A historic multimillion dollar cash injection is targeted to reverse the declining infrastructure in Canada’s national parks, according to the Calgary Herald.
The federal government has allocated an additional $315 million (Canadian) over the next five years for the 41 national parks, including the flagship Banff National Park.
Of that, $209 million will be allocated to fix aging roads and bridges, dilapidated historic buildings, rundown campgrounds and day-use areas.
The Banff Cave & Basin National Historic Site – one of the region’s most famous tourist draws – is slated to get $2 million to fix stonework and upgrade the structure.
Alan Latourelle, Parks Canada’s chief executive officer, said the agency’s existing capital program totals $40 million, but new funding pushes that to $115 million annually over five years.
“This is by far the most significant investment in our history,” said Latourelle.
Tourism officials say the funding is a big win for the mountain national parks, arguably Canada’s most famous tourism destination, attracting about four million visitors a year.
Latourelle said the capital funding will be used on a priority basis, including urgent work for highways and roads, cultural resource protection and urgent public health and safety initiatives.
An extra $60 million is also earmarked for science programs, park interpretation and other projects.