2012-2013 Parks Canada Agency Corporate Plan

Section II - Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Parks Canada has one strategic outcome as follows:

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 future generations.

This section describes the program activities that support this strategic outcome and identifies the expected result, performance indicators and targets for each of them. It explains how Parks Canada plans to meet the expected results and presents the financial and non-financial resources that are planned to be dedicated to each program activity.

This section also identifies activities contributing to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) using the visual identifiers described in Section 1 of this plan.

Progress made in achieving performance expectations for all program activities is reported annually in the Parks Canada Agency Performance Report. The report on the state of natural and historic places administered by Parks Canada can also be found in the Library section of the Parks Canada website at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/bib-lib/index.aspx.

Program Activity 1 - Heritage Places Establishment

Program Activity Description:

This program includes systems planning, completing feasibility studies, research, consulting with stakeholders and the public, negotiating with other governments and Aboriginal organizations and obtaining Ministerial approval, resulting in established national parks and national marine conservation areas and designated national historic sites of Canada and other heritage places. Canada's national parks and national marine conservation areas, as well as the persons, places and events of national historic significance to Canada are symbols to the world and are part of the fabric of the nation. Preservation of Canada's natural and cultural heritage and making it available to Canadians for discovery and enjoyment is of key importance. Establishing heritage places is essential to enhancing pride, encouraging stewardship and giving expression to our identity as Canadians, and involving Canada in the internationally shared objective of protecting and commemorating the best of the world's natural and cultural heritage.

Financial Resources ($000s)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
15,751 15,718 15,718 15,723 15,723

Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTE)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
77 77 77 77 77


Expected Result of Program Activity: Represented regions in the systems of national parks and national marine conservation areas; the system of national historic sites represents the breadth and diversity of Canada's history.
Performance Indicators: Targets:

Number of represented terrestrial natural regions in the system of national parks

Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress in advancing through steps towards establishing national parks1

Increase the number of represented terrestrial natural regions from 28 in March 2007 to 29 of 39 by March 2013

Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in three unrepresented regions2

Percentage of yearly commemorations for under-represented themes in Canada's history 33% of yearly commemorations are for under-represented themes in Canada's history

Number of represented marine regions in the system of national marine conservation areas

Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress in advancing through steps towards establishing national marine conservation areas3

Increase the number of represented marine regions from 3 in October 2007 to 5 of 29 by March 2013

Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas in two unrepresented regions4


Theme III icon - Protecting Nature Planning Highlights:

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Establish one new national park in an unrepresented terrestrial region; complete feasibility assessments for two other potential national parks in unrepresented terrestrial regions (identified in Figure 1).
  • Complete feasibility assessments for two potential national marine conservation areas in unrepresented marine regions (identified in Figure 3).
  • In accordance with Government of Canada direction, conclude the work to designate Sable Island (N.S. ) under the Canada National Parks Act, and establish Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve (N.W.T. ) to better protect the headwaters of the South Nahanni River.
  • In support of a priority in the 2011 Speech from the Throne, work with provincial, regional, municipal, Aboriginal, agricultural and community stakeholders towards establishing a national urban park in the Rouge Valley of the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Continue to support the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and the Minister in the designation and commemoration of places, persons and events of national historic significance that represent the breadth and diversity of Canadian history.
  • Implement the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, with a particular focus on the close of the petition period in May 2012 (deadline by which Canadians can nominate federally-owned lighthouses for heritage designation). Research and evaluate the heritage value of federally-owned lighthouses nominated for designation by members of the public.
  • Continue to evaluate approximately 400 federally-owned buildings annually in collaboration with other federal departments and agencies, and make recommendations to the Minister for the designation of buildings that are determined to be of heritage value as federal heritage buildings.

Program Activity 2 - Heritage Resources Conservation

Program Activity Description:

This program includes maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity in national parks through protection of natural resources and natural processes; ensuring the commemorative integrity of national historic sites managed by Parks Canada and influencing the commemorative integrity of those managed or owned by third parties; the protection and management of cultural resources under the administration of Parks Canada; and the sustainable use of national marine conservation areas including protection of unique marine ecosystems. This program also includes fulfilling legal responsibilities assigned to Parks Canada by the Species at Risk Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The protection of Canada's most special natural and cultural resources ensures that current and future generations will enjoy a system of protected heritage places.

Financial Resources ($000s)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
163,965 156,953 154,352 154,350 153,610

Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTE)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
1,180 1,180 1,180 1,180 1,178


Expected Result of Program Activity: Management actions result in improvements to ecological integrity indicators in national parks, and the state of cultural resources of national historic significance (level 1) in national historic sites is improved.
Performance Indicators: Targets:
Number of national parks with one improved ecological integrity indicator 20 national parks improve 1 ecological integrity indicator by March 2015
Percentage of the national historic sites where the condition of cultural resources of national significance (level 1) are rated as poor that are improved 70% of the national historic sites where the condition of cultural resources of national significance (level 1) rated as poor are improved within five years of original assessment

Theme III icon - Protecting Nature Planning Highlights:

The assets managed under this program activity represent close to a quarter of Parks Canada's asset portfolio and are core to the Agency's mandate. Over the past decade, investment in recapitalization and maintenance has not been proportionate to the rate of deterioration of these 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, identified asset management as one of its key corporate risks and as one of its corporate priorities.

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Continue to address conservation challenges and demonstrate improvements in key indicators of ecological integrity in 20 of Canada's national parks through active management and restoration initiatives. The focus of our actions is on priority management issues identified in park management plans. Examples of projects to be carried out in 2012-13 include:
    • Restoration activities will be carried out in the endangered Carolinian habitat mosaic, specifically the Lake Erie Sandspit Savannah in Point Pelee National Park of Canada, such as re-introducing fire, addressing invasive alien species, active management of hyper-abundant species as well as enhancing the visitor experience and providing a suite of new "citizen science" opportunities for park visitors. First Nations, community and corporate groups, individual volunteers and youth will directly participate in ecological restoration and monitoring efforts.
    • Continuing with the black-footed ferret reintroduction in Grasslands National Park of Canada with a focus on population monitoring, an activity which is undertaken with volunteer support. This ongoing project is part of a larger program of prairie restoration that includes native re-vegetation of formerly cultivated fields, control of invasive plant species, and the use of controlled grazing and prescribed fire to achieve ecosystem management objectives.
  • Develop a national policy framework to provide the foundation for regulations, zoning, monitoring and reporting, and to guide the management of ecologically sustainable uses and activities within national marine conservation areas, by 2013.
  • Continue to work towards the reintroduction of fire as a necessary ecological process in support of the maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity in national parks. Parks Canada will conduct prescribed burns, reduce flammable vegetation and, when required, manage wildfires. In coming years, fire management will likely be challenged by a predicted increase in occurrence and intensity of wildfires, according to current climate models.
  • Deliver a program entitled "Understanding Climate-Driven Ecological Change in Canada's North" with funding in the amount of $2.41 million over five years (2011-12 to 2015-16) received under the Clean Air Agenda. As part of this program, the Agency will work with park management boards to assess how ecological integrity and traditional land use may be affected by climate-driven changes in northern national parks.
  • Undertake risk reduction activities (through remediation and/or risk management) at up to 40 high-priority federal contaminated sites by 2013-14 to reduce risks to human health and the environment, with funding in the amount of $9.1 million over three years (2011-12 to 2013-14) from the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan.
  • Work towards maintaining or improving the commemorative integrity of the national historic sites the Agency administers, with particular attention to improving the condition of selected built cultural resources. An example of a project to be carried out in 2012-13 is conservation work at Fort Mississauga National Historic Site of Canada to stabilize the tower, sally port, powder magazines and other resources. Once the key cultural resources have been stabilized and preserved, subsequent visitor experience related investments will ensure that compelling stories associated with this site can be brought to life.
  • Administer the Parks Canada National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program to support the conservation of national historic sites not owned by the federal government. The program will continue to provide funding for not-for-profit organizations and other levels of government to carry out conservation projects at their national historic sites. Additional information on this program is available in the Transfer Payment Program Table found in Section III of this plan.
  • Support the conservation of federal heritage buildings through the provision of heritage conservation advice to custodial departments and agencies.

Program Activity 3 - Public Appreciation and Understanding

Program Activity Description:

This program activity aims to increase Canadians' understanding, appreciation, support and engagement with respect to the natural and historical heritage of Parks Canada administered places. This is accomplished by reaching Canadians at home, at leisure, at school and in their communities through relevant and effective communication and public outreach education initiatives as well as by engaging many stakeholders and partners in the development and implementation of the Agency's future direction.

Financial Resources ($000s)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
46,481 41,388 40,892 39,846 39,809

Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTE)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
414 414 412 411 411


Expected Result of Program Activity: Canadians appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada and support their protection and presentation.
Performance Indicators: Targets:
Percentage of Canadians that appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada 60% of Canadians appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada by March 2014
Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada 80% of Canadians support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada by March 2014

Theme III icon - Protecting Nature Planning Highlights:

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Continue to expand its reach, increase its visibility and provide relevant opportunities for urban and new Canadians' initial connection with Parks Canada in the metropolitan areas of Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. Relying on focused investment, partner support and outreach strategies, the key planned activities include broadcast initiatives; outreach events and exhibits in high traffic venues; integration of Parks Canada experiences into new citizen events and materials; and working with the arts and music communities to connect with urban audiences.
  • Enhance its outreach activities to include messaging related to the Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812, to increase Canadians' awareness of Parks Canada and connection to Canada's national historic sites, persons and events.
  • Provide opportunities for youth and young adults to interact with Parks Canada people and places. Key planned activities include the My Parks Pass program; The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Youth Ambassador Program; and the strategic use of social media and new technologies.
  • Provide increased opportunities for Canadians to be involved with Parks Canada places in activities they consider meaningful and relevant, including consultations, open doors and an increasing array of volunteer activities.
  • Focus on proactive media relations targeting daily news, specialized media as well as broadcast initiatives to engage Canadians. Strengthen successful relationships with existing media and expand efforts to engage new media partners in the coverage of Parks Canada stories. Strategic investment in social media and the renewal of the Parks Canada website will enable Canadians to interact with Parks Canada in their homes, schools and places of leisure.
  • Finalize the framework to engage Aboriginal peoples in the planning and management of heritage places administered by Parks Canada. As part of this framework, Parks Canada will establish Aboriginal advisory relationships in various locations across the organization, guided by the unique legal and cultural contexts of the different Aboriginal groups, by 2013.

Program Activity 4 - Visitor Experience

Program Activity Description:

This program supports the opportunities provided for the more than 20 million visits that are made annually to Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas by Canadians and international visitors. The visitor experience is the sum total of a visitor's personal interaction with the protected heritage place that helps them create meaning and establish connection with the place. The experience begins with awareness of the site, followed by planning the visit, travelling to and welcoming and orientation upon arrival. During the visitor's time on site, it includes participation in recreational and interpretive activities and the use of accommodation, trails, facilities, services and supporting infrastructure. This is followed by departure and the post-visit relationship. Investments in the different stages of the visitor experience cycle facilitate opportunities for enjoyment and learning, leading to a sense of personal connection and the continued relevance of Canada's protected heritage places for Canadians.

Financial Resources ($000s)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
239,852 237,666 237,553 236,685 236,685

Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTE)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
2,085 2,085 2,085 2,085 2,085


Expected Result of Program Activity: Visitors at surveyed locations feel a sense of personal connection to the places visited.
Performance Indicators: Targets:
Average percentage of visitors that consider the place is meaningful to them On average, 85% of visitors at all surveyed locations consider the place meaningful
Average percentage of visitors that are satisfied, and average percentage that are very satisfied, with their visit On average, 90% of visitors at surveyed locations are satisfied and on average, 50% are very satisfied, with their visit

Theme III icon - Protecting Nature Planning Highlights:

The assets managed under this program activity represent over 40 percent of Parks Canada's asset portfolio. Visitor facilities provide opportunities for Canadians to have meaningful experiences and personally connect to Canada's heritage places. Over the past decade, investment in recapitalization and maintenance has not been proportionate to the rate of deterioration of these 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, identified asset management as one of its key corporate risks and as one of its corporate priorities.

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:


  • Position each heritage place within the local tourism marketplace, identify key target segments and use a market-based approach to attract and grow these segments. Integral to this approach will be the renewal and diversification of visitor experiences in selected sites, such as varied accommodation offers, recreational activities, special events and interpretive products.
  • Increase Canadians' and international travellers' awareness of the available visitor experience opportunities at its heritage places by increasing brand awareness, collaborative promotional programs with industry partners and focused communications to target markets.
  • Provide a wide range of visitor experience opportunities to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, including a "Parks Canada Portable Experience" programming that offers insights into the life of a soldier at home and on the front lines; battle re-enactments; aboriginal history programming; theatre performances; concerts and sunset ceremonies.
  • Develop new visitor experiences, such as the Xplorers program or the Learn to Camp event, that appeal to new Canadians, young families and young adults, in order to increase their visitation to national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
  • Support Canada's Federal Tourism Strategy: "Welcoming the World," by promoting authentic experiences for visitors and fostering economic and tourism opportunities in its heritage places.
  • Renew Parks Canada's Visitor Safety Program to assess the risks to which visitors are exposed and to deliver a program that mitigates those risks and provides search and rescue services as required.

Program Activity 5 - Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure

Program Activity Description:

This program involves managing, operating and providing municipal services to five townsite communities5 within Canada's national parks. It also involves the operation of provincial and inter-provincial highways and waterways6 that connect communities and pass through national parks and national historic sites.

Financial Resources ($000s)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
113,933 93,241 88,241 88,254 88,254

Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTE)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
263 262 262 262 262


Expected Result of Program Activity: Condition of contemporary infrastructure for townsites and waterways is maintained or improved, and through highways are open to traffic.
Performance Indicators: Targets:
Percentage of townsite contemporary assets that are maintained, and percentage of townsite contemporary assets rated as poor or fair that are improved The condition of 75% of townsite contemporary assets is maintained, and the condition of 25% of assets rated as poor or fair is improved by March 2013
Percentage of waterway contemporary assets that are maintained, and percentage of waterway contemporary assets rated as poor or fair that are improved The condition of 75% of waterway contemporary assets is maintained, and the condition of 25% of assets rated as poor or fair is improved by March 2013
Number of days of closure of through highways due to asset condition Zero (0) days of closure of through highways due to asset condition

Planning Highlights:

The assets managed under this program activity represent more than a quarter of Parks Canada's asset portfolio, and include such things as highways, contemporary bridges and dams on historic canals and municipal structures in national park townsites. Over the past decade, investment in recapitalization and maintenance has not been proportionate to the rate of deterioration of these 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, identified asset management as one of its key corporate risks and as one of its corporate priorities.

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Complete the twinning (two-directional widening) of the Trans-Canada Highway within Banff National Park of Canada, including repairs to existing bridges, final landscaping and clean-up. The twinning of the remaining 3.5 kilometres east of Lake Louise, funded through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, will be completed by the end of 2012-13. The twinning of the remaining six kilometres west of Lake Louise to the Alberta/British Columbia border, funded through Canada's Economic Action Plan, is expected to be completed by 2013-14.
  • Continue delivering a comprehensive inspection program and make targeted infrastructure investments in maintenance and rehabilitation of bridges and dams to ensure through highways and through waterways remain safe and open.
  • Examine critical issues facing canal infrastructure, including public safety risks associated with aging assets as well as others related to environmental and municipal responsibilities, to determine investment priorities and funding strategies.
  • Continue the five-year townsite asset inspection cycle in order to identify and prioritize investment needs.

Internal Services

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These groups are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resource Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; Acquisition Services; and Travel and Other Administrative Services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Financial Resources ($000s)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
71,546 68,111 62,471 61,482 61,439

Planned Spending is provided over a five year horizon in accordance with the Parks Canada Agency Act.


Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalent - FTE)


2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
492 492 492 491 491

Theme IV icon - Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with GovernmentPlanning Highlights:

With regard to its Internal Services, Parks Canada will:

  • Continue to make progress in implementing the new financial policy direction over two disciplines: internal control and financial resource management, information and reporting. A specific area of focus in 2012-13 is the implementation of the Agency action plan to strengthen internal controls.
  • Continue to enhance its internal audit function through improvements in the planning process, such as more clearly defining the audit scope, providing descriptions and costing information for individual audit projects and formally integrating a risk based approach to prioritizing audit projects. This, in turn, will ensure that audit efforts are targeted to provide the most value for the Agency. These improvements will also lead to enhancements in overall quality assurance reporting and to improved adherence to the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit. An inspection of the Agency's internal audit practices is planned for completion by March 2013.
  • Implement the Treasury Board Policy on Investment Planning Assets and Acquired Services. The Investment Plan will support sound planning and investment decisions and support the Agency in advancing infrastructure improvements to minimize risks and liabilities in program delivery.
  • Finalize its Departmental Security Plan in 2012 and continue to implement its security program to comply with the new Treasury Board Policy on Government Security.
  • Continue to make progress identifying information resources of business value to facilitate effective recordkeeping practices and achieve full compliance with the Treasury Board Directive on Recordkeeping.
  • Focus on engaging its workforce and creating a relevant and effective workplace and will leverage the flexibility of its HR Regime by actively seeking opportunities to renew people management activities to ensure they are effective and affordable. An e-learning strategy will be developed to improve the quality of, and access to, learning resources while reducing costs. Additionally, the Agency will continue work on the upgrade of its human resource information management system, with a focus on enhanced automation of HR processes.
  • Continue to support its evolving relationships with Aboriginal peoples (First Nation, Inuit and Métis) in order to promote the inclusion of Aboriginal voices in all aspects of the management and protection of Canada's heritage places. Over the next two years, the Agency will develop tools and deliver training to staff in the area of Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation.
  • Minimize the environmental impact of its operations in accordance with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy by demonstrating progress in specific areas identified in the Greening Government Operations Table found in Section III.

Footnotes

1, 2 Performance Indicator and Target for National Park Establishment and Expansion sub activity of Parks Canada's Program Activity Architecture (Figure 4)

3, 4 Performance Indicator and Target for National Marine Conservation Area Establishment sub activity of Parks Canada's Program Activity Architecture (Figure 4)

5 Townsite communities include Field in Yoho National Park of Canada, British Columbia; Lake Louise in Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta; Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park of Canada, Manitoba; Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park of Canada, Saskatchewan; and Waterton in Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada, Alberta. Two other townsites, Banff and Jasper, are self-governed since 1990 and 2002, respectively. Parks Canada retains authority for community plans and by-laws in Banff, and for community plans, land-use planning and development in Jasper.

6 Waterways, which support commercial and recreational boating as well as other recreational activities, include the Trent-Severn Waterway, the Rideau and Sault Ste. Marie canals in Ontario; the Carillon, Chambly, Lachine, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Saint-Ours canals in Quebec; and the St. Peters canal in Nova Scotia.



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