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Lakes Guillaume, Delisle and Eau-Claire National Park project – Public Hearings on the Creation of a New Park in Nunuavik

by NationTalk on April 10, 20081013 Views

QUÉBEC, April 10 – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Ms. Line Beauchamp announces that public hearings will be held on June 16-17, 2008 in Umiujaq and on June 18-19 in Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui with respect to the Parc National des Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-l’Eau-Claire project in Nunavik. “Creating new National Parks shows the will of the government to preserve the integrity and ecological diversity of Québec. I am very pleased to announce forthcoming public hearings on the creation of the Parc National des Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-l’Eau-Claire, confirming our commitment to the protection of the vast natural spaces in the North, with the participation of the Inuit and Cree peoples,” declared Minister Line Beauchamp.

This national park project was prepared by a working group made up of representatives from the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs, the Kativik Regional Administration (ARK), the Makivik Corporation, the northern villages of Kuujjuarapik and Umiujaq and the Whapmagoostui Cree Nation.

The creation of the Parc National des Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-l’Eau-Claire stems from the implementation of the partnership agreement on Nunavik economic and community development and is also incorporated into Québec’s protected areas strategy. This projected park will allow for the protection of representative elements of the Hudson Plateau and Hudson Cuestas and bring positive economic and tourism benefits to Nunavik, principally to the northern village of Umiujaq.

The biggest National Park in Québec

The proposed area for the new National Park in Nunavik covers 15,549 square kilometres, which would make it the biggest National Park in Québec. The territory as proposed leads from the east coast of Hudson Bay eastward for around 230 kilometres. The water coverage of the lakes and rivers of this territory is impressive, as much by their number as by their area. Lake Guillaume-Delisle is completely located on the western side of the territory and is bounded by stunning cliffs that rise to some 400 metres in height. Some 700 square kilometres in size, Lake Guillaume-Delisle is connected to Hudson Bay by a narrow channel used by Belugas and seals.

Some 100 kilometres to the east is Lake Eau Claire that is composed of two nearly circular basins separated by a myriad of islands. This lake, whose area of 1,226 square kilometres make it the second largest natural lake in Québec after Lake Mistassini, was created 287 million years ago as a result of a double meteorite impact. At the proposed territory’s eastern tip lies Petit lac des Loups Marins. This lake takes its name from the population of freshwater seals that inhabit the region, a rare natural phenomenon.

In contrast to existing National Parks in the South of Québec that are operated by Sépaq, the Parc National des Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-l’Eau-Claire will be run by the Kativik Regional Administration, or ARK. Once the park has been officially created, an agreement will be signed between ARK and the Government of Québec that will delegate management of the new National Park to the Inuit.

Public hearings in Umiujaq and Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui

Pursuant to the Parks Act, the Government of Québec will hold public hearings to become acquainted with the points of view of persons and organizations interested by the project of creating the Parc National des Lacs-Guillaume-Delisle-et-à-l’Eau-Claire.

The public hearings will be held in Umiujaq on June 16-17, 2008 and in Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui on June 18-19, 2008. The time and place of the hearings will be announced at a later date. Persons and organizations interested in participating in the public consultation process should make their intentions known and submit a brief setting out their points of view prior to June 9, 2008. Inuit and Cree citizens that wish to offer their commentaries and opinions without writing a brief are welcome to appear before the hearing.

The provisional master plan regarding this projected park, summaries, maps and procedures for participating in the public hearings are available on the MDDEP Website: www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca

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