Parks Canada

Parks Canada

August 21, 2010 14:00 ET

Government of Canada to Offer a Pass to National Parks and National Historic Sites for Expropriated People and Their Descendents

GASPE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 21, 2010) - Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Lévis-Bellechasse, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced that people expropriated from national parks and national historic sites and their children and grandchildren will have free access to areas of personal or family significance at the park or site. This highly anticipated pass will allow a total of three generations to reconnect with areas that are dear to them.

"I am particularly proud to be the messenger for my government today, because I am convinced that this gesture of reconciliation will allow hundreds of families to return to the sites that they helped to build, where they grew up, where an important part of their history took place," said Mr. Blaney.

The terms for distributing the passes as well as for determining the areas of significance will be defined with committees of expropriated people for each park or site over the coming months. The passes will be implemented for the next operating season, spring 2011. At Forillon National Park, expropriated people, their children and grandchildren will have free access to the entire park.

Mr. Blaney also inaugurated today the exhibit Gaspesians from Land's End at Forillon National Park. This new permanent exhibit, which is launched during the 40th anniversary of the park, presents the richness and cultural diversity of the former inhabitants of Forillon, in addition to telling the stories of the families that lived in this area before the park was created. It also tells the stories of the people who were expropriated in 1970. This exhibit represents an investment of $983,000, from the following sources: Parks Canada $622,000, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions $285,200 and Heritage Canada $76,000.

"The Government of Canada is proud to inaugurate this exhibit that highlights the rich history of the communities that lived on the Forillon Peninsula and who shaped the nature and history of the park," said Minister Prentice. "This exhibit is also a permanent record of the life of the families who were expropriated when Forillon National Park was created."

"This new exhibit will enrich the experience of visitors to Forillon, and improve the tourism offering of the park and the region," said Mr. Blaney. 

Forillon National Park is a significant economic contributor and a major tourist attraction for the Gaspesie region. The total economic impact attributed to Forillon National Park on the Gross Domestic Product is estimated to be approximately $13 million annually, as well as the underlying support by means of the approximately 326 full-time jobs in the area that it creates. 

It's because of the families who had to move, change their routines and make great family sacrifices that today Forillon is such a magical place that attracts tourists, creates jobs and stimulates the regional economy. 

The presentation of the Gaspesians from Land's End exhibit is a step towards reconciliation undertaken by Forillon National Park with the expropriated people and former residents who lived in the area when the park was created. It bears witness to Parks Canada's desire to underscore the contribution of these families and communities to the history of the region and the country. 

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Director General, Eastern Canada
    Lise Rochette
    Senior Communications Advisor
    418-648-4539