Section I: Organizational Overview
The Parks Canada Agency protects and presents nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, and fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations. National parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, of which Parks Canada is the proud steward, offer to Canadians the opportunity to live meaningful experiences and to personally connect with these heritage places. In carrying out its responsibilities, Parks Canada works in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and neighbouring communities.
On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations.
Canada's treasured natural and historic places will be a living legacy, connecting hearts and minds to a stronger, deeper understanding of the very essence of Canada.
Parks Canada is a separate Government of Canada Agency and derives its responsibilities from the following legislation:
- the Parks Canada Agency Act;
- the Canada National Parks Act;
- the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act;
- the Historic Sites and Monuments Act;
- the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act;
- the Historic Canal Regulations pursuant to the Department of Transport Act;
- the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act; and
- the Species at Risk Act.
Parks Canada's Chief Executive Officer reports directly to he Minister of the Environment.
Parks Canada manages national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas on behalf of Canadians. Parks Canada is a proud steward of these heritage places and protects and presents them for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations of Canadians.
As the first national park service in the world, Parks Canada has and continues to play a vital role in the development of a system of national parks representative of the diversity of natural regions and landscapes of Canada. Similarly, national marine conservation areas represent Canada's marine regions spanning its three oceans and the Great Lakes. In managing national parks, Parks Canada is mandated to protect ecological integrity while in national marine conservation areas the Agency works to foster the ecologically sustainable use of marine resources while protecting key features. In carrying out its responsibilities, Parks Canada works in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and neighbouring communities.
Each national historic site tells its own story and contributes to our understanding of Canada as a whole. They are special places where visitors can learn about the persons and events that shaped Canada as we know it today and where they can experience Canada's history. Parks Canada strives to ensure the system of national historic sites comprised of places, persons and events of national historic significance reflects the country's rich history. The system is developed in collaboration with Canadians to define important aspects of Canada's history.
Today, national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas offer to Canadians a variety of recreational activities and learning experiences as well as a unique opportunity to personally connect with these heritage places. There are more than 20 million person-visits annually to the heritage places administered by Parks Canada.
In addition, some of Parks Canada's activities are focused on formal designations by the Government of Canada and, where mandated, providing support for the conservation and presentation of designated heritage properties that are managed by others. These include national historic sites, heritage railway stations, heritage lighthouses, federal heritage buildings, archaeological sites, the gravesites of Canadian Prime Ministers and Canadian heritage rivers. Parks Canada shows leadership in the conservation of built heritage through Parks Canada's National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, a contribution program for non-federally-owned national historic sites and through its administration of the Canadian Register of Historic Places, an online, searchable database of historic places designated by all levels of government in Canada.
Parks Canada also contributes to international heritage conservation through its leadership and participation in international conventions, programs, and agreements, notably the World Heritage Convention.
Parks Canada's long-term goal is to establish at least one national park and one national marine conservation area in each of Canada's terrestrial and marine regions. The system of national parks, presented in Figure 1, represents Canada's terrestrial regions. There are 43 national parks representing 28 of Canada's 39 terrestrial regions, making the system over 70 percent complete and protecting approximately 301,500 square kilometres of Canada's lands.
The system of national historic sites includes places, persons and events of national historic significance. The long-term goal is for the system to represent the breadth and diversity of Canadian history. Canada's system of national historic sites (including historic canals) consists of 956 places of national historic significance. Of these, 167 are administered by Parks Canada, as displayed in Figure 2. The system also includes 648 national historic persons and 417 national historic events.
The system of national marine conservation areas, as shown in Figure 3, represents Canada's marine regions spanning its three oceans and the Great Lakes. With the addition of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in 2010, five of Canada's 29 marine regions are represented making the system 17 percent complete, protecting 14,846 square kilometres of Canada's marine and freshwater ecosystems.
More information on Parks Canada's mandate and responsibilities is available on its website at http://www.pc.gc.ca.
