Government of Canada investing $25 million in infrastructure funding for Parks Canada
Priority road and bridge improvements in Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site to ensure safe travelling experiences.
January 18, 2023 Rocky Harbour, NL Parks Canada
The network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of memories from coast to coast to coast. Investing in these locations helps support the protection of natural and built heritage, increases climate resiliency and creates jobs in local communities, while providing visitors with high-quality, safe and meaningful experiences across the country.
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, on behalf of Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced approximately $25 million over three years for projects related to critical infrastructure roadway improvements in Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site to ensure a safe travelling experience. The projects are part of the Government of Canada’s recently announced funding of $557 million over three years to ensure the continuation of infrastructure projects and maintenance work for Parks Canada’s assets supporting the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors.
With this funding, Parks Canada will soon begin critical roadway improvements including upgrades to Highway 436 that leads into L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, as well as upgrades to Highway 431 from Woody Point to Trout River in Gros Morne National Park. A full replacement of the Western Brook Bridge along Highway 430 in the national park is currently underway. Once complete, the new bridge will result in reduced environmental impacts, as the in-water centre pier from the existing bridge will be removed from the brook.
These roadway improvements are important since these are transportation corridors for the public and local communities, as well as a significant part of the visitor experience providing opportunity to safely travel to and through these treasured places. In addition to these projects, there will be parking lot renovations and expansions taking place at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site and the Tablelands trailhead of Gros Morne National Park.
Today’s announcement was made at Gros Morne National Park’s Visitor Centre, which has been undergoing a $10 million federal infrastructure renewal project since 2021. Providing welcome to tens of thousands of visitors annually from around the globe to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Parks Canada is upgrading the Visitor Centre to enhance the sense of arrival to Gros Morne National Park. The building construction will be completed this year with work on the interior exhibits continuing into 2024. When the site reopens, visitors will be welcomed with a design that showcases the viewscape and historical interpretation of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Centre’s design includes objectives to meet federal greening and sustainability targets, and will support a safer, inclusive and barrier-free environment for visitors.
Parks Canada's wide-ranging infrastructure portfolio includes more than 18,500 built assets such as highways, bridges, dams and other marine infrastructure, historic buildings and fortifications, water and wastewater treatment facilities, campgrounds, visitor centres and operational buildings and compounds. Since 2015, the federal infrastructure investment program has enabled Parks Canada to improve the condition of approximately 5,000 assets across the country. These upgrades help ensure public safety, quality and reliability in visitor offers, incorporate green technologies and climate resilience, while connecting Canadians with nature and history.
“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Parks Canada assets so the cultural, environmental and economic vitality that national heritage places bring to Canada can continue into the future. Parks Canada’s robust roadway improvements through Gros Morne National Park and to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site will provide safer traveling experiences for Canadians to connect with nature and history. The renewal of the Visitor Centre in Gros Morne National Park will be significant in supporting tangible benefits for visitors, local enclave communities and businesses and the province’s west coast tourism industry.”
Minister of Rural and Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains
Parks Canada’s ability to meet its mandate of conserving and presenting national heritage places in Canada is founded on its assets. More than just supporting visitors as cornerstones of Canada’s tourism industry, these assets play critical functions, such as transportation, water management, public safety, and services to residents and businesses, while being a source of shared pride for Canadians.
The Government of Canada recognizes the significance of these treasured places in Canada and, since 2015, has invested more than $170 million in infrastructure work at Parks Canada administered sites in Western Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ecological integrity is Parks Canada’s first priority. Impact assessments are used to manage the impact of infrastructure projects, and when possible, increase ecological gains for park ecosystems.
Gros Morne National Park consists of 1,805 square kilometres of wilderness on Newfoundland’s west coast. Its natural beauty and unique geology earned the park UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987. It stretches inland from the Gulf of St. Lawrence coastline through lowlands where waterways meander towards the Long Range Mountains and Tablelands.
At L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site - at the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula - lies the first known evidence of European presence in the Americas. Here, Norse expeditions sailed from Greenland, building a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings over 1000 years ago. Against a stunning backdrop of rugged cliffs, bog, and coastline, discover the fascinating archaeological remains of the Viking encampment, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
From January 30 to February 13, 2023, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, is inviting Canadians to participate in the 2023 Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada’s national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas. An online engagement portal will be available and will welcome input from the general public at letstalkparkscanada.ca.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
A/Public Relations and Communications Officer
Western Newfoundland and Labrador Field Unit
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