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Wild Animal Law of Canada


Provincial Parks Act (NS)

(current to 15 October 2016)
Note Re Application of the Provincial Parks Act

The Provincial Parks Act ('PPA') applies to lands designated as provincial parks. It's relevance to wild animals is primarily for the protections that it provides directly to wildlife and habitat within those parks.

For these purposes, 'wildlife' means "a species of animal which is wild by nature and hence not normally dependent on man to directly provide its food, shelter or water ..." [PPA 3(o)]. Note that the definition for the Provincial Parks Regulations ('PP Regs') is slightly different: "wildlife means a species of vertebrate which is wild by nature and hence not normally dependent on man to directly provide its food, shelter or water" [PP Regs 2].

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
The full current text of the Provincial Parks Act and it's Regulations may be viewed at the Nova Scotia statute website.


Table of Contents
1. Overview
2. Prohibitions and Protections


1. Overview

While provincial parks largely exist for purposes of human recreation, some purposes relevant to wild animals include [PPA 2(1)]:
  • to "preserve unique, rare, representative or otherwise significant elements of the natural environment and historic resources of Nova Scotia";

  • to "provide opportunities for exploration, understanding and appreciation of Nova Scotia's natural and cultural heritage through interpretation, information and educational programs".
Provincial parks may be designated as such by the provincial cabinet [PPA 8]. The website for Nova Scotia parks is linked here: Nova Scotia Provincial Parks.

Parks offering greater wildlife protection may be designated as 'wildland parks', 'natural environment parks' and 'wildlife parks' [PP Regs 4(1)]. Additionally, areas within parks may be further zoned as 'environmental protection zones', which is "an area of a park that is highly sensitive or contains significant natural or historic resources that require protection". Such zones "permit() interpretative, educational and scientific activities where these activities do not conflict with the underlying protection objectives of the zone" [PP Regs 5].

Conservation officers may be appointed for purposes of enforcing the Act, and RCMP officers are such by virtue of their office [PPA 15(2,4)].

2. Prohibitions and Protections

The following provisions are relevant to the protection of wild animals and their habitat within provincial parks:
  • "no person shall remove forest products from a provincial park except for the purpose of development or management of the park" [PPA 13A];

  • roads may only be built in parks with the consent of the Minister of Lands and Forests [PPA 21(2)];

  • "(n)o person shall transport garbage, refuse or domestic, hazardous or industrial waste through, over or in any provincial park or deposit such material in or on a provincial park, except as may be authorized by permit issued by the Minister" [PPA 24];

  • it is prohibited "wilfully destroy park property or trees and other natural resources" [PPA 33(e)];

  • commercial activities such as agriculture, livestick grazing, aggregate removal, mining may only be conducted in a park under lease or license [Provincial Park Regulations ('PP Regs') 18-20];

  • it is prohibited within a park to [PP Regs 22]:

    • "cut, damage or remove any plant, shrub, flower or tree";
    • "remove any artifact or object of natural curiosity or interest";
    • "make an excavation";
    • "alter, damage, or destroy any watercourse".

  • domestic animals must not be allowed to run at large within a park [PP Regs 24];

  • hunting and trapping are prohibited in a park without written Ministerial permission [PP Regs 27];

  • fishing is permitted in parks, subject to Wildlife Act licensing and other requirements (see that module) [PP Regs 28].
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