Vol. 148, No. 17 — August 13, 2014
SOR/2014-187 July 31, 2014
CANADA NATIONAL PARKS ACT
Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act
P.C. 2014-899 July 31, 2014
Whereas the Governor in Council is satisfied, in accordance with paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Canada National Parks Act (see footnote a), that Her Majesty in right of Canada has clear title or unencumbered right of ownership in the lands described in the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act;
Whereas the Governor in Council is satisfied, in accordance with paragraph 5(1)(b) of that Act, that the Government of Nunavut has agreed to the use, for the purpose of establishing a park, of the lands described in the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act;
Whereas, in accordance with subsection 7(1) of that Act, the proposed amendment to Schedule 1 to that Act has been tabled in each House of Parliament, together with a report on the proposed park;
And whereas 31 sitting days have elapsed after the tabling in each House of Parliament of the proposed amendment to Schedule 1 to that Act and no motion referred to in subsection 7(2) of that Act has been proposed in either House;
Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsection 5(1) of the Canada National Parks Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act.
ORDER AMENDING SCHEDULE 1 TO THE CANADA NATIONAL PARKS ACT
1. Part 13 of Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after the description of Quttinirpaaq National Park of Canada:
(4) UKKUSIKSALIK NATIONAL PARK OF CANADA
The geographic coordinates below refer to the North American Datum of 1983;
All topographic features referred to below are shown on the National Topographic System Maps 46D, 46E, 46L, 56A, 56B, 56C, 56F, 56G, 56H, 56I, 56J and 56K;
All parcels, boundary monuments, triangulation stations and deflection points referred to below are shown on the Administrative Map Plan recorded in the Canada Lands Surveys Records at Ottawa as 98651, a copy of which is filed in the Land Titles Office at Iqaluit as 4162, unless stated otherwise;
Adjacent to Roes Welcome Sound in Hudson Bay;
All that parcel, including Wager Bay, more particularly described as follows:
Commencing at deflection point 1 on the ordinary low water mark of the western shoreline of Roes Welcome Sound at latitude 65°10′53″ and approximate longitude 86°58′23″;
Thence southwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 2 at latitude 65°10′21″and longitude 86°59′51″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 3 at latitude 65°09′50″ and longitude 87°05′02″;
Thence southwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 4 at latitude 65°07′05″ and longitude 87°17′01″;
Thence southwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 5 at latitude 65°01′00″ and longitude 87°33′17″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 6 at latitude 65°01′37″ and longitude 87°54′45″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 7 at latitude 65°02′06″ and longitude 88°16′33″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 8 at latitude 65°02′04″ and longitude 88°33′00″;
Thence northerly in a straight line to deflection point 9 at latitude 65°08′12″ and longitude 88°31′42″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to boundary monument 207RE at approximate latitude 65°14′23″ and approximate longitude 88°42′19″;
Thence southeasterly following the boundary of Parcel RE-31 to boundary monument 208RE at approximate latitude 65°13′23″ and approximate longitude 88°35′28″;
Thence southeasterly following the boundary of Parcel RE-31 to boundary monument 209RE at approximate latitude 65°12′09″ and approximate longitude 88°26′57″;
Thence northeasterly following the boundary of Parcel RE-31 to boundary monument 210RE at approximate latitude 65°13′21″ and approximate longitude 88°20′51″;
Thence northeasterly following the boundary of Parcel RE-31 to boundary monument 211RE at approximate latitude 65°14′44″ and approximate longitude 88°16′57″;
Thence generally northwesterly following the boundary of Parcel RE-31 to boundary monument 201RE at approximate latitude 65°30′02″ and approximate longitude 89°21′12″;
Thence southerly following the boundary of Parcel RE-31 to boundary monument 202RE at approximate latitude 65°22′57″ and approximate longitude 89°23′02″;
Thence southwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 17 at latitude 65°18′47″ and longitude 89°39′20″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to triangulation station number 739043 established by the Geodetic Survey Division of the Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada at Ottawa, this station being situated at approximate latitude 65°23′40″ and approximate longitude 89°54′05″;
Thence northerly in a straight line to deflection point 19 at latitude 65°29′24″ and longitude 89°59′14″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 20 at latitude 65°32′24″ and longitude 90°17′27″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 21 at latitude 65°39′15″ and longitude 90°32′23″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 22 at latitude 65°37′57″ and longitude 90°51′17″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 23 at latitude 65°42′30″ and longitude 91°10′58″;
