Parks Canada

Parks Canada

April 27, 2010 14:32 ET

Government of Canada Takes New Action to Protect the North

Negotiations launched to create national park on Bathurst Island in Nunavut

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 27, 2010) - Today, negotiations for the creation of a national park on Bathurst Island in Nunavut's Arctic Islands Archipelago were announced by the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Mr. John Amagoalik, Executive Policy Advisory for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA). These negotiations will guide the development of the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA).

"I am happy to announce that the Government of Canada and Inuit are once again working together towards the protection of precious lands in Canada's North," said Minister Prentice. "Parks Canada values its relationship with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and is looking forward to working with them on the creation of a national park on Bathurst Island. Since 2006, we have made conservation a priority and this is another example."

The area of Bathurst Island that is under consideration for a national park is located in one of the world's most inclement, driest and unforgiving environments. Although it is a rock-strewn, mostly barren, polar desert, the area is beautiful and boasts a surprising number of wildlife species including polar bear, arctic wolf and arctic fox. The proposed national park will also encompass key habitat, including calving grounds, for the endangered Peary caribou.

An IIBA needs to be established between the Government of Canada and the QIA, who has been designated as the Inuit organization to represent the interest of the North Baffin Inuit, before a new national park can be formally created under the Canada National Parks Act, in Nunavut.

"The Resolute Bay delegation has informed QIA that the community is in favour of park establishment and is therefore willing to enter into IIBA negotiations to make a final determination as to how Inuit will benefit. QIA is pleased to represent all the Inuit of the Qikiqtani region at the table in this important initiative," said Mr. Amagoalik.

"I am truly happy that the Government of Canada and the QIA have begun negotiations for the creation of a new park in Nunavut," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and member of Parliament,for Nunavut. "The creation of a new park in Nunavut will not only protect wildlife species but it will also ensure economic benefits for the community and protect and present the rich cultural heritage of the Inuit."

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

Contact Information

  • Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of the Environment
    819-997-1441
    or
    Media Relations
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Parks Canada
    819-994-3023
    or
    Twitter:
    http://twitter.com/JimPrentice