THE GOVERNMENT MOVES FORWARD WITH THE CREATION OF THE PARC NATIONAL D’OPÉMICAN
Notre-Dame-du-Nord, Thursday, March 21, 2013 – Québec Premier Pauline Marois took advantage of a day trip to the Abitibi‑Témiscamingue region to announce the imminent creation of the parc national d’Opémican in Témiscamingue. Ms. Marois was accompanied by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves‑François Blanchet, and the MNA for Rouyn-Noranda–Témiscamingue, Gilles Chapadeau.
“The parc national d’Opémican will be the second park created since the current government took office. This clearly demonstrates our will to develop every region of Québec and support local economic and social development. The future park will enable us to protect the environment and create wealth in the region. We will ensure that this park becomes a unifying project and an object of pride for the population of the region and indeed, for all of Québec,” the Premier stated.
The creation of the parc national d’Opémican will make it possible to protect and develop an area about 250 km2 in size, bordered on the West by lac Témiscamingue and on the East by lac Kipawa. The park is located at the junction of the deciduous and boreal forests and includes a diversity of habitats that are home to many wildlife and floristic species that are typical of Témiscamingue landscapes. The historic Opémican site, a veritable natural way-station on lac Témiscamingue, will be restored and developed, as will be its historic buildings that include the Jodoin inn–one of the oldest structures in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
“Québec has great hopes for its remarkable but yet fragile biodiversity. Achieving this will require protection, awareness and development measures. The key to it all is the development of our network of protected areas in all of its forms. The people of Témiscamingue will soon be able to take advantage of a new park that is both exceedingly beautiful and highly relevant, while all of Québec can take pride in shouldering its responsibilities towards an oft-mistreated planet. This is the spirit that underlies our commitment to protecting at least 12% of the land mass of Québec,” declared Minister Blanchet.
“This magnificent region of lakes and rivers has everything required to delight tourists. The 40,000 annual visitors that are expected eventually are likely to engender economic spinoffs for the region in the neighbourhood of 7.5 million dollars. This translates into some thirty regular or seasonal jobs in the region and will be a significant shot in the arm for the tourism industry and the regional economy as a whole,” MNA Chapadeau concluded.
The report of the public consultation on the creation of the parc national d’Opémican is available at www.mddefp.gouv.qc.ca/parcs/opemican.
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