Thence westerly in a straight line to deflection point 24 at latitude 65°45′12″ and longitude 91°32′24″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 25 at latitude 65°47′53″ and longitude 91°45′58″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 26 at latitude 65°51′40″ and longitude 91°59′06″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 27 at latitude 65°56′05″ and longitude 92°13′20″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 28 at latitude 66°00′44″ and longitude 92°30′00″;
Thence northerly in a straight line to deflection point 29 at latitude 66°04′37″ and longitude 92°35′03″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 30 at latitude 66°05′39″ and longitude 92°32′22″;
Thence northwesterly in a straight line to deflection point 31 at latitude 66°11′39″ and longitude 92°41′37″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 32 at latitude 66°14′35″ and longitude 92°38′05″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 33 at latitude 66°15′53″ and longitude 92°33′17″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 34 at latitude 66°19′11″ and longitude 92°26′16″;
Thence northerly in a straight line to deflection point 35 at latitude 66°22′07″ and longitude 92°24′31″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 36 at latitude 66°22′30″ and longitude 92°23′47″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 37 at latitude 66°23′32″ and longitude 92°21′31″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 38 at latitude 66°24′30″ and longitude 92°18′41″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 39 at latitude 66°25′27″ and longitude 92°15′59″;
Thence northerly in a straight line to deflection point 40 at latitude 66°28′16″ and longitude 92°14′08″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 41 at latitude 66°28′51″ and longitude 92°12′51″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 42 at latitude 66°28′47″ and longitude 92°12′39″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 43 at latitude 66°29′10″ and longitude 91°48′48″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 44 at latitude 66°26′06″ and longitude 91°42′40″;
Thence southerly in a straight line to deflection point 45 at latitude 66°20′44″ and longitude 91°41′05″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 46 at latitude 66°17′48″ and longitude 91°31′55″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 47 at latitude 66°19′35″ and longitude 91°05′54″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 48 at latitude 66°23′04″ and longitude 90°51′32″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 49 at latitude 66°29′52″ and longitude 90°34′05″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 50 at latitude 66°30′39″ and longitude 90°27′51″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to boundary monument 4RE at approximate latitude 66°24′13″ and approximate longitude 90°10′33″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 52 at latitude 66°23′14″ and longitude 89°56′45″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 53 at latitude 66°15′34″ and longitude 89°42′54″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 54 at latitude 66°19′28″ and longitude 89°16′01″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 55 at latitude 66°23′45″ and longitude 88°58′50″;
Thence northeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 56 at latitude 66°27′26″ and longitude 88°48′57″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 57 at latitude 66°28′27″ and longitude 88°40′44″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 58 at latitude 66°25′05″ and longitude 88°34′16″;
Thence southerly in a straight line to deflection point 59 at latitude 66°16′03″ and longitude 88°35′55″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 60 at latitude 66°10′31″ and longitude 88°26′43″;
Thence southerly in a straight line to deflection point 61 at latitude 65°59′45″ and longitude 88°20′17″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 62 at latitude 65°50′51″ and longitude 88°07′36″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 63 at latitude 65°42′00″ and longitude 87°56′57″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to triangulation station number 6490700 established by the Geodetic Survey Division of the Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada at Ottawa, this station being situated at approximate latitude 65°31′30″ and approximate longitude 87°44′07″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 65 at latitude 65°30′34″ and longitude 87°30′38″;
Thence easterly in a straight line to deflection point 66 at latitude 65°27′02″ and longitude 87°11′11″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to triangulation station number 6490705 established by the Geodetic Survey Division of the Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada at Ottawa, this station being situated at approximate latitude 65°25′51″ and approximate longitude 87°08′57″;
Thence southeasterly in a straight line to deflection point 68 on the ordinary low water mark of the western shoreline of Roes Welcome Sound at latitude 65°24′25″ and longitude 87°02′59″;
Thence southerly in a straight line to the point of commencement;
Excluding Lots 1000 and 1001, Quad 56 H/14, as shown on a plan recorded in the Canada Lands Surveys Records at Ottawa as Plan 96351, a copy of which is filed in the Land Titles Office at Iqaluit as Plan 4156;
Including all shoals, islands, sandbars and spits that may be periodically exposed at low tide;
Including mines and minerals, hydrocarbons whether solid, liquid or gaseous, and rights to work the same; and
Including any substances or materials that may be disposed of under the Territorial Quarrying Regulations.
