Government of Canada Announces Infrastructure Improvements in Parks Canada administered places in Cape Breton/Unama’ki With $43 million investment

News release

Multiple projects in Cape Breton Highlands National Park and national historic sites in Cape Breton will improve infrastructure and climate change resiliency and support recovery from Hurricane Fiona

July 12, 2023                      Ingonish, Nova Scotia                       Parks Canada

The network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of stories from coast to coast to coast. Investing in these locations helps protect natural and built heritage, increase climate resiliency, and create jobs in local communities, while providing visitors and residents with high-quality, safe, and meaningful experiences across the country.

Today, the Honourable Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on behalf of Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced approximately $43 million for infrastructure improvements and projects related to Hurricane Fiona recovery in Parks Canada administered places on Cape Breton Island. This devastating storm caused significant damage to the national park’s infrastructure, as well as other places administered by Parks Canada in Cape Breton/Unama’ki, including the Fortress of Louisbourg and Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Sites.


Projects made possible by funding announced today will improve infrastructure that is well-known and loved by visitors and residents, such as trails, facilities, roadways, and bridges, and including the Cabot Trail. Bolstering infrastructure will help ensure a safe travelling experience, enhanced visitor opportunities, and increased resiliency of critical infrastructure to severe weather caused by climate change.

These projects align with Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy, which lays out an agreed-upon framework to reduce the risk of climate-related disasters, improve health outcomes, protect nature and biodiversity, build and maintain resilient infrastructure, and support a strong economy and workers. 

More than just supporting visitors as cornerstones of Canada’s tourism industry, assets in the places Parks Canada administers play a critical role in transportation, water management, public safety, and services to residents and businesses, while being a source of shared pride for Canadians. Infrastructure upgrades will help ensure public safety, quality and reliability in visitor offers, incorporate climate resilience, and increase accessibility, while connecting Canadians with nature and history.


Additional multimedia

The Honourable Jaime Battiste (second from left), stands with Parks Canada’s Blair Pardy, Robie Gourd, and Duggan Kennedy, beside the land bridge to the Keltic Lodge on Middle Head, which will be rehabilitated as part of a major infrastructure project for Parks Canada administered places in Cape Breton. Credit: Parks Canada
The Honourable Mike Kelloway (centre) stands next to Parks Canada’s Duggan Kennedy (left) and Blair Pardy (right) on a newly repaved section of road at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Credit: Parks Canada


“Canadians are increasingly feeling the impacts of climate change, and our Government is committed to supporting Canadians to be better prepared and to build a stronger economy. We are taking ambitious climate action to cut our pollution and create an all-hands-on-deck approach to climate adaptation." 

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Parks Canada assets so the cultural, environmental, and economic vitality that national parks bring to Canada can continue well into the future. Parks Canada’s robust improvements along the iconic Cabot Trail within Cape Breton Highlands National Park will ensure resilient infrastructure that can withstand the effects of increasingly damaging weather events and climate change. This will provide increased security for local communities and provide for safe experiences for Canadians to connect with nature.”

The Honourable Jaime Battiste,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

“Investments in built heritage will benefit generations to come. Through this federal infrastructure investment, Parks Canada is proudly contributing to the world-renowned national historic sites in Cape Breton/Unama’ki. The Government of Canada’s investments in resilient infrastructure are essential to preserve natural and cultural heritage, ensure environmental protection and conservation, and support local economies, while mitigating the effects of climate change.”

The Honourable Mike Kelloway,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso

“The Government of Canada recognizes that the road to recovery for impacted areas in Atlantic Canada has been challenging and that the devastation of Hurricane Fiona is still felt by many individuals, businesses and communities. We have been and always will be there for Atlantic Canadians in times of need. Through the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund, we are working closely with businesses, organizations and communities to recover and rebuild and setting them up to be more resilient to climate-induced weather events in the future.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor,
Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Quick facts

  • The funding includes $28 million from the federal infrastructure investment program and $15 million through the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund, coordinated by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, for recovery efforts resulting from the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona. 

  • On September 24-25, 2022, extratropical cyclone Fiona, still delivering hurricane-force winds, landed in Atlantic Canada, causing a major wind and rain event in five provinces in eastern Canada, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Newfoundland Labrador.

  • Since 2015, federal infrastructure investments have enabled Parks Canada to improve more than 5,000 assets in its infrastructure portfolio such as highways, bridges, dams and other marine infrastructures, historic buildings and fortifications, water and wastewater treatment facilities, campgrounds, visitor centres and operational buildings and compounds.

  • Cape Breton Highlands National Park, located on Cape Breton Island in northern Nova Scotia, consists of 950 km² of Acadian, boreal, and taiga forests and represents a classic example of Maritime Acadian Highlands natural region. Its pristine beauty, dramatic coastlines and vibrant cultures attract approximately 300,000 visitors annually. 

  • Keltic Lodge and Highlands Links Golf Course are two important landmarks within the boundaries of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Keltic Lodge first opened its door in 1941 and Highlands Links Golf Course, designed by golf course architect Stanley Thompson, is consistently ranked as one of the top courses in Canada.

  • Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is the largest historical reconstruction in North America. Reconstruction ran from 1961 to the early 1980s, and one-fifth of the original townsite has been rebuilt. The site welcomes approximately 80,000 visitors each year. 

  • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site pays tribute to the genius of the famed inventor and his wife, Mabel Bell, in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, near the site of their Cape Breton home. The museum contains the original remains of Bell’s hydrofoil, the HD-1, as well as a full-scale replica of the famed Silver Dart airplane. About 85,000 visitors explore the museum each year.

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Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary    
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Parks Canada

Adam Young
A/Public Relations and Communications Officer
Cape Breton Field Unit
Parks Canada

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