2013-2014 Report on Plans and Priorities

Section II- Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

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 programs 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.

This section also identifies programs 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 programs is reported annually in the Parks Canada Agency Performance Reportvii. The report on the State of Canada’s Natural and Historic Placesviii administered by Parks Canada can also be found in the Library section of the Parks Canada websiteix.

Program 1 – Heritage Places Establishment

Program Description

This program includes systems planning, completing feasibility assessments, research, consulting with Aboriginal peoples, 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 ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
15,194 47,392 17,475 20,245


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
64 63 63


Program
Expected Results
Performance Indicators Targets
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 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 2012 to 30 of 39 by March 2015

Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in one unrepresented region1
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 unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress in advancing through steps towards establishing national marine conservation areas2 Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas in two unrepresented regions2

1 Performance Indicator and Target for National Park Establishment and Expansion sub program of Parks Canada’s Program Alignment Architecture (Figure 4)
2 Performance Indicator and Target for National Marine Conservation Area Establishment sub program of Parks Canada’s Program Alignment Architecture (Figure 4)

Icon representing Theme 3 - Protecting Nature Planning Highlights

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Establish two new national parks in unrepresented terrestrial regions; complete a feasibility study assessment for one other potential national park in an unrepresented terrestrial region (identified in Figure 1).
  • Complete feasibility assessments for two potential national marine conservation areas in unrepresented marine regions (identified in Figure 3).
  • Conclude the work to designate Sable Island National Park Reserve, Nova Scotia under the Canada National Parks Act.
  • In support of a priority in the 2011 Speech from the Throne, work with provincial, regional, municipal, Aboriginal, agricultural and community partners and 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.
  • Continue to support the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and the Minister in the designation of heritage lighthouses in accordance with the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Program 2 – Heritage Resources Conservation

Program 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 ecologically 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 ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
157,141 172,078 155,839 154,199


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
990 983 985


Program
Expected Results
Performance Indicators Targets
Management actions result in improvements to ecological integrity indicators in national parks, and the state of cultural resources of national significance in national historic sites is improved 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 rated as poor in their initial assessment are improved 60% of the national historic sites where the condition of cultural resources of national significance rated as poor in their initial assessment are improved by March 2014


Icon representing Theme 3 - Protecting NaturePlanning Highlights

While the overall goal for cultural resource conservation is to maintain or improve the commemorative integrity of the national historic sites administered by Parks Canada, the focus will be on the most pressing needs within available resources. Natural resource conservation will focus on priority ecological integrity issues where investment is most likely to deliver tangible results for Canadians.

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 2013-14 include:
    • The establishment of a wildlife crossing zone in Kootenay National Park to limit wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve landscape connections. The effectiveness of the new infrastructure will be monitored, and invasive plants will be controlled on disturbed sites. In addition, the project will include the participation of commercial truckers in recording roadside wildlife mortality, new content on the park website, interpretive theatre programs and interpretive panels as part of a day-use area upgrade.
    • Hyper-abundant moose management and balsam fir restoration will help ensure regeneration of balsam fir forests within Terra Nova National Park. Prescribed fire and silviculture techniques will also be used to maintain and restore black spruce forests. Healthy forests within the Park are crucial for the protection of habitat for Woodland Caribou and several species at risk. These activities are integrated with park-based and outreach programs, and stakeholder and partner engagement to raise appreciation for the Park's natural environment, the integral link between healthy forests and visitor experiences, and the need to protect forest ecosystems.
  • Develop action plans for protected heritage areas with five or more species at risk using a multi-species and site-based approach. These action plans will be used to focus conservation efforts on the highest priority species and the best opportunities for conservation outcomes.
  • 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 the end of 2013-14.
  • 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 use a combination of remote-sensing techniques and working with park co-operative 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 the end of 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.
  • Renew the national policy framework for cultural resource management to better identify and address the most critical cultural resource issues, in support of priority setting and investment decision-making.
  • Focus on the most urgently needed work on key built cultural resources at national historic sites administered by the Agency. An example of a project to be completed in 2013-14 is conservation work at Fort Mississauga National Historic Site of Canada to stabilize the tower, sally port, powder magazines and other resources.
  • 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 Details on Transfer Payment Programs table found in Section III of this plan.

Icon representing Theme 3 - Protecting NatureFSDS Target Led by Parks Canada

FSDS Goal Performance Indicator FSDS Target
Goal 6: Ecosystem/Habitat Conservation and Protection

Maintain productive and resilient ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and protect areas in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations
Percentage of ecosystems where the majority of ecosystem components are assessed as healthy Target 6.2: Terrestrial Ecosystems and Habitat-
Park Protected Habitat


Maintain or improve the overall ecological integrity in all national parks from March 2008 to March 2013

Note: In 2013-14 the government will finalize the second three-year cycle of the FSDS (2013-16), which will provide the basis for year-end performance reporting in 2013-14.