Said Ukkusiksalik National Park of Canada containing an area of approximately 20 880 km2.
COMING INTO FORCE
2. This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
The Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Canada National Parks Act (the OIC) would be made pursuant to sections 5 and 7 of the Canada National Parks Act (the Act) by adding the name and land description of Ukkusiksalik National Park of Canada (Ukkusiksalik) to Schedule 1 to the Act. This OIC completes the formal establishment process of this national park, as prescribed by the Act, and is the first protected area in the Central Tundra Natural Region in Nunavut. Once scheduled, the national park will enjoy the highest standard of legal protection afforded by Canada. Provisions in the Act effectively prohibit industrial forestry, mining, agriculture and other activities that can impact ecosystems.
The formal protection of Ukkusiksalik under the Act fulfills part of the Government of Canada’s outstanding obligation under Part 2 of article 8 of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement (NLCA), signed on May 25, 1993, to establish national parks in natural regions that are currently unrepresented in Nunavut. It also fulfills its commitment to the Government of Nunavut and to the Keewatin Inuit Association (now known as the Kivalliq Inuit Association or KIA) in article 2.1 of the Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for Ukkusiksalik, signed on August 23, 2003, in which the Government of Canada committed to establishing the national park in this area.
Parks Canada’s National Parks System Plan (system plan) defines and describes 39 natural regions in Canada, each characterized by distinct natural features. The Parks Canada Agency (Parks Canada) is working to establish at least one national park to represent each natural region. These national parks are designed to protect for all time representative examples of the landforms, wildlife and ecosystems of the natural region they represent. Potential national park areas are evaluated to determine how well they represent the natural characteristics of the region, to assess the degree to which the area remains in a natural state and to evaluate the area’s potential to maintain its ecological integrity.
Both the NLCA and IIBA provide for the cooperative management of Ukkusiksalik by Inuit and Parks Canada. They also provide for the continuation of activities of cultural importance for Inuit within the proposed boundaries of this national park, such as wildlife harvesting, the establishment of outpost camps and the removal of carving stones. Ukkusiksalik has been cooperatively managed since 2005 by Parks Canada and the Ukkusiksalik Park Planning and Management Committee, a joint Inuit/government committee that provides advice to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada on all matters related to park management, including management planning and hiring decisions. As prescribed by section 11 of the Act, Parks Canada will have up to five years after formal establishment to develop a park management plan for Ukkusiksalik and table it in both Houses of Parliament. The plan will be reviewed every 10 years. This management plan will be developed in consultation with the Inuit of the Nunavut Settlement Area, key stakeholders in the area and the general Canadian public.
Although Ukkusiksalik is not yet listed under the Act, it is already managed as a wilderness national park under Parks Canada’s Guiding Principles and Operational Policies and in accordance with the NLCA and the IIBA. As a result, the approval of the OIC will continue to have a positive impact on the health of ecosystems. The Act requires that the maintenance of ecological integrity be the first priority in managing a national park. Achieving legal status as a national park will result in greater ecological protection to rare, threatened and endangered ecosystems, as well as contribute to the completion of the system plan by protecting an area that is representative of the Central Tundra Natural Region. Cultural resources will also be afforded a high level of protection and will continue to be managed under the Parks Canada Cultural Resource Management Policy and the NLCA and IIBA. Finally, as prescribed by Parks Canada’s Guiding Principles and Operational Policies, a comprehensive resource management program will be implemented once Ukkusiksalik is formally protected under the Act. This will include resource studies, ecosystem monitoring, the development of cultural resource protection measures and the preparation of a management plan to address specific resource management issues. The overall goal is to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function. The bulk of the national park will be zoned as special protection (Zone 1) and wilderness (Zone 2), consistent with article 8.2.8 of the NLCA.
