January 23, 2019 Calgary, AB Parks Canada Agency
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and restoring our national parks. Canada’s national parks play a critical role in shaping our national identity, protecting nature and wildlife, and fighting climate change.
After initial consultation with stakeholder groups, Indigenous partners, and members of the public, Parks Canada announced today it will not proceed with the proposed Icefields Trail project in Jasper National Park. Parks Canada thanks everyone who participated in the consultation process.
Budget 2016 provided funding to Parks Canada to support tourism and highway assets, including $65.9 million for a new biking and walking trail in Jasper National Park. Parks Canada will be withdrawing from the Icefields Trail project and the funds originally earmarked for the project will be re-allocated to support priorities within the Agency. Parks Canada is committed to the ecological integrity of its parks and historical sites. Preliminary feedback from the consultation process expressed concerns over the potential environmental impact and high cost associated with the project. For these reasons, the Government of Canada has decided to reallocate the funds to priority areas within Parks Canada.
Details on the re-allocation of the funds identified for the Icefields Trail project will be announced in the near future.
“The Government of Canada is helping preserve our national parks for generations to come. We will keep listening to Canadians, and working with them to protect our natural heritage across the country.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
Covering more than 11,000 km2, Jasper is the largest of the Rocky Mountain national parks. Jasper boasts abundant wildlife populations and has nearly 1,000 km of trails.
Established in 1907, Jasper National Park welcomes over 2 million visitors every year.
31 Federal Infrastructure Investment projects have either been recently completed or are underway in Jasper National Park, including the approximately $34 million reconstruction project underway at Whistler’s campground.
Jasper, Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks, along with three provincial parks, make up the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountains World Heritage Site.