Creation or modification process

Creation or modification of a national park extends over several years. The process is triggered after a regional request or after identification of a territory of interest by the government.

Project selection criteria

The relevance of creating new national parks is based on several criteria, including:

  • the natural regions, including the protected territories, must be representative;
  • biodiversity;
  • beauty of the landscapes;
  • recreational tourism potential;
  • accessibility of the site to the general public;
  • support local and Indigenous communities.

In case of modification of an existing national park, the government analyzes the request in collaboration with the operator. The modification will be assessed according to its contribution to the national park's conservation and accessibility mission.

Steps of creation or modification of a national park

The national park creation or modification process varies greatly from one project to another. It usually includes the following steps, some of which may be conducted simultaneously.

1.    Project startup
When the preliminary analysis confirms the relevance of a sector, the government starts the project by
  • creation of a working group;
  • delineation of a territory to be studied;
  • granting of temporary protection against harvesting of natural resources.

2.   Knowledge acquisition on the territory concerned
To pursue the analysis of the project, the government collects information on the territory concerned by conducting:

  • a literature review to collect the available data on the territory;
  • field campaigns to refine the available information and collect additional data;
  • writing the document on the state of knowledge of the project;
  • preliminary analysis of the acquisitions required.

3.    Acquisition or transfer of authority of the lands required for the project

4.    Preparation of the creation or modification proposal
At this stage, the government must establish the creation or modification proposal. To do this, it must, in particular:

  • write an information document presenting the boundary, the zoning and the land use planning concept;
  • assess the land use planning and operating costs of the projected park;
  • produce an environmental and social impact assessment (for Northern projects).

5.    Holding the public consultation
Before proceeding with the creation or modification of a national park, the government must consult the population. The consultation includes:

  • publication of a notice of intention to create or modify a national park;
  • holding a public hearing in cases where a written opposition is transmitted to the government or after the Minister’s decision.

Once the consultation is ended and the hearing report is made public, the project may be adjusted according to the analysis of the comments and recommendations of the report.

6.    Creation or expansion of the national park
The last stage of the process involves:

  • obtaining a certificate of authorization (for projects in Nunavik);
  • issuing orders, following the Cabinet decision, necessary for the establishment of the zoning and the boundary.

State of knowledge of the projects

During projects for creation or modification of the boundaries of national parks, the government and the operators produce a report on the state of knowledge of the territory concerned. This document serves as a basis for the public consultation.

This report details the regional framework and the socioeconomic context of the territory covered by the national park project. It then presents a detailed picture of the biophysical and human components of the territory, i.e. climate, geology, geomorphology, hydrography, vegetation, wildlife, and archaeology, history and land use.

Last update: October 25, 2023


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