When New Brunswickers are called upon to become engaged in public consultation they continue to prove their interest in making our province a better place to live. I want to thank the thousands of people who provided their thoughts and ideas as part of our effort to modernize the Parks Act for the future.
The passion New Brunswickers express for our Provincial Parks is evident in the number of responses received and in the conviction that these protected areas must continue to be preserved as natural habitats for various levels of recreational, healthful and educational pursuits.
Over 2,500 people completed the online survey. Two stakeholder roundtables were held in Campbellton and Mactaquac, as well as consultation with First Nations. Fourteen (14) briefs were also submitted by special interest groups including:
• Nature NB
• Friends of Mactaquac Provincial Park
• Scouts Canada – NB Council
• The Nature Trust of New Brunswick
• The Mactaquac Sailing Association
• The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
• The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick
• New Brunswick Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
• Restigouche River Watershed Management Council
• Renaissance College UNB
• Friends of Mount Carleton Provincial Park
• Village of Atholville
• Village of Kedgwick
• Village of Saint-Quentin
The response paper outlines the public input received in the process to update the New Brunswick Parks Act for the 21st century. As the original Act was proclaimed in 1961, this review has been more than 50 years in the making. Such an extensive exercise takes research and planning; therefore a number of significant recommendations are expected to be implemented in the spring of 2014 while others may take longer to fully complete.
I am also very proud of the goal our Government has set to create an enhanced quality of life for all New Brunswickers and of the work being done to modernize this important piece of legislation as part of that commitment.
Hon. Trevor A. Holder