Canada’s government is taking on aquatic invasive species by sending a massive check to Alberta.
The federal government announced Sunday that it is funding $14.7 million to fight invasive species in its two Alberta parks—Banff and Jasper—and the Jasper National Park. The funds will be used to study invasive species, prevent the invasive species from traveling to other parks, and encourage local communities to take action against the invasive species.
This is the second year of funding from the Great Bear Rainforest Solutions Fund, a program of Parks Canada, which was announced in 2017 as a way to combat challenges posed by some invasive species, including the weed velvety blue and Asian carp, which are known to have an affinity for Great Bear Rainforest waterways.
“This money is an investment in the future of the grizzly bear and the area’s unique ecosystems and they will be working to really protect the resources that we have,” said Joe McNamara, lead grizzly bear biologist with Parks Canada.
On Sunday, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips, the Yukon’s minister of fisheries and conservation and B.C.’s minister of natural resources and lands presented the cheque to Parks Canada officials.
McKenna also talked about the federal government’s commitment to make environmental protection of the country’s national parks in Great Bear Rainforest a top priority.
“When I became the environment minister, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a lot of conservation work that was being done by the provincial government but I didn’t hear enough from my federal counterparts,” McKenna said. “I’m very happy that the provincial and territorial environment ministers came together to tell us that that was their priority to make sure that these parks are sustainable for generations to come.”
Dresser-Rand Corporation, a Halifax-based defense and technology company, will provide the money from the Great Bear Rainforest Solutions Fund. The provincial government also announced this week it would be sharing $3.6 million in revenue from that same fund with the local government in the Cariboo.