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    What is Parks Canada seeking to do?

    Parks Canada is consulting with individuals and stakeholder groups with an interest in national marine conservation areas (NMCAs). The Agency is revising its policy for NMCAs and is in the early stages of developing regulations under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. These will help ensure that representative examples of Canada’s marine heritage are protected and conserved today, and for future generations.

    Why is Parks Canada undertaking this review?

    Updates to the 1994 NMCA policy are needed so that it aligns with the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (CNMCAA, 2002). The updates will also reflect the experience Parks Canada has gained from more than 20 years of establishing and managing NMCAs. Changes to the NMCA policy and the development of regulations under the Act will help guide managers in their decision-making, and will help to ensure that NMCAs are managed effectively.

    How will the public be consulted?

    Parks Canada would like to hear from individuals and stakeholder groups with an interest in national marine conservation areas. A backgrounder and a discussion paper have been prepared to facilitate this process:

    -  the backgrounder, Parks Canada’s Policy Framework for the Management of National Marine Conservation Areas, summarizes Parks Canada’s policy objectives for NMCAs and our strategy for achieving them; and

    -  the discussion paper, Protecting Canada’s Marine Heritage, highlights the proposed changes to the NMCA policy and potential areas for new regulations for Parks Canada’s NMCA program and is intended to solicit feedback on a number of issues.

    The public is invited to review the documents and provide their thoughts. Please visit Parks Canada’s online engagement platform at

    How long is the consultation period?

    Public consultations will begin May 8 and conclude on July 10, 2019.

    What are the next steps in the review of the NMCA policy and development of regulations once this consultation process has ended?

    A summary of the feedback received through the consultation process will be used to create a What We Heard report that will be made available to the public. The policy for NMCAs will be updated and the formal process of developing regulations under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act will begin. 

    Will there be a public consultation process for the development of regulations for NMCAs?

    Once the policy for NMCAs has been updated, the formal regulatory process will begin. The creation of new regulations will include a public consultation component that will follow the rules and requirements of the Government of Canada's overarching regulatory policy framework. 

    How will the updated NMCA policy and new regulations be applied to existing and proposed NMCAS?

    The revised policy will apply to all NMCAs in the Parks Canada system, and will be implemented through the management planning process at existing NMCAs. Once regulations have been developed, they will apply to all NMCAs designated under the Act.