Government of Canada

Government of Canada

April 17, 2008 11:15 ET

Government of Canada Takes Action to Protect Important Land in West Quebec

CLARENDON, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) -

Editors Note: A photo of the Northern Map Turtle (2003 Sylvain Gigueres, CWS) is available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Turtle_photo.jpg

On behalf of Environment Minister John Baird, Canada's Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and the Member of Parliament for Pontiac, the Hon. Lawrence Cannon, today joined representatives from the Nature Conservancy of Canada in announcing the purchase and preservation of important land in West Quebec in the Ottawa Valley. The purchase marks another achievement under the Government of Canada's $225 million Nature Conservancy of Canada Natural Areas Conservation Program, announced in March 2007.

"By protecting 1,455 acres of land here in western Quebec, we are helping to protect the environment, the local wildlife, and their habitat, said Minister Cannon. "Through our Natural Areas Conservation Program, the federal government is playing a lead role in conserving and protecting our environment for the benefit of all Canadians. We warmly welcome this announcement that protects land in western Quebec that will benefit the Ottawa-Gatineau region today and for generations to come."

The land totals 1,455 acres, an area roughly the size of 985 Canadian football fields. It is home to a number of species of rare turtles, including the Northern Map Turtle, which is listed as special concern under the federal Species at Risk Act. The land is also home to approximately 22 plant species that have been designated or are under consideration to be designated threatened or vulnerable in Quebec, including the Ram's-head Lady's-slipper (orchid), a globally threatened species.

"Our Government is proud to play a role in this largest single land acquisition in the Ottawa Valley natural area by the Nature Conservancy of Canada," said Minister Baird. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper has committed $225 million to support the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other conservation organizations in preserving Canada's natural legacy. Today's announcement is just one more example of how our Government is taking real action to protect Canada's natural environment."

The Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada's environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. Since the programs inception we have announced the conservation of 524 acres on Pelee Island in Ontario, 336 acres in the Qu'Appelle Valley region of Saskatchewan, and 751 acres adjacent to the Skaha Bluffs in British Columbia. The Program is expected to result in the long-term protection of up to more than half a million acres of ecologically sensitive land across Canada.


BACKGROUNDER

Government of Canada protects and preserves the environment with Natural Areas Conservation Program

In March 2007, as part of our commitment to conserve and protect Canada's natural environment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Government of Canada will invest $225 million in the new Natural Areas Conservation Program. The Program helps non-profit, non-government organizations secure ecologically sensitive lands to ensure the protection of our diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and habitat.

In order to carry out the objectives of the Program, the Government of Canada entered into an agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. As part of that agreement, the Nature Conservancy of Canada will partner with non-government conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada and other qualified land trusts. These organizations must provide matching funds for each federal dollar received.

Using a science-based process, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners work to acquire ecologically sensitive lands through donation, purchase or stewardship agreements with private landowners.

Under the Program, priority is given to lands that are nationally or provincially significant, that protect habitat for species at risk and migratory birds, or that enhance connectivity or corridors between existing protected areas such as National Wildlife Areas, National Parks and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.

The Natural Areas Conservation Program complements the Government's other important conservation initiatives and investments, including:

- $110 million over 2 years for the work under the Species at Risk Act;

- $15 million for the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy;

- $30 million for the Great Bear Rainforest;

- $3 million for Stanley Park in Vancouver and Point Pleasant Park in Halifax;

- the Habitat Stewardship Program, which has invested $19M for the last two years to support over 350 local projects for the protection of species at risk and their habitat;

- Government of Canada's Protected Areas Network, made up of 51 National Wildlife Areas and 92 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries; and

- the Ecological Gifts Program, which provides tax incentives to land owners who donate land title or place a conservation easement on ecologically sensitive land. In its May 2006 budget, the Government of Canada increased the incentive for land donations by reducing the taxable capital gains inclusion rate for certified ecological gift donations from 25 per cent to zero.

The Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve our environment. It is expected to result in the long-term protection of up to more than 200,000 hectares, or half a million acres, of ecologically sensitive land across southern Canada.

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008
    or
    Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Eric Richer
    Press Secretary
    613-286-6064
    or
    Government of Canada
    www.gc.ca