Ecological integrity to be top priority for Parks Canada: environment minister

Canada's environment minister has reaffirmed that protecting and conserving the natural environment is the main job of Parks Canada.

Catherine McKenna has released her response to the largest public consultation ever held on the future of Canada's national parks.

She says that ecological integrity will be the top priority for park managers.

McKenna says that will include a review of commercialization, especially in the Rocky Mountain parks of Banff and Jasper.

She also promises to rebuild Parks Canada's scientific capacity and says the agency will release regular reports on the state of the parks.

Advocates such as the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society say they are pleased with McKenna's response.

More than 13,000 Canadians participated in the consultation in ways that ranged from making presentations to filling out online surveys.