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    What is the expert panel and what will they be working on?

    Parks Canada will create an expert panel to advise the Agency on the development of a long-term framework for the sustainable movement of visitors in the Bow Valley in Banff National Park.

    Building on the science, policy and ecological gains of the last 30 years and what Parks Canada has heard from Canadians during recent park management planning engagement, the panel will look at emerging solutions and examples of best practices from around the world to consider how people arrive at, move about, and experience the national park.

    The panel will be asked to consider transportation modes and networks, as well as other strategies and tools relating to how people access, move about and use the park – including new technologies, infrastructure changes, and systems for communication and access. The panel will consider ways to ensure that ecological integrity and conservation of habitat and biodiversity are priorities. It will explore and advise on the use of alternative and renewable energy while reducing waste. And it will provide insights on how to provide diverse mobility options to visitors and residents giving people more choices on how they meet their access needs.

    A new approach to the way people move through the Bow Valley and access the park will serve as an example of how big picture thinking, comprehensive planning and ‘green’ transport can help secure an environmentally and economically sustainable future for the park.

    Why is the expert panel necessary?

    Banff is an iconic protected place and a destination for millions of visitors from across Canada and around the world. It is a source of pride for Canadians. Parks Canada is committed to finding safe, effective, and sustainable approaches to managing future visitation and visitor movement in the park while helping people experience and enjoy this national treasure now and long into the future. This is a priority for the Agency, and one that the public and stakeholders have identified during management planning discussions. 

    Technology is also advancing at a rapid pace. How people enjoy and access the park is evolving and so are the transportation preferences of Canadians. We need to understand and prepare for changing approaches and changing preferences and ensure that we continue to deliver outstanding visitor experiences while making the protection of the environment and ecological integrity our first priority. The panel will consider modes of transportation, as well as how Parks Canada manages visitor access, circulation and infrastructure at key park destinations in the context of a protected area with ecological integrity and visitor experience objectives.

    Who will sit on the expert panel?

    The President & CEO of Parks Canada will appoint individuals to the expert panel who have knowledge or experience relevant to protected area management or expertise relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing Banff National Park. The draft Terms of Reference includes guidance on which areas of interest will be represented by the panel of experts. 

    Parks Canada is seeking interested individuals to serve on the Panel. We will appoint a Panel of experts drawing upon capacity identified by the Agency and from expressions of interest received from any individual with expertise in one or more of the areas identified in the Draft Terms of Reference. Individuals wishing to be considered for membership on the Panel may submit their interest to opinion@canada.ca by February 5, 2021.

    Finally, once the panel is established, there will be opportunities to advance and present pertinent information for the panel’s consideration. Stay tuned for further information in Spring 2021.

    What are your timelines for the project?

    The draft Terms of Reference are open for comment January 11 – February 5, 2021. Parks Canada will carefully analyse all comments received across all platforms and use them to inform any needed revisions to the Terms of Reference. 

    Parks Canada anticipates the expert panel will be in place in spring 2021, following the finalization of the Terms of Reference. The goal is then for the panel to produce an interim report by the end of 2021 for input from local Indigenous groups, stakeholders and the public. A final report, including a suite of recommendations, is anticipated from the panel no later than March 31, 2022.

    Parks Canada will develop a framework following receipt of the panel's advice and recommendations in 2022.

    How can I get involved?

    We are seeking input on the draft Terms of Reference for the expert panel from January 11 – February 5, 2021. Read the draft Terms of Reference, learn more and let us know what you think by taking the survey at www.letstalkmountainparks.ca. You can also send your comments to opinion@canada.ca.

    Parks Canada will carefully analyse all comments received across all platforms and use them to inform any needed revisions to the Terms of Reference. Further opportunities for involvement will be available once the panel is in place. 

    What will happen with my feedback?

    Parks Canada will carefully analyse all comments received across all platforms from January 11 – February 5, 2021, and use them to inform any needed revisions to the Terms of Reference. Further opportunities for involvement will be available once the panel is in place.

    Will recommendations from the expert panel be binding, and will they be public?

    The panel will be an advisory body that discusses, deliberates and suggests possible courses of action to Parks Canada. The goal is for the panel to produce an interim report by the end of 2021 for input from local Indigenous groups, stakeholders, and the public, and a final report in late Spring 2022. 

    Parks Canada will develop a framework following receipt of the panel's advice and recommendations in 2022.