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October 27, 2011

Pierre Arcand and Johanne Gonthier inaugurate a new sector of Parc national du Mont-Mégantic

Scotstown, October 24, 2011 - Today the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Pierre Arcand, and the Member of the National Assembly for Mégantic-Compton, Johanne Gonthier, are pleased to inaugurate a new sector of Parc national du Mont-Mégantic, the Franceville sector. Located close to the municipalities of Hampden, Scotstown and Val-Racine, the Franceville sector will provide hikers and campers with privileged access to a unique environment, characterized, most notably, by the Montagne de Franceville and the Mont Mégantic massif.

$2.9M invested since last year

Among the projects undertaken in the park, the construction of a new reception facility and the building of a campground were the focus of a $2.9M investment by the government of Québec. “I am so pleased to see that the results of this important investment have met our expectations. In the Franceville sector, there is now high quality reception infrastructure worthy of national park status and of a major tourist attraction. Since its opening in mid-September, many people have explored this new sector of the park and have been delighted by their experience,” stated the Minister, Mr. Arcand.

An additional $325,000 for the development of a network of trails

In addition to the $2.9M investment for reception and service infrastructure, $325,000 was added to develop new hiking trails and promote the Vallée du ruisseau de la Montagne and the majestic peaks of Franceville. This new network of trails, which will be further developed in the coming years, will allow Parc national du Mont-Mégantic to position itself as a top hiking spot in Québec. “Aside from the fact that it helps raise the profile of the Eastern Townships region all around the world, this project will have positive repercussions for the citizens and business people of Mégantic-Compton,” Ms. Gonthier contended. Hikers will be able to reconnect with the mountain starting this winter when the park opens the sector for a few weekends as of the end of January.

Sépaq estimates that the opening of the Franceville sector will result in 20,000 additional visits per year. Moreover, it should generate an additional $500,000 or so in economic spin-offs for the region and create seven seasonal jobs.

One park, two sectors

Located at the heart of the first international dark sky reserve, Parc national du Mont-Mégantic has a unique status within the Parcs Québec network. While the Observatoire sector is already renowned for its astronomy activities, the new Franceville sector will improve the park’s current offering thanks to the development of a new network of trails and the addition of a 47-space campground.

It is worth mentioning that when Parc national du Mont-Mégantic was created in 1994, the opening of a second sector was the centrepiece of the agreement reached with various local communities. It is also worth noting that the preservation of this territory is part of a bigger project designed to diversify the economy of the regional county municipality of Haut-Saint-François by transforming it into a tourist hub encompassing the Franceville sector, the future Parc régional de la rivière au Saumon and the  village centre of  the municipality of Scotstown.

$42.3M invested over four years across the entire national park network

Investments linked to renovation projects at Parc national du Mont-Mégantic come from a $42.3M budget allowance allocated to Sépaq in 2008. This sum is earmarked for the second phase of the promotion of our national parks, for the preservation of natural environments and for the upgrading of infrastructure so that our network can remain one of the finest national park networks in the world.


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