parks Canada, with a network of 42 National Parks, 162 National Historic Sites, and three National Marine Conservation Areas, is the largest provider of historic and natural heritage tourism in Canada.

That is why our Government made it a priority to invest in Parks Canada sites through Canada’s Economic Action Plan.   The plan provides $75 million for improvements to visitor facilities in our National Parks and Historic Sites and an additional $75 million for the protection of our National Historic Sites. It also provides an additional $130 million to complete the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park.

In addition to the investments we have made a fee freeze is in effect for our National Parks and Historic Sites for this year and next, to help encourage Canadians to visit these wonderful places, right in our own backyards.  The government has also added to the size of our protected areas through four new wilderness areas attached to Waterton Lakes National Park, Fundy National Park, Vuntut National Park, and Nahanni National Park Reserve.  We passed legislation expanding Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories to six times its former size, the greatest conservation achievement in a generation.

Our government understands the potential that Canada’s National Parks and National Historic Sites offer to Canadians in preserving our environment, promoting our history and culture, and growing our economy.  We are continuously investing to ensure Canada’s greatest natural and historic places can be enjoyed by all Canadians, and by visitors from around the world, now and in the years to come.

Our country is blessed with spectacular scenery, unparalleled ecological resources, and inspiring historic places. I encourage readers to take the opportunities the summer provides to enjoy some of these unforgettable places.

Until Next time. . .

Earl Dreeshen, MP
Red Deer