The national parks of Canada are established and dedicated to the people of Canada for the purpose of protecting and conserving representative natural areas for their benefit, education and enjoyment and are to be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
Ukkusiksalik was established for the following purposes: (a) to protect a representative natural area of Canadian significance in the Central Tundra so as to leave it unimpaired for future generations; (b) to provide for the maintenance of vital and healthy wildlife populations, capable of sustaining Inuit harvesting needs; (c) to celebrate the special historical and cultural relationship between Kivalliq Inuit and the land in Ukkusiksalik; (d) to encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of Ukkusiksalik; and (e) to recognize and honour Inuit knowledge, culture and harvesting rights and incorporate them as part of the living legacy of the national park.
The boundaries for this protected area set aside a vast wilderness, totaling over 20 000 square kilometres centred on Nunavut’s Wager Bay, an inland sea stretching westward from the northwest coast of Hudson Bay, just south of the Arctic Circle. It captures a large number of the representative natural and cultural features of this region, including artifacts of great importance to Inuit. This protected area represents the Central Tundra Natural Region (Region 16 of the system plan) and is characterized by low ridges, lakes and rivers that are spread over a vast expanse of arctic tundra. Despite the long and intensely cold winter months, during the short summer, the land is covered with short, hardy vegetation, such as dwarf birch, Labrador tea, blueberry plants and a variety of lichens, mosses and wildflowers. It is also the cultural heartland for many Kivalliq Inuit, having drawn hunters to its abundant natural resources for thousands of years. The area’s rich human history can be discovered throughout the proposed national park at archaeological sites that are thousands of years old. Ukkusiksalik recognizes and honours Inuit knowledge, culture and harvesting rights and builds on our proud Canadian legacy of protecting for all time the most spectacular and important landscapes in the country.
The “One-for-One” Rule applies to this proposal, as it results in a minimal increase in administrative burden costs to business. There are currently two outfitters/tour companies that operate in the area of Ukkusiksalik. Similar to the other three national parks of Canada in Nunavut (Quttinirpaaq, Sirmilik, Auyuittuq), the two outfitters/tour companies will be required to apply for Parks Canada permits (for example, a business licence or a filming permit) prior to entering the area that will become Ukkusiksalik, where, currently no Parks Canada permit is required. There is no impact on those outfitters currently operating in the three other national parks in Nunavut, who might want to operate in Ukkusiksalik, as the same business licence application will be used. The business licence application template already provides a check box for Ukkusiksalik. For the two outfitters operating only in Ukkusiksalik, a first-time Parks Canada business licence application will be required and will amount to a total administrative burden cost of approximately $29 per annum (approximately $14.50 in administrative burden cost per business to complete and submit the business licence and filming permit application, assuming these will be required or renewed annually).
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there is only a minimal increase in costs for small businesses.
Early interest and studies
After the national parks system plan was put in place in 1970, Parks Canada began to explore the possibility of establishing a national park in the Central Tundra Natural Region. Parks Canada undertook a reconnaissance survey of the natural region in 1975, followed by terrestrial and marine studies in 1976. The area surrounding Wager Bay and the marine environment of the Bay quickly became the focus of interest for protection and, in 1977, two general resource analyses were conducted. The Government of the Northwest Territories contributed additional information, carrying out studies on the area’s raptors, caribou and seals. Having just identified the area as a natural area of Canadian significance, Parks Canada was confident of the interest in establishing a national park at Wager Bay. In 1978, the Government of Canada announced its “Six North of Sixty” initiative to investigate the possibility of establishing five new national parks and the Pingo Canadian Landmark in Canada’s North. Public consultations on these proposals were held in Inuit communities throughout the Arctic, including Repulse Bay, Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet. Further studies were conducted in 1980 to examine archaeological resources at Wager Bay and to determine the importance of the area for polar bears. Additional confirmation that Wager Bay was indeed representative of the natural region followed from an analysis of the area conducted in 1980 by the Boreal Institute for Northern Studies.