Figure 1: The System of National Parks of Canada
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Figure 2: National Historic Sites of Canada administered by Parks Canada
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Newfoundland and Labrador
- 1. Cape Spear Lighthouse
- 2. Signal Hill
- 3. Hawthorne Cottage
- 4. Castle Hill
- 5. Ryan Premises
- 6. L'Anse aux Meadows
- 7. Port au Choix
- 8. Red Bay
- 9. Hopedale Mission
- 10. Marconi
- 11. Fortress of Louisbourg
- 12. Wolfe's Landing
- 13. Royal Battery
- 14. Alexander Graham Bell
- 15. St. Peters Canal
- 16. St. Peters
- 17. Grassy Island Fort
- 18. Canso Islands
- 19. Fort McNab
- 20. Georges Island
- 21. Halifax Citadel
- 22. Prince of Wales Tower
- 23. York Redoubt
- 24. D'Anville's Encampment
- 25. Fort Sainte Marie de Grace
- 26. Fort Edward
- 27. Grand-Pré
- 28. Kejimkujik
- 29. Fort Anne
- 30. Charles Fort
- 31. Port-Royal
- 32. Melanson Settlement
- 33. Bloody Creek
- 34. Fort Lawrence
- 35. Beaubassin
Prince Edward Island
- 36. Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst
- 37. Ardgowan
- 38. Province House
- 39. Dalvay-by-the-Sea
- 40. L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish
- 41. Fort Gaspareaux
- 42. Fort Beauséjour - Fort Cumberland
- 43. La Coupe Dry Dock
- 44. Monument-Lefebvre
- 45. Boishébert
- 46. Beaubears Island Shipbuilding
- 47. Carleton Martello Tower
- 48. St. Andrews Blockhouse
- 49. Battle of the Restigouche
- 50. Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse
- 51. Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial
- 52. Lévis Forts
- 53. 57-63 St. Louis Street
- 54. Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux
- 55. Cartier-Brébeuf
- 56. Fortifications of Québec
- 57. Maillou House
- 58. Québec Garrison Club
- 59. Montmorency Park
- 60. Louis S. St. Laurent
- 61. Forges du Saint-Maurice
- 62. Saint-Ours Canal
- 63. Chambly Canal
- 64. Fort Chambly
- 65. Fort Ste. Thérèse
- 66. Fort Lennox
- 67. The Fur Trade at Lachine
- 68. Lachine Canal
- 69. Louis-Joseph Papineau
- 70. Sir George-Étienne Cartier
- 71. Battle of the Châteauguay
- 72. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal
- 73. Sir Wilfrid Laurier
- 74. Coteau-du-Lac
- 75. Carillon Barracks
- 76. Carillon Canal
- 77. Manoir Papineau
- 78. Fort Témiscamingue
- 79. Glengarry Cairn
- 80. Sir John Johnson House
- 81. Inverarden House
- 82. Battle of the Windmill
- 83. Fort Wellington
- 84. Laurier House
- 85. Rideau Canal
- 86. Merrickville Blockhouse
- 87. Bellevue House
- 88. Murney Tower
- 89. Kingston Fortifications
- 90. Shoal Tower
- 91. Fort Henry
- 92. Trent-Severn Waterway
- 93. Carrying Place of the Bay of Quinte
- 94. Peterborough Lift Lock
- 95. Mnjikaning Fish Weirs
- 96. HMCS Haida
- 97. Navy Island
- 98. Queenston Heights
- 99. Butler's Barracks
- 100. Fort George
- 101. Fort Mississauga
- 102. Mississauga Point Lighthouse
- 103. Battlefield of Fort George
- 104. Battle of Cook's Mills
- 105. Ridgeway Battlefield
- 106. Bethune Memorial House
- 107. Saint-Louis Mission
- 108. Woodside
- 109. Battle Hill
- 110. Southwold Earthworks
- 111. Point Clark Lighthouse
- 112. Fort Malden
- 113. Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse and Blockhouse
- 114. Fort St. Joseph
- 115. Sault Ste. Marie Canal
- 116. York Factory
- 117. Prince of Wales Fort
- 118. Lower Fort Garry
- 119. St. Andrew's Rectory
- 120. The Forks
- 121. Riel House
- 122. Forts Rouge, Garry and Gibraltar
- 123. Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex
- 124. Linear Mounds
- 125. Fort Espérance
- 126. Fort Pelly
- 127. Fort Livingstone
- 128. Motherwell Homestead
- 129. Batoche
- 130. Battle of Tourond's Coulee / Fish Creek
- 131. Fort Battleford
- 132. Frenchman Butte
- 133. Fort Walsh
- 134. Cypress Hills Massacre
- 135. Frog Lake
- 136. First Oil Well in Western Canada
- 137. Bar U Ranch
- 138. Rocky Mountain House
- 139. Skoki Ski Lodge
- 140. Cave and Basin
- 141. Howse Pass
- 142. Banff Park Museum
- 143. Abbot Pass Refuge Cabin
- 144. Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
- 145. Jasper Park Information Centre
- 146. Athabasca Pass
- 147. Yellowhead Pass
- 148. Jasper House
- 149. Twin Falls Tea House
- 150. Kicking Horse Pass
- 151. Kootenae House
- 152. Rogers Pass
- 153. Fort Langley
- 154. Stanley Park
- 155. Gulf of Georgia Cannery
- 156. Fisgard Lighthouse
- 157. Fort Rodd Hill
- 158. Fort St. James
- 159. Gitwangak Battle Hill
- 160. Nan Sdins
- 161. Chilkoot Trail
- 162. S.S. Klondike
- 163. Dredge Nº. 4
- 164. Dawson Historical Complex
- 165. S.S. Keno
- 166. Former Territorial Court House
Figure 3: The System of National Marine Conservation Areas of Canada
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Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture
Figure 4 presents Parks Canada's Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture (PAA). There are no changes from the previous year.
