NDP Statement on Canada's Parks Day
July 16th, 2016 - 9:00am
NDP National Parks Critic, Wayne Stetski, made the following statement:
“Today we celebrate Canada’s rich and diverse natural heritage. From coast to coast to coast, our national, provincial and community parks allow Canadians to enjoy spectacular landscapes and to connect with the natural world around us.
On this Parks Day, it is important to reflect upon the state of our national parks. Stakeholder groups have raised serious concerns about a shift in federal government policy that prioritizes tourism promotion and development over the protection of ecological integrity in our parks. Groups like Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) have also voiced concerns about a lack of transparency in decision-making about proposed development projects.
Our national parks belong to all Canadians – both present and future. The Liberal government has promised to increase transparency and to prioritize ecological integrity in the management of our parks, but so far they have failed to act – even to reverse Conservative cuts to Parks Canada’s budget.
That work starts with making significant investments to restore scientific and monitoring capacity, establishing and expanding national parks and marine conservation areas, and working with governmental, Indigenous and community partners to foster the ecological connectivity our ecosystems need.
As NDP National Parks Critic, I want to recognize the hard work of Parks staff, community groups and volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to maintaining and protecting our parks. We must move forward with a renewed focus on preserving our parks for generations of Canadians to come."