While scientific studies confirmed that Wager Bay would make a good national park, local Inuit were not ready to proceed with negotiations to establish one. Consultations with regional Inuit communities were suspended in 1980 in response to a resolution passed at a meeting involving the Keewatin Inuit Association (now known as the Kivalliq Inuit Association or KIA) and representatives from the hamlet councils and hunters and trappers associations of each of the Kivalliq communities. The resolution called for an end to meetings between Parks Canada and the people of the Kivalliq about the national park proposal. The resolution stated that no national park would be established at Wager Bay at this time because the Inuit were negotiating land claims and, therefore, could not take a position on a national park. The hunters and trappers did not want restrictions on hunting rights, believing that their conservation practices were sufficient and that no regulations were required. They could perceive no additional economic benefits from the establishment of a national park. Following the passage of the resolution, the federal government released a report affirming that a national park at Wager Bay was not feasible at that time.
In 1983, the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut (now known as Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.), the Inuit organization responsible for negotiating the land claim, and the federal government initialed an agreement-in-principle containing national park provisions. Parks Canada was then granted permission by regional and local authorities to resume its studies of the natural and mineral resources in the Wager Bay area. From 1984 through 1993, numerous research projects and technical studies were carried out in the Wager Bay area of interest. These included studies on the area’s geomorphology, botany, zoology, cultural resources as well as its mineral and energy resources.
In 1985, at a Kivalliq region tourism workshop, the delegates from Repulse Bay identified the establishment of a national park at Wager Bay as their first of 10 tourism priorities. A series of important meetings took place in the spring of 1986, initiated by the Hunters and Trappers Association and the Hamlet Council in Repulse Bay. A meeting between Parks Canada and the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut resulted in a joint meeting of the Hunters and Trappers Association and the Hamlet Councils of Repulse Bay and Pond Inlet (who were also involved with a national park proposal). At that meeting, the communities passed a joint resolution, calling on Canada and the Tunngavik Federation of Nunavut to amend the 1983 agreement-in-principle to allow the option of establishing national park reserves prior to the settlement of land claims, should that be the wish of the most directly affected communities.
On June 10, 1993, the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement Act received Royal Assent in Parliament and, with it, the path was cleared to resume discussions with Inuit. Although there was no specific provision for the establishment of a national park at Wager Bay in the NLCA, article 8.2.1 recognized that it “is desirable to establish national parks” in Nunavut, which included the natural region that Ukkusiksalik will represent. In addition, pursuant to Part 3 of article 11 of the NLCA, the 1994 Keewatin Regional Land Use Plan stipulated: “an area surrounding Wager Bay and Ford Lake should become a national park… the park should include the waters of Wager Bay and Ford Lake as a marine component.” In July 1994, the KIA formally rescinded the 1980 resolution and recommended that Parks Canada resume community consultations on the Wager Bay national park proposal.
Consulting with communities
In 1994, Parks Canada began a series of public meetings in Inuit communities. The KIA requested that five affected Inuit communities be consulted (Repulse Bay, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour and Baker Lake) and suggested a schedule of four consultations per year. These sessions began in November 1994 in Repulse Bay and continued in each community during 1995.
A large regional workshop was held in Repulse Bay from September 19 to 21, 1995. The purpose of the workshop was to allow representatives of the affected Kivalliq communities to provide direction to the KIA and the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. on the future use of Wager Bay and whether to enter into IIBA negotiations to establish a national park. Representatives from the KIA, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and numerous federal and territorial departments were on hand, as well as representatives from Sila Lodge (an Inuit-owned naturalist lodge at Wager Bay) and the non-governmental organization, Canadian Nature Federation (now Nature Canada). Workshop participants agreed that Wager Bay was important for both its ecological and cultural values, especially for Kivalliq residents who travel there to hunt, fish and trap. They agreed that Wager Bay could attract international visitors, and that the KIA should initiate negotiations to establish a national park. The results of the workshop prompted all five communities to pass resolutions in October 1995 in favour of negotiating an IIBA for a national park at Wager Bay. The communities also indicated their support for a land withdrawal. At its annual board meeting in June 1996, the KIA passed a resolution to begin negotiations. Parks Canada and the KIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 1996, which confirmed that the parties would enter into negotiations.