Figure 4: Parks Canada Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture 2012-13
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|Establishing National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas
||Heritage Places Establishment
Over the period of March 2007 to March 2013, Parks Canada will increase the number of terrestrial regions represented in the national park system by one. The Agency will make yearly demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in three unrepresented terrestrial regions and towards establishing national marine conservation areas in two unrepresented marine regions. The establishment and expansion of national parks and marine conservation areas create additional opportunities for Canadians to connect with their heritage places.
|Conserving Canada's Heritage Places
||Heritage Resources Conservation
Parks Canada will continue to lead active management projects to improve key ecological integrity indicators in 20 national parks by March 2015. Actions will also continue to improve 70% of Parks Canada's national historic sites where the condition of cultural resources of national significance was rated as poor, within five years of the original assessment. Addressing priority conservation challenges in Canada's national parks and national historic sites will help ensure that Canadians of this and future generations can continue to enjoy them.
|Increasing Canadians' Connection with Parks Canada Places
||Previously committed to
||Public Appreciation and Understanding
Parks Canada will undertake activities to connect and interact with new Canadians, youth and young adults in Canada's largest cities by working with partners and supporters, and by employing channels such as mass and social media. A number of actions will focus on raising awareness and increasing connection with audiences in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
||Previously committed to
Targeted Parks Canada initiatives will attract 22.4 million visits annually to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas by March 2015 up from 20.7 million visits in 2008-09. This will be done by diversifying and renewing visitor experience opportunities and increasing the desirability of these locations as travel destinations.
||Heritage Resources Conservation
Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure
Parks Canada will continue to develop its asset management policy framework in order to provide nationally consistent guidance, business processes and tools for prioritization of its capital investments.
|One Team, One Vision
Parks Canada will focus its efforts on leveraging the talent and engagement of its team of employees in the collective achievement of the Agency Vision, which focuses on creating a sense of connection to Canada's natural and cultural heritage.
* Type is defined as follows: Previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the plan; Ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the plan; and New—newly committed to in the year of the plan.
During the period covered by this plan, Parks Canada will continue to integrate risk management in all its functions and to improve information on risk management and tools available to managers.
Parks Canada identified its corporate risks to inform the development of this plan and support decision making throughout the year. These risks could prevent the Agency from achieving its strategic outcome and expected results at the program activity level. The following is a summary of the Agency's four key corporate risks and their mitigation measures:
Key Corporate Risk: Competitive Position
Visitation at Canada's national parks and national historic sites is variable from year to year. Overall, Parks Canada continues to see a decline in visitation; however, National Park visitation is starting to show an upward trend. Visitation is key to Parks Canada's competitive position and therefore the Agency has worked to increase awareness of national parks and national historic sites through increased media presence, special events and 100th anniversary celebrations.
To mitigate its Competitive Position risk, the Agency continues to enhance the tools and training available to the dedicated teams of external relations and visitor experience professionals. New Visitor Experience tools will guide the development of products and services sought by Canadians and international visitors. Programs such as alternative accommodations, new recreational activities and service standards will improve visitors' experience. Parks Canada will also mitigate this key corporate risk through proactive events and promotion of the places and products available to visitors at Canada's natural and historic treasures and will support and capitalize on the Government of Canada's commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The Agency will establish and implement a brand architecture for the places it manages that will provide a national framework for all functions across Parks Canada to consistently prioritize efforts, in support of improving competitive positioning.
Key Corporate Risk: Environmental Forces
Invasive alien species are the second most significant threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Invasive alien species have also been identified as a stressor for most national parks. These threats are exacerbated by other factors over which Parks Canada has no control, such as the emerging effects of climate change and habitat degradation outside of national parks, and, in the case of national historic sites, shoreline erosion. Parks Canada has, therefore, recognized as one of its key corporate risks that its ability to maintain or improve overall ecological integrity in national parks and meet legal requirements related to species at risk may be hindered by external environmental forces mentioned above.
