The fight against invasive aquatic species in mountain parks

The federal government is committing funds to combat aquatic invasive species in five mountain national parks in Alberta and British Columbia, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced Saturday.

Guilbeault made the announcement in Banff, Alta., With $ 14.7 million available over the next five years to prevent and manage invasive species in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes and Yoho National Parks.

The money will be used for prevention and education programs.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said the parks are vulnerable to non-native mussel species, as well as the parasite that causes fish disease.

People who enjoy mountain rivers and lakes can spread invasive species.

The work will also support the recovery of species at risk, including western slope cutthroat trout, Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout.

Guilbeault was in Banff after spending Friday in Calgary meeting with representatives from the oil industry and Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney said he appreciated Guilbeault’s visit to the province.

“We appreciate that you have come to Alberta to meet with our minister and we hope that you continue to listen to Albertan’s perspective,” Kenney said at a news conference Saturday.

“Without Alberta and without the oil industry and its involvement, it would be impossible for Mr. Guilbeault and his government to achieve their goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Ottawa announces $ 14.7 million to fight aquatic invasive species in mountain parks. #CDNpoli #AquaticInvasiveSpecies

Kenney said he hopes to carry a similar message when he meets Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa shortly. He said there will be a focus on Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero, an agreement between five major producers to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and that it will require a large investment.

This Canadian Press report was first published on December 4, 2021.

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