Negotiating an agreement for a new national park
In September 1996, the federal government passed an order in council, pursuant to the Territorial Lands Act, to “withdraw” from development in the area of interest for Ukkusiksalik. At the World Conservation Union meeting in Montréal in 1996, the Prime Minister announced that 21 773 square kilometres surrounding Wager Bay had been placed under interim protection for the purposes of establishing a national park. Formal negotiations between Parks Canada and the KIA began in May 1997 and continued until agreement on the wording of an IIBA was reached in June 2000. Following this, new funds were secured to operate and manage the proposed national park and implement the IIBA. All of the requirements of the NLCA were met with regard to establishing a national park. The Keewatin Regional Land Use Plan provided for the establishment of Ukkusiksalik and a strategic environmental assessment was completed.
Nearly 25 years after Wager Bay was first considered as a candidate to protect the representative natural and cultural features of the Central Tundra Natural Region, an agreement was signed to establish Ukkusiksalik, Canada’s 41st national park. On August 23, 2003, representatives of the Government of Canada, Nunavut and the KIA signed an IIBA, resulting in the protection of over 20 000 square kilometres of pristine arctic wilderness, an area of prime cultural importance to the Inuit.
In accordance with section 7 of the Act, a proposed amendment to Schedule 1 to the Act must be tabled in both Houses of Parliament for 30 sitting days prior to its submission for final approval to the Governor in Council. The report to Parliament must include information on consultations undertaken and any agreements reached with respect to the national park establishment.
The proposed amendment to Schedule 1 to the Act was tabled in the House of Commons on March 19, 2014, and in the Senate on March 25, 2014. Pursuant to subsection 7(3) of the Act, the Order in Council may be brought into effect once 31 sitting days in each House have elapsed, and neither House objects. The 30 sitting-day period ended on May 26, 2014, in the House of Commons and on June 18, 2014, in the Senate. No objection from either House was put forward.
A strategic environmental assessment was completed by the Government of Canada. It revealed that the establishment of Ukkusiksalik should have environmental benefits by protecting a wide range of geological features, natural and cultural resources and ecosystem processes characteristic of the Central Tundra Natural Region. The overall goal in the management of the national park will be to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function, protect cultural resources, provide opportunities for visitor experience and develop public awareness programs and products, while respecting Inuit harvesting rights as provided for in the NLCA. Wildlife typical of this natural region includes polar and grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, muskox, wolverines, Arctic hares and Arctic ground squirrels. Cliffs and eroded river valleys provide important habitat for peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons. The identification of important cultural resources provides evidence of thousands of years of human use of the area. Over 500 archaeological sites have been found that include inuksuit, caches, fox traps and tent rings associated with the Pre-Dorset, Dorset and Thule periods. A Hudson’s Bay Company post, used until recently (by the Tatty family), is another important cultural resource that contributes to the understanding of the human use of the Wager Bay area during the historic period.
Mineral and energy resource assessments (MERA) were completed by the Government of Canada for the eastern part of the Wager Bay national park proposal area in 1991 and for the western part in 1993. In the eastern part of the boundary of the national park, geologists assigned a low to moderate potential for finding lead, zinc, copper and nickel. However, more promising indications were found in the western part. High potential was assigned for carving stone and gold in iron formations, and moderate to high potential was assigned for nickel, copper and platinum group elements. The potential for finding diamonds in kimberlites was determined to be moderate. The Wager Bay seabed was also examined, resulting in a low to moderate potential rating for oil. From 1991 to 1993, the hydroelectrical potential of the study area was also assessed at the request of the Government of the Northwest Territories. The resulting report concluded that there was potential for a hydroelectric dam on the lower Brown River. However, due to the lack of local demand for hydro-generated power, the issue was not pursued further.
