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Trudeau Urges New Parks Canada Minister, Tourism Minister to Develop Outdoor Tourism Strategies

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the new minister in charge of Parks Canada, Steven Guilbeault, to invest in national parks and establish new ones. He also urged the newly-appointed Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault to create a national trails tourism strategy.

According to a report, on his December 16 letter of mandate to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault, the prime minister stated that climate change is the top priority, pointing out that the science supports the necessity to take real climate change actions, however, “we must also move faster and go further.”

“As Canadians are increasingly experiencing across the country, climate change is an existential threat. Building a cleaner, greener future will require a sustained and collaborative effort from all of us,” said Trudeau in his letter to Guilbeault.

“As minister, I expect you to seek opportunities within your portfolio to support our whole-of-government effort to reduce emissions, create clean jobs and address the climate-related challenges communities are already facing.”

As the minister with the portfolio of Parks Canada, Guilbeault is charged with overseeing the development of ten new national parks and ten new national marine conservation areas over the coming five years. He is also cooperating with Indigenous communities to negotiate co-management agreements to manage these sites.

Trudeau stated that the new minister must establish at minimum one new national urban park for each province and territory and create 15 new parks for urban areas by 2030.

“You will also invest in existing national parks,” said the prime minister, noting that more Canadians than ever before are visiting national parks.

Trudeau named Quebec’s Guilbeault as the federal minister of climate change and environment in his cabinet shakeup for November 2021 after the Liberal Party’s victory in the federal election.

With a controversial history of civil disobedience and arrests to draw attention to the most critical environmental concerns, Guilbeault has long been a prominent voice in fighting the climate crisis.

As part of his new mandate from Trudeau, Guilbeault is in charge of driving the federal government’s climate plan, delivering on policy and fiscal measures outlined in the strengthened climate plan, and adopting additional steps to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

By the end of March 2022, Canada’s next minister will have to outline the ways Canada will achieve its legislated 2030 climate targets.

Trudeau stated that this would include new measures for capping and reducing gas and oil sector emissions, further reducing methane emissions across the entire economy and requiring the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, and setting Canada on the road to have an electricity grid that is net-zero emission in 2035.

“You will also work with your colleagues and crown corporations to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2023,” wrote Trudeau to Guilbeault.

“Your work to protect communities and our abundant and diverse natural habitats and waters, including by advancing Indigenous-led conservation efforts, will also be crucial to secure a cleaner, healthier and greener future for Canadians.”

Additionally, Guilbeault is tasked with aiding the new federal tourism minister, the city of Edmonton’s Randy Boissonnault, in developing a national trails tourism strategy.

Trudeau told Boissonnault that his top priority is to ensure that Canada remains a tourist destination of choice.

“Your immediate priority is to advance recovery measures for the tourism sector, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to develop a national trails tourism strategy,” he said.

In particular, Trudeau tasked Boissonnault with promoting recovery measures, such as funding for tourism that will aid local tourism businesses in recovering from the pandemic and position them for growth in the future.

The new minister should also look at ways to finance projects and help urban and rural communities across Canada in the process of developing destinations and developing and improving tourism services, facilities, and experiences.

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