Parks Canada

Parks Canada

May 18, 2010 13:07 ET

Sable Island to be Protected as a National Park

Public consultations on the future of Sable Island

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 18, 2010) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable John MacDonell, Nova Scotia's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced that the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia will take the necessary steps to explore how Sable Island could be designated as a national park under the Canada National Parks Act for the benefit of future generations.

"It is with pleasure that I announce the commitment by the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia to explore how Sable Island could be designated as a national park" said Minister Prentice. "In this International Year of Biodiversity, what better way to celebrate than by taking steps toward the long-lasting protection of Sable Island, its majestic horses and some of the rarest birds and wildlife in Canada by designating it a national park."

"A national park designation gives Sable Island the highest level of protection of its natural and cultural features," said Department of Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell. "The next step is to hear from the Mi'kmaq and others as we work with the federal government toward an agreement to conserve and manage the Island for present and future generations."

The Ministers also announced that public consultations to secure public comment on the conservation, management and operational issues associated with the designation of Sable Island as a national park will commence shortly. After successful consultations with the Mik'maq, the public, stakeholders and others, the governments could then negotiate an establishment agreement that would lead to designating the area for protection. .

In January, the ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the Canada-Nova Scotia Sable Island Task Group to recommend to them whether Sable Island should be designated a national park or a national wildlife area. Composed of representatives of Parks Canada, Environment Canada and the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, the Task Group has recommended that a national park was the most appropriate federal protected area designated to bring a long-term conservation framework to Sable Island.

The Island, which is 40 kilometres long, supports some important wildlife populations including numerous migratory birds, some species at risk, such as the Roseate tern and Ispwich Savannah Sparrow, and as many as 400 wild horses.

For additional information on the project, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Media Relations
    Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
    Jacqueline Parker