Dalhousie Law Journal


National Parkland, Acquisition, Challenge, national park system, sporadic, virtual standstill.


Since the inception of a national park system in Canada, land acquisition for national parks has been sporadic and is now at a virtual standstill. In 1930, when legislation was introduced to designate national parks and govern their use, fourteen parks areas had been established.' Four parks were set up between 1930 and 1968, and seven parks and three national park reserves were established between 1968 and 1982. With the exception of the establishment of Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan in 1982, there has been no further expansion to date. Thus, there are currently twenty-six national parks and three national park reserves in Canada, covering an area of some 129,945 square kilometers. 2 These lands, which are representative of a number of natural terrestrial and marine landforms characteristic of Canada, range in size from 4 square kilometers (St. Lawrence Islands National Park in Ontario) to 44,807 square kilometers (Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta). They are diverse, ranging from the beaches and seascapes of Prince Edward Island National Park and the mountainous parks of Alberta and British Columbia to the northern landscapes of the Kluane National Park Reserve in the Yukon. Although the area included in Canada's national park system may appear large, it does not constitute a large proportion of the country's total landmass.

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