To mitigate its Environmental Forces risk, Parks Canada will continue to implement the Action on the Ground initiative, which uses a strategic approach to focus on improving priority ecological integrity indicators. Parks Canada will work to recover priority species at risk using multi-species and threat-based approaches to priority setting. In addition, the Agency will participate in environmental assessments for priority projects affecting protected areas, identify and develop new policies and guidelines in response to emerging park and marine conservation area management issues and continue to examine opportunities to better protect, connect and restore protected area ecosystems.
At national historic sites located at or near shorelines, notably York Factory (Manitoba), Fortress of Louisbourg (Nova Scotia), and Navy Island (Ontario), erosion continues to threaten cultural resources. This has worsened over time due to effects such as melting permafrost and stronger than usual storms. Parks Canada is mitigating these risks through strategic application of immediate actions and longer-term plans. Parks Canada is responding to this risk through development of a Coastal Conservation Plan for the Fortress of Louisbourg and salvage archaeology at all sites facing this risk.
Key Corporate Risk: Natural Disasters
The frequency and severity of natural disasters in Canada is an increasing and constant reality. The most significant events affecting Parks Canada operations and Canadians in communities within and surrounding parks and sites include wildfires, floods, avalanches and landslides, hurricanes, storm surges, blizzards and hail. The identification of strategies to better prepare the Agency to respond in these situations as well as minimize their financial impact is key. In addition, the successful implementation of these strategies will depend on the participation and contribution of all levels of government and our partners.
To mitigate the Natural Disasters risk, Parks Canada will continue to update and exercise its emergency and business continuity plans in line with the principles of the National Disaster Mitigation Strategy, led by Public Safety Canada. The Agency will ensure that its agreements with partners and stakeholders clearly outline roles and responsibilities for responding to emergency events and that personnel continue to receive appropriate training in accordance with legal requirements. Parks Canada will also facilitate and share information on risk and hazard identification with partners and promote risk reduction in decision making. Parks Canada is identifying geographical areas at risk, allocating resources for inspections of high-risk assets, and will continue to allocate its funding to the highest-priority risk areas.
Key Corporate Risk: Asset Management
As one of the largest federal custodians, Parks Canada manages a diverse and widespread portfolio of assets with a current replacement value of more than $11 billion. The management of assets, both contemporary and cultural, is central to the delivery of three of the five program activities in the Agency as well as for internal services delivery. The protection of cultural assets is an end in itself, while contemporary assets are a means to achieve the Agency's mandate and program objectives. Aging infrastructure and/or insufficient levels of recapitalization and maintenance could result in failure of assets and/or significant impairment of built cultural resources, which could compromise public safety, hinder Parks Canada's ability to deliver on its mandate and damage the Agency's reputation. Investment levels over the past decade have not been proportionate to the rate of deterioration of assets. Consequently, the Agency has had to close certain facilities for safety reasons and may be forced to close additional facilities in the future. Parks Canada has, therefore, recognized Asset Management as a key corporate risk. To help mitigate this risk, Parks Canada is continuing the development of its policy framework, which includes directives, standards and guidelines that provide consistent direction to operational units in the management of assets. Given the current levels of capital funding, the Agency will continue to focus its efforts on high-risk categories of assets such as dams, bridges and highways on throughways. Strategic investments are being made to inspect and maintain these assets in a manner that ensures public safety as well as promotes visitor enjoyment and socio-economic benefits.
Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act. The amounts reflect existing reference levels, statutory revenue and funding previously approved by Treasury Board. The decrease in planned spending is primarily in goods and services, capital and contribution funds. Key factors contributing to the decrease include the end of funding related to emergency response to natural disasters, and unanticipated health and safety-related recapitalization; the end of funding for the Trans Canada Trail; and the planned funding reduction for the Trans-Canada Highway twinning in Banff National Park as the project nears completion.
Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent FTE)
Strategic Outcome: Canadians have a strong sense of connection, through meaningful experiences, to their national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas and these protected places are enjoyed in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations.
|Percentage of national parks with maintained or improved overall ecological integrity
|| Maintain or improve the overall ecological integrity in all national parks from March 2008 to March 2013
|Overall average of commemorative integrity rating
||Improve the overall average commemorative integrity rating from 6.0/10 in March 2008 by March 2013
|Percentage of Canadians that report a personal connection to Parks Canada administered places
||65% of Canadians report a personal connection to Parks Canada administered places by March 2014
Note: National marine conservation areas are in their early development stages and their performance framework is still to be developed.