Throughout the national park feasibility study process, Inuit were concerned that establishing a national park at Wager Bay would preclude the development of mineral resources in an area of high mineral potential in the western part of the national park. As a result, an area of 67 square kilometres was eventually excluded from the national park boundary. To ensure future economic opportunities, Canada agreed to consider a mineral access corridor, if required, following Ukkusiksalik’s establishment.
The OIC has a minimal but positive economic impact. Ukkusiksalik has been operating with a park manager since 2005 and two other employees since 2007, and will soon have a total of five positions as provided for in the park’s IIBA and existing resource allocation. An operations centre in Repulse Bay was opened in November 2008 from which the national park has been operating until present. In terms of business opportunities, the OIC formalizes the protection of Ukkusiksalik under the Act and regulates the activities of businesses and researchers that already operate or work within the boundaries. Parks Canada will be in a position to work more closely with the tourism industry once it assumes responsibility for the business licensing process and visitor safety program for Ukkusiksalik. No loss of business results from this OIC, but the expectation is that there will be an increase in tourism opportunities related to the national park.
Because the Government of Canada had already committed to the establishment of Ukkusiksalik and associated costs in the 2003 IIBA, this OIC does not result in any significant changes to monitoring, administration or enforcement activities and has no effect on revenue generation. Adding the description of the national park to Schedule 1 of the Act involves no additional costs or savings to the Government, industry, Inuit and the general Canadian public.
The establishment process that this OIC completes has had a minimal impact on regulatory coordination and cooperation. When the IIBA was signed, part of Ukkusiksalik’s boundary on the north side of Wager Bay was entirely surrounded by an Inuit-owned parcel of land. After the IIBA was signed, the KIA requested an exchange of lands. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and the KIA worked together on the land exchange, resulting in a 327 square kilometres increase to the size of the national park agreed upon in the IIBA. In June 2012, an order in council gave authority to effect the exchange of lands between the Government of Canada and the KIA. AANDC and Parks Canada coordinated their efforts to include the additional 327 square kilometres of land in the final national park boundary description being added to Schedule 1 of the Canada National Parks Act.
This OIC does not raise any new legal issues nor does it represent a new area of activity (or set any precedent) for the federal government, as it is the third one of this nature to be submitted to the Governor in Council for approval. The first proposal was an Order Amending Schedule 2 to the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, which was approved and registered as SOR/2010-153 on June 17, 2010. The Order formally protected Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. The second was an Order Amending Schedule 2 to the Canada National Parks Act, which was approved and registered as SOR/2010-182 on August 3, 2010. That second Order formally protected Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada under the Act.
The establishment of Ukkusiksalik under this OIC helps Canada meet its regional and international obligations, including its commitments to the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Program and the Protected Areas Program of Work under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. It also contributes to the implementation of the Government of Canada’s Northern Strategy and approach to responsible Arctic resource development. National parks help exercise Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, protect Canada’s northern natural heritage, encourage sustainable economic and social development in northern communities and improve northern governance.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
Ukkusiksalik has been administered as a national park since 2005. Parks Canada staff currently patrol and enforce territorial regulations that are in force until the existing regulations made under the Act apply. Once the OIC is approved, park wardens will enforce the Agency’s regulatory regime, for which they are already trained and equipped. Current education, compliance and monitoring programs will be used to implement the Regulations. Other Parks Canada staff have been trained in prevention methods and techniques that focus on visitor awareness and understanding to achieve voluntary compliance with the regulatory regime.
For visitor and user safety within the boundaries of the national park (transportation, travel and recreational safety, emergencies and disasters), formal protection under the Act makes Parks Canada responsible for search and rescue on land, but air and marine search and rescue will remain under the responsibility of the military and the Coast Guard. A collaborative working relationship with regard to enforcement will continue with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, fishery officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and wildlife officers from the Government of Nunavut.
Any prohibited or unauthorized activity in Ukkusiksalik will constitute an offence under the Act and one or more regulations enacted under the Act. In the event of non-compliance with the provisions of the Regulations, a charge could be laid pursuant to subsection 24(2) of the Act, for which a fine of up to $25,000 on summary conviction and up to $100,000 on indictment could be imposed.
Policy, Legislative and Cabinet Affairs
Parks Canada Agency
25 Eddy Street, 4th Floor (25-4-Q)