Spending time outdoors and in nature benefits our mental and physical health and well-being. Expanding Canadians’ access to nature is a priority for the Government of Canada.
Last Thursday, Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change and minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced an investment of CA$55 million over five years to maintain, enhance and expand the Trans Canada Trail, according to a news release.
“The more time we spend outdoors, the more likely we are to conserve and protect nature. As an avid hiker of the trail networks around my home of Montreal or across the country, I know first-hand the health benefits of spending time in nature. With this funding, our Government will ensure the Trans Canada Trail can better connect Canadians to nature, and to each other, from coast to coast to coast for generations to come,” said Guilbeault.
The Trans Canada Trail is a network of multi-use trails linking 15,000 communities and passing through every provincial and territorial capital across 28,000 kilometers of land and water routes through rural, urban, and Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast.
This funding, allocated through Budget 2022, will enhance the user experience of the Trans Canada Trail network, supporting its renewal, growth, and long-term sustainability.
This funding will help expand connections of local and regional trails to the Trans Canada Trail, improve trail infrastructure in communities across Canada, and enhance accessibility and strengthen inclusive use of the Trail.
It will also support local trail organizations and managers who steward The Trail in communities across Canada and better integrate the Trans Canada Trail into local, regional, and national tourism offers and marketing.
The integration can promote a healthy lifestyle year-round and inspire the people of Canada to discover, cherish and steward their natural and cultural heritage.
“We are thrilled by Minister Guilbeault’s recommitment to Trans Canada Trail’s annual funding in this year’s federal budget. We are honored beyond measure by this investment – and we look forward to what we can achieve together in the next five years and beyond,” said Trans Canada Trail President & CEO Eleanor McMahon.
“As a valued partner to the government, we will catalyze Parks Canada’s investment to build the Trail of the future and to help Canada build back post-pandemic, with programs and partnerships designed to deliver on leveraging tourism and economic development, health and wellness, truth and reconciliation opportunities, and the conservation and preservation opportunities that the Trail provides.”
These measures will ensure Trans Canada Trail can continue to connect Canadians to nature, improve mental health and wellness, promote regional economic development and tourism, and provide opportunities to support reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities.
The Government of Canada is proud to be among the many contributors to Trans Canada Trail. Since 1992, the Government of Canada has contributed over CA$90 million to Trans Canada Trail, including an investment of CA$30 million over four years through Budget 2017.
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