Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in New Maryland, N.B. Thursday to announce a new plan he says will better co-ordinate conservation efforts across the country.
The National Conservation Plan includes funding of $252 million over 5 years, including $100 million for the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect land.
“The natural environment is, in a very real way, everyone’s business,” Harper said. “This is a national plan, that involves activities, the preservation of spaces across the country.”
The plan also includes the following:
- $37 million to “strengthen marine and coastal conservation”
- $3.2 million to develop an inventory of conserved lands
- $50 million to restore wetlands
- $50 million to restore and conserve species and habitats
- $3 million to the Earth Rangers to “expand family-oriented conservation programming”
It’s a plan Harper promised he’d deliver during the 2011 election campaign and the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s president and CEO John Lounds said it was time to see some action.
“It has been a bit of a time for them to get this out, but we’re really pleased to see it today,” Lounds said.
Protesters from the New Brunswick labour sector gathered outside the announcement, chanting as the motorcade left.
“He’s taken down environmental protection for our fresh water and lakes and streams,” said CUPE local president Daniel Legere. “I guess that’s what he’s in there talking about, environmental protection, which is ironic.”
Harper last visited the province in Aug. 2013, after TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline announcement, when he toured Saint John’s Irving Oil refinery and made stops in Miramichi and Moncton.
© Shaw Media, 2014