Program 3 – Public Appreciation and Understanding

Program Description

This program 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 in their daily lives when they are 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 ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
39,473 39,963 39,030 38,011


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
373 370 370


Program
Expected Results
Performance Indicators Targets
Canadians appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada and support their protection and presentation 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


Icon representing Theme 3 - Protecting NaturePlanning Highlights

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Undertake focussed awareness and connection initiatives particularly in the key metropolitan areas of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver where large segments of young and new Canadians are present. Key activities include: broadcast and new media initiatives; special events and outreach activities; and integration of Parks Canada experiences into new-citizen programs.
  • Continue to invest in social media and the renewal of the website to enable Canadians to interact more easily with Parks Canada.
  • Provide opportunities for youth and young adults to interact with Parks Canada team members and places to ensure future growth in the support for Parks Canada and awareness of nature and the history of Canada. Key activities include providing access to Parks Canada places through the My Parks Pass; youth to youth sharing experiences in Parks Canada places through The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Youth Ambassador Program; and partnerships with youth organizations to support experiencing and learning about Canada's history and natural treasured places.
  • Enhance opportunities for individual Canadians and Canadian organizations to become more involved with Parks Canada in a variety of activities they consider meaningful and relevant, including the celebration and commemoration of significant national anniversaries.
  • Identify, over the next two years, key strategic areas to advance relationship building with Aboriginal peoples (First Nation, Inuit and Métis) to promote the inclusion of Aboriginal voices in all aspects of the protection and presentation of Canada’s heritage places.

Program 4 – Visitor Experience

Program Description

This program supports the opportunities provided for approximately 20 million person-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 ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
226,351 235,484 236,799 240,380


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
2,090 2,009 2,018


Program
Expected Results
Performance Indicators Targets
Visitors at surveyed locations feel a sense of personal connection to the places visited 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 to them
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


Icon representing Theme 3 - Protecting NaturePlanning Highlights

The focus of Parks Canada’s plans for visitor experience is to connect Canadians to their natural and cultural heritage. This entails pursuing significant increases in visitation and related revenues: to better connect Canadians to Parks Canada places; to strengthen its places as key economic contributors in communities across Canada through partnerships; and to increase promotion to sustain and grow Parks Canada’s revenue base in support of its mandate. Visitor facilities that support meaningful visitor experiences and revenue generation represent approximately one third of Parks Canada’s asset base.

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Target key national markets through expanded and new visitor experiences and promotion. Experiences include the Parks Canada Xplorersx for children, the Learn to Campxi events for urban and new Canadians and diversified accommodation options for young families (e.g. yurts, four-season tents, “ready-to-camp”).
  • Facilitate trip-planning by offering more user-friendly online planning tools and reservation capabilities, and by improving cross-promotion of Parks Canada places.
  • Support Canada's Federal Tourism Strategy by promoting authentic experiences for visitors and fostering local economic and tourism development opportunities in and around Parks Canada places.
  • Capitalize on the Government of Canada’s commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and the 300th anniversary of the founding of Île Royale, modern day Cape Breton Island, with Louisbourg as its capital, to attract increased visitation.

Program 5 – Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure

Program Description

This program involves managing, operating and providing municipal services to five townsitesxii within Canada’s national parks. It also involves the operation of provincial and inter-provincial highwaysxiii and waterwaysxiv (historic canals) that connect communities and pass through national parks and national historic sites.

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
93,212 135,512 88,212
88,224


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
250 250 250


Program
Expected Results
Performance Indicators Targets
Condition of contemporary infrastructure for townsites and waterways is maintained or improved, and through highways are open to traffic Percentage of townsite contemporary assets that are maintained, and percentage of townsite contemporary assets rated as poor or fair that are improved The condition rating of 75% of townsite contemporary assets is maintained, and the condition rating of 10% of assets rated as poor or fair in March 2010 is improved by March 2015
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 rating of 10% of assets rated as poor or fair in March 2010 is improved by March 2015
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

Parks Canada is one of the government’s largest custodians of built assets. These assets support the operation of 44 national parks, four national marine conservation areas and 167 national historic sites (including elements of the nine historic canals). The diversity of its $15 billion portfolio is extensive, including: contemporary wastewater treatment facilities, computer-operated dams and manually operated historic weirs, historic buildings and fortifications, visitor facilities, four-lane highways and scenic parkways.

Temporary closures for emergency repairs and reduced levels of service to address health and safety concerns (such as load reductions on highways) are being implemented. Parks Canada will take all necessary measures to ensure public safety.

To achieve the expected result, Parks Canada will:

  • Further develop asset strategies to guide decision-making that will contribute to the achievement of a sustainable asset portfolio, to improved cultural resources and to increased visitation at national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas.
  • Complete remaining twinning (two-directional widening), funded through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, of the 6 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Lake Louise to the Alberta/British Columbia border by the end of 2013-14.
  • Continue delivering a comprehensive inspection program and make targeted infrastructure investments in maintenance and rehabilitation of highways, bridges, and dams.
  • Continue to implement the five-year townsite asset inspection cycle in order to determine investment priorities.

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 ($ thousands)
Total Budgetary Expenditures
(Main Estimates) 2013-14
Planned Spending
2013–14
Planned Spending
2014–15
Planned Spending
2015–16
65,665 66,299 59,896 58,563


Human Resources (FTEs)
2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
511 506 507


Icon representing Theme 4 - 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 2013-14 is the continued implementation of the Agency action plan to strengthen internal controls.
  • Continue to implement its security program in compliance with the Treasury Board Policy on Government Security and develop a Strategic Emergency Management Plan.
  • Continue identifying information resources of business value and required controls to facilitate the effective management, sharing and use of information in compliance with the Treasury Board Directive on Recordkeeping.
  • Focus on the development of a people management policy framework aligned with the Agency’s separate employer context and current business drivers. Parks Canada will also continue to implement a national human resource strategy and develop retention, recruitment and learning strategies to ensure a sufficient and representative workforce with the appropriