Parks Canada Forms Partnerships to Enhance Management of the Rideau Canal

Parks Canada has announced that it will be collaborating with environmental, municipal, recreational and business development organizations to better ensure the financial sustainability of the Rideau Canal. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds—Grenville, on behalf of the Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, has launched a collaborative project to foster recreation, tourism and economic development throughout the Rideau Canal corridor.
"This partnering project reflects our Government's desire to engage key stakeholders in a conversation about the future sustainability of the Rideau Canal,' said Brown. "I'm excited to start working on this common vision for the benefit of all communities along this World Heritage Site.'

On May 14, Minister Kent, in consultation with government MPs with ridings along the canal, announced that Parks Canada would freeze recreational lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels. During this time, Parks Canada plans to work with local Members of Parliament, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the canals operations on the system.

Taking a step towards that objective, the ‘Living and Visiting the Rideau UNESCO World Heritage Site' project is designed to help identify innovative new ways to ensure the Rideau Canal meets its potential as a vibrant and animated world-class site that contributes to local economies. This initiative will be managed through the collaborative efforts of Parks Canada, the Rideau Roundtable, the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Lanark County, the Town of Smiths Falls, and the Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation.

Together, these groups plan to identify new experience concepts, innovations and enhancements to make these traveling the Rideau Canal a memorable experience for visitors.