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2011-2012 Parks Canada Agency Corporate Plan

Chief Executive Officer's Message

Alan Latourelle, Chef Executive Officer - Parks Canada Agency

In 1911, when Canada was still a very young country, the Canadian government created the Dominion Parks Branch, a service entirely dedicated to the protection of parks. It was a new idea at the time; in fact, Canada was the first country in the world to establish a national park service. The Dominion Parks Branch evolved to become the Parks Canada Agency that we know today.

Since its inception 100 years ago, the scope of Canada's national park service has grown from 17 national parks covering 47,000 square kilometres to 42 national parks covering 320,000 square kilometres, with an expanded mandate that includes the conservation of national historic sites and the sustainable use of national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada will continue to establish and expand these heritage places to ensure that they represent and embody the collectivity of what is Canada.

Year after year, generation after generation, Canadians have shown strong support and appreciation for our country's natural and cultural resources. Over time, Parks Canada has developed strong relationships with Canada's Aboriginal peoples and with neighbouring communities in the establishment and management of our heritage places, relationships that are built on trust and respect; we have developed innovative practices in cultural and natural resources management and, in so doing, have become a world leader in heritage conservation. Today, Parks Canada relies on a team of dedicated and passionate professionals, who have the knowledge and the skills to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of the 21st century.

Canadians are changing and Parks Canada is responding by reaching out to them in their communities to offer renewed and diversified visitor experiences. By inviting them to visit the protected areas we so proudly maintain on their behalf, we ensure that each new generation of Canadians will become the next generation of stewards of Canada's inspiring natural and cultural heritage.

This centennial anniversary is an opportunity for the team members and the Agency to reflect on past accomplishments, to be proud of its progress and success, and to plan for the future of the Agency. This will be an endeavour that will shape the Agency for the next generation and will require efforts and dedication from all of us. This is also an opportunity to reconfirm our commitment to increase Canadians' personal connection with their heritage places which represent the very essence of our country.

The original version was signed by

Alan Latourelle
Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada Agency

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