Gaspé, QC – 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 health 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.
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, reconfirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to Parks Canada’s assets and the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors by providing $557 million over three years to ensure the continuation of infrastructure projects and critical maintenance work. The announcement took place virtually near Forillon National Park and highlighted a $9.8 million project to restore and present the heritage houses of Grande-Grave’s expropriated families, an iconic sector of the national park.
The Government is committed to continued investment in the revitalization of federal infrastructure assets for the benefit of all Canadians. Parks Canada’s ability to meet its mandate of conserving and presenting national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas in Canada is founded on its assets. More than just supporting visitors, 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. In addition, Parks Canada administered places are cornerstones of the tourism industry and play an important role in local economies, contributing billions of dollars in economic benefits annually. With regards to the investments planned in the Grande-Grave sector, they are an important acknowledgement for Forillon’s expropriated families and their descendants and a first step toward the revitalization of a sector that will showcase the Gaspé community and contribute to the development of regional tourism.
Through this federal investment, Parks Canada will focus on high priority capital projects, complete critical maintenance work, and sustain its highly skilled asset workforce capacity, to continue making improvements to the condition of its asset portfolio across all regions of the country. Parks Canada approaches infrastructure projects in ways that support broader federal priorities, such as including Indigenous perspectives, mitigating climate change, minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing the environmental footprint, and focusing on sustainability, while ensuring efficient, modern, accessible and inclusive facilities that will benefit all Canadians.
This long-awaited announcement for the sector of Grande-Grave includes the restoration of several heritage buildings, the commemoration of the expropriated families’ history, and the creation of a distinctive accommodation offer for visitors in this sector of the national park. Created in partnership with the Association of Persons Expropriated from Forillon and their Descendants, this offer will introduce a meaningful experience for visitors, who will have the opportunity to learn more about the difficult past experienced by expropriated families living in the area at the time of the park’s creation. In addition to presenting an economic and touristic benefit, this new offer will be an opportunity to bring to life the residential past of the site, tell the larger Grande-Grave story and the positive impact these families had on the nation, as well as to provide a unique experience in the Gaspé region. Information regarding other infrastructure projects across the country receiving this federal funding will be shared in the coming weeks and months.
“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Parks Canada assets so the cultural, environmental, and economic vitality national heritage places bring to Canada can continue into the future. Parks Canada’s robust infrastructure improvements are resulting in tangible benefits nation-wide, encouraging a path to reconciliation, incorporating green-energy and climate resiliency, increasing tourism and job opportunities, and ensuring inclusivity for these world-class places. Investing in the restoration of built heritage like Grande-Grave encourages visitors to learn about the origins, the peoples, and the contributions of these treasured places and ensures they continue to be sources of enjoyment, learning and national pride.” The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“Investments in built heritage give the past a future. The Government of Canada is investing in the Grande-Grave heritage sector to ensure the architectural value and historic association to the origins of this region continue to be shared. Grande-Grave’s authentic houses and buildings are the last standing reminders of the bustling fishing villages once common along the Gaspé coastline and provide opportunity to commemorate the expropriated families living in the area at the time of Forillon National Park’s creation. This exciting project will ensure visitors learn more about the full scope of the site’s history, including the difficult periods that are part of the past, while offering a valuable addition to the region’s tourism offer.” The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
- Parks Canada is responsible for one of the largest collections of federal government assets, managing a variety of built assets, in 47 national parks, one national urban park, five national marine conservation areas, 171 national historic sites and nine heritage canals.
- 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, reliability, and inclusion in visitor offers, incorporate green technologies and climate resilience, while connecting Canadians with nature and history.
- This interim funding will be used to initiate high-priority capital projects for Parks Canada to continue improving the condition of its assets across all regions of the country. This is an interim measure designed to support Parks Canada’s transition to long-term asset sustainability of its fixed asset portfolio.
- In June 1970, Forillon became Quebec’s first national park within the Canadian network. Located on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, Forillon National Park protects a territory of 244.8 km2, including a narrow strip of marine area a little over 150 m wide (4.4 km2).
- The Grande-Grave heritage sector is an ideal place to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Forillon and to commemorate former residents of the area. Parks Canada has developed, with local people and the expropriated families, a unique project to safeguard and present that aims to make the houses of Grande-Grave a “heritage cottage” type-accommodation.
- This project is supported by a dozen local organisations, including the Association touristique régionale de la Gaspésie, Destination Gaspé, as well the Association of Persons Expropriated from Forillon and their Descendants.
- From December 7 to 19, 2022, Canada will welcome the Parties to the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Quebec, for COP15, which will focus on the negotiation of a new Global Biodiversity Framework. The network of protected areas in Canada plays an important role in helping to address the impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems and contributing to the recovery of species at risk. Parks Canada’s built assets provide a foundation for these conservation efforts from coast to coast to coast.