Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 07, 2011 09:15 ET

Government of Canada Launches Public and Aboriginal Consultations on the Proposed National Parks of Canada Wild Animals Regulations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 7, 2011) - The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today formally launched public and Aboriginal consultations on the proposed National Parks of Canada Wild Animals Regulations and invited Canadians to voice their opinion.

"The proposed National Parks of Canada Wild Animals Regulations will enhance the protection of wild animals in our national parks and help ensure that all visitors have a safe and positive experience," said Minister Kent. "These consultations will provide an opportunity for interested Canadians to review the proposed regulations and help guide the future of our national parks and national park reserves."

The proposed National Parks of Canada Wild Animals Regulations will replace the current National Parks Wildlife Regulations. They will expand the scope of the regulations to protect all wild animals and their dwellings, and regulate the possession, use and transportation of weapons and traps. As well, specific provisions are proposed to permit certain categories of park users to carry firearms for protection only in those national parks and national park reserves where polar bears are present or where this is provided for in the agreements with respect to the establishment of the parks.

The National Parks Wildlife Regulations were last amended in 1997. Since then, Parks Canada has gone through significant changes that include: major revisions to the Canada National Parks Act in 2000; establishment of new national parks and national park reserves in northern Canada; and obligations created by land claim, impact and benefit, and park establishment agreements. Significant consultation with Canadians including Aboriginal peoples will help ensure the spirit of these agreements is respected. In addition, increased public interest in Canada's North has created the potential for additional visitation to northern national parks. All these changes have led to a need to modernize the current National Parks Wildlife Regulations.

"Parks Canada's objective is to protect wild animals while offering people the opportunity to experience a personal relationship with their parks," said Minister Kent. "By providing their points of view, Canadians contribute to ensuring that these special places are protected and can be enjoyed by future generations."

The formal consultation period on the proposed National Park of Canada Wild Animals Regulations begins today and continues until end of December 2011.

For more information on the proposed National Parks of Canada Wild Animals Regulations and how the public can participate in the consultations, please refer to the Parks Canada website at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/consultations-animals and the accompanying backgrounders. The public can also send comments by e-mail to: consultations.animaux-animals@pc.gc.ca.

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