This strategic outcome target is also a target under Goal 6: Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (Theme III: Protecting Nature) for which Parks Canada has been identified as the federal lead.
Planning Summary Table
|Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
|Heritage Places Establishment
||A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage
|Heritage Resources Conservation
||A clean and healthy environment
|Public Appreciation and Understanding
||A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage
||A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage
|Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure
||A safe and secure Canada
|Total Planned Spending
* Forecast Spending 2011-12 includes the amount of $7.5 million deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada effective November 15, 2011.
** Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.
Due to rounding, figures may not add up to totals shown.
Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) outlines the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the transparency of environmental decision making by articulating its key strategic environmental goals and targets. Parks Canada ensures that consideration of these outcomes is an integral part of its decision-making processes. In particular, through the federal Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, any new policy, plan or program initiative includes an analysis of its impact on attaining the FSDS goals and targets. The results of SEAs are made public when an initiative is announced, demonstrating the department's commitment to achieving the FSDS goals and targets.
Parks Canada contributes to Theme III - Protecting Nature and to Theme IV - Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government as denoted by the following visual identifiers:
Theme III: Protecting Nature
Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government
These contributions are components of the following Program Activities:
- Heritage Places Establishment
- Heritage Resources Conservation
- Public Appreciation and Understanding
- Visitor Experience
- Internal Services
With regards to Theme lll: Protecting Nature, Parks Canada is the federal lead of the Park Protected Habitat target under Goal 6: Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection. This target is aligned with the following Parks Canada target at the strategic outcome level: maintain or improve the overall ecological integrity of all national parks from March 2008 to March 2013. Please refer to the Planning Summary in Section 1 of this plan.
For additional details on Parks Canada's activities to support sustainable development, please see Section II of this plan and/or visit the Library section of the Parks Canada website at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/bib-lib/index.aspx. For complete details on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy please see Environment Canada's website at
For the 2012-13 fiscal year, Parks Canada's budget to meet the expected results of its program activities and contribute to its strategic outcome is $652 million. This amount reflects the operating budget freeze and the requirement to absorb collective agreement salary increases (approximately $4.5 million ongoing for Parks Canada) that was announced as part of the Federal Budget 2010. To address these cost containment measures, Parks Canada has put in place targeted restrictions on staffing vacant positions as well as operational cost controls. The Agency is closely monitoring its resources to ensure that operating costs are contained and resources reallocated throughout the year as necessary.
Figure 5 illustrates Parks Canada's spending trend from 2009-10 to 2016-17. Two trends are represented: the Agency's total spending excluding Canada's Economic Action Plan (CEAP) and the total spending including CEAP.
For the 2009-10 and 2010-11 period, the total spending includes all Parliamentary appropriation and revenue sources: Main Estimates, Supplementary Estimates, Treasury Board Central Votes and revenues from user fees and rights and privileges. It also includes carry forward adjustments. For the 2011-12 fiscal year, the forecast spending represents the planned budgetary and statutory expenditures as presented in the Estimates documents (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates) reduced by a projected deferral of planned expenditures. For the 2012-13 to 2016-17 period, the planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the Agency's strategic outcome.
As shown in Figure 5, since 2009-10, Parks Canada's spending level remains stable with a reduction starting in 2012-13. This reduction is mainly due to the transfer of a portion of the Agency's information technology responsibilities to Shared Services Canada.
Total spending excluding CEAP is continuing to decrease over the next two years primarily due to the completion of the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park of Canada.
Figure 5: Parks Canada Agency Spending Trend 2009-10 to 2016-17
The significant increase in spending in years 2009-10 and 2010-11, represented by the dotted line, reflects monies received through CEAP. This included $217 million for improvements and upgrades to national historic sites and Parks Canada's visitor facilities; $130 million over five years to complete the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park of Canada to the British Columbia border; and approximately $25 million for the assessment and remediation of federal contaminated sites.
Figure 6 displays the allocation of Parks Canada funding by program activity. Parks Canada funding is primarily allocated to Program Activity 2 Heritage Resources Conservation and Program Activity 4 Visitor Experience as they relate to the operations of the heritage places administered by the Agency. Internal Services are displayed separately from program activities. Parks Canada plans to spend $71.5 million on Internal Services, which corresponds to 11 percent of its total funding.
Figure 6: 2012-13 Allocation of Funding by Program Activity
Estimates by Vote
For information on the Agency's organizational appropriations, please see the 2012-13 Main Estimates publication. An electronic version of the Main Estimates is available at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/est-pre/20122013/p2-eng.asp.
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