Government of Canada invests in Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay national parks

News release

Infrastructure funding for upgrades to roads, bridges, and park facilities will enhance safety and visitor experiences


May 3, 2018                                    Lake Louise, AB                       Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world. The Government is committed to preserving our national parks and historic sites, while making them more accessible, so that Canadians, including youth and newcomers, can connect with nature.

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada announced investments of more than $31 million in infrastructure funding in Banff and Kootenay national parks to improve visitor safety and provide high-quality, meaningful experiences for visitors to these iconic places.

As a result of this funding, upgrades to roads and bridges will make highways safer and will protect or restore sensitive aquatic ecosystems. Improvements to visitor facilities and day use areas in our national parks and a national historic site will ensure that Canadians can connect with the natural and cultural heritage of these treasured sites.

Parks Canada is also highlighting the completion of other significant infrastructure projects in the mountain national parks, including the installation of a new Remote Avalanche Control System, improvements to Radium Hot Pools, and upgrades to bridges and roads. Most notably is the completion of the ‘twinning’ of 6 km through Yoho National Park; a project funded from Budget 2016. As part of this project, a new wildlife overpass, three wildlife underpasses, and highway fencing were installed, providing world-class leadership to reduce wildlife mortality and habitat fragmentation, while improving motorist safety and ensuring the flow of traffic and goods along the Trans-Canada Highway.

These investments in infrastructure will ensure the safety of visitors, provide more opportunities to enjoy the mountain national parks, and help support the ongoing protection of these treasured places.

Quotes

“Through this infrastructure investment in the mountain national parks, the Government is helping preserve Parks Canada’s places while supporting the local economy. It will ensure safe, high-quality visitor experiences for years to come, and enable Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment. I am particularly proud of the world-class wildlife structures that were installed as part the recently completed Trans-Canada Highway project.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • Kootenay National Park is a land of unique juxtapositions, from grasslands in the south to glaciers in the north. Its panoramic vistas include narrow canyons and sweeping peaks along BC’s Highway 93 South. Short trails lead to natural treasures and, in summer, brilliant fields of fuchsia fireweed mark where naturally occurring wildfires once raged.

  • Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park and encompasses more than 6,000 square kilometres of mountain ecosystems. It is home to imposing 3000 metre peaks, alpine meadows rich with colourful wildflowers, brilliant blue glacier fed lakes, the town of Banff, village of Lake Louise, and national historic sites like Skoki Ski Lodge and Howse Pass.

  • Located on the western slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Yoho National Park’s towering rockwalls, waterfalls, and soaring peaks attract more than 500,000 annual sightseers and visitors from across Canada and the world. The Kicking Horse River, a Canadian Heritage River, runs through the park and two national historic sites located within the park commemorate the area’s early railway and tourism history: Kicking Horse Pass and Twin Falls Tea House.

  • Parks Canada is investing an unprecedented $3 billion over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, tourism, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. This investment will ensure these cherished places are protected and secured for the future.

  • Following the success of Canada 150, the Government of Canada is celebrating diversity and importance of protected areas in 2018 and beyond with free admission for youth aged 17 and under, and free admission for one-year for new Canadians. This will make discovering nature and connecting with our history easier and more affordable for families.

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Contacts

Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
caroline.theriault2@canada.ca

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca

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