Minister Chagger highlights Canada's largest ever investment in nature conservation
(4 months ago)
NIAGARA FALLS, ON: Canadians understand that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. Our quality of life and economic success rest on our commitments to protecting our natural legacy and preserving a clean environment for future generations.
In a fireside chat with representatives from the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, highlighted Budget 2018's historic investment of more than $1.3 billion over five years in nature conservation—the largest investment of its kind in Canadian history.
Of this investment, the Government of Canada will contribute $500 million toward a new $1-billion Nature Fund. With the participation of corporate, not for-profit, provincial, territorial and other partners, the Nature Fund will secure private land, support provincial and territorial species protection efforts, and help build Indigenous capacity to conserve land and species for our benefit and the benefit of future generations.
Canada's natural surroundings and scenic environment featured prominently in Canada's New Tourism Vision, a whole-of-government approach to seizing the global opportunity that tourism offers, and will be a major attraction for visitors from China during the Canada-China Year of Tourism currently under way.
Canada's New Tourism Vision, which was announced by Minister Chagger in May 2017, includes a number of action items that link our tourism industry to the environment, including growing Canada's Indigenous tourism industry, distinguishing Canada as a premier tourism destination through our national parks and investing in our regionally diverse tourism offerings.
This investment will not only contribute to growing a healthy and sustainable clean economy but also help preserve and protect Canada's majestic forests and landscapes, lakes and rivers, and ecosystems and biodiversity, including species at risk.
"Canada set a new record for international tourism in 2017, welcoming nearly 21 million visitors from abroad. Our country's clear lakes, majestic forests and big open skies are a tremendous draw for tourists and played a major role in that incredibly successful year. Our government is proud to commit to one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history because we know that by protecting our environment today, we will leave a true legacy for our children, for our grandchildren and for generations to come."
- The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism
"Nature sustains prosperous communities. Canadians are ready to do more to protect the natural habitats, animals and plants that are at greatest risk in our country. We look forward to working with government and all our partners to leverage the new Nature Fund investment to achieve conservation results of global significance."
- John Lounds, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada
"Preservation of nature benefits all of us, not just the plants and animals that need it to survive. Interacting with nature—even a simple walk in the woods—brings physical and emotional health and wellness to our citizens and our communities. With the support of the Nature Fund, we can ensure that more natural land is preserved and that the positive benefits of natural spaces—ecological, health and societal—will continue to enrich our communities."
- Beth Gilhespy, CEO, Bruce Trail Conservancy
The $1.3-billion investment in nature conservation will support the Government in meeting its international commitments on biodiversity, sustainable development and climate change.
The $500-million investment in creating the $1-billion Nature Fund will support collaboration with other governments, Indigenous people and all Canadians to strengthen and better connect networks of protected areas and conservation areas as the cornerstone of biodiversity, as well as contribute to reconciliation and the sustainability of local communities.
Tourism is an important driver of the Canadian economy: it accounts for almost 2 percent of Canada's GDP and more than 1.8 million jobs in communities across the country.
Canada's New Tourism Vision includes an action plan with concrete measures aimed at increasing international visits to Canada by 30 percent by 2021, doubling Chinese visits to Canada by 2021 and positioning Canada to compete for a Top Ten destination ranking by 2025.