When a nomination is received, the Secretariat first checks that it contains all the required components. If so, it is sent on to Parks Canada Cultural Sciences Branch, where a preliminary research is conducted to ensure that it meets the criteria and guidelines and that there is sufficient documentation for a report to be prepared for the Board.
Flowchart of the Designation Process © Parks Canada
After that step, which takes approximately four months, the Secretariat contacts the applicant to convey the decision as to whether or not the nomination will be submitted to the Board. If so, the date of the meeting at which it will be considered, usually a year later (meetings take place only twice a year) will be confirmed. During this time, an historian from the Cultural Sciences Branch prepares a report on the subject and visits the location of the site if the application applies to a place.
During the meeting, the Board reviews the reports on each subject and issues a recommendation, or asks for clarifications on certain aspects of an application. When clarifications are required, the subject will be resubmitted at a subsequent meeting.
Because of the advisory role of the Board, the meetings are held in camera. The Board's recommendations are recorded in the minutes of the meeting and sent on to the Minister of the Environment for his approval. It may take a year or more before the Minister approves and signs the minutes.
The Board's recommendations remain confidential until the Minister confirms them. Although we may share the contents of meetings' agendas, we cannot reveal the recommendations, research documents or excerpts of meetings' minutes. All such documents later become public and may be distributed once the Minister has approved them.
If an unfavourable recommendation is made by the Board, the subject may be resubmitted if new, significant information is discovered or if applicable criteria or guidelines change.
Reconsideration of a subject may also be requested 15 or more years later.