Parks Canada receives $71 million from feds for infrastructure projects in mountain parks

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The federal government is investing $71 million into nine Parks Canada projects, focusing on increased visitor safety and critical infrastructure in four mountain national parks in Alberta and B.C.

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The funds, to be distributed over the next three years, will be targeted at the Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, and will help begin or complete infrastructure improvements ranging from Trans-Canada Highway and Icefields Parkway roadway rehabilitation, to water and sewer work in the community of Lake Louise.

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Lake Louise will also see a redesign of Lake Louise Drive to better accommodate transit infrastructure. Parks Canada’s aging dispatch console system for emergencies will also be replaced, and Highway 11 will undergo work to stabilize adjacent slopes and repave a 6.3-kilometre section.

On the B.C. side of the Rockies, the funding will allow for a Highway 93 S. roadway renovation through Kootenay National Park, and Trans-Canada Highway rehabilitation between Lake Louise and Field.

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Rehabilitation to the Icefields Parkway and Highway 93 N. was also granted $11.3 million to reconstruct an area of the roadway near Poboktan Creek “to address a freeze-thaw resiliency deficit and improve geohazard mitigations,” a statement from Parks Canada said.

Investments are critical infrastructure upgrades: MP

“Canada’s national parks are core to our Canadian identity and to our tourism portfolio. Our government works with local Indigenous groups and rural communities to ensure that we provide visitors with high-quality experiences while protecting our natural wonders for future generations,” Randy Boissonnault, minister of tourism, associate minister of finance and MP for Edmonton Centre, said in the statement.

“(Monday’s) investments will upgrade critical infrastructure in national parks across Canada, improving the quality of life for surrounding communities while keeping the parks safe and accessible all year round.”

While design work for some projects began last year, the majority will see work begin in 2023 with the exception of the Lake Louise sewer and water upgrades, which have been ongoing for years. The goal is for all projects to be complete by 2025.

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