Inuvik, Northwest Territories, January 25, 2011 -- The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced the successful completion of the largest contaminated site remediation project undertaken by Parks Canada, at Stokes Point in Ivvavik National Park.
"Through co-operative management, Parks Canada and the Inuvialuit were able to clean up this site so that it is once again safe for local hunters and travellers," said Minister Kent. "This work will also secure the ecological health of this breathtaking northern national park, which forms part of the calving grounds of the world famous Porcupine Caribou Herd. It is a privilege to be able to work so closely with communities such as Aklavik and the Inuvialuit in the management of our northern national parks."
Prior to the creation of Ivvavik National Park in 1984, Stokes Point was the location of a short-lived Cold War era Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line station know as BAR-B during the 1950s and early 1960s, and a Beaufort Sea offshore oil exploration camp in the 1980s. The site today is the location of a Department of National Defence Short-Range Radar Station.
Over the years, no detailed investigation of contaminants left behind by historical activities was ever conducted, and past clean-up efforts at Stokes Point have been piecemeal. This concerned the community of Aklavik and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation as this is an area that continues to be used for subsistence harvesting and as a resting place during travel along the coast. In response to these concerns, Parks Canada, working with the Inuvialuit and the Department of National Defence, led a five-year investigation and clean-up of the site, which is located in one of the most challenging environments on the planet – along the coast of the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic.
"The remediation work was funded entirely by Canada's Economic Action Plan," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Nunavut. "Other project components were funded by Parks Canada and the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan, with in-kind contributions from the Department of National Defence. The total cost for the project was $6 million. By total project dollar value, Inuvialuit-owned companies were successful in winning 95% of the contracts for the clean-up work."
Parks Canada works to ensure Canada's historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.
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Press Secretary Office of the Minister of the Environment 819-997-1441
Media Relations Parks Canada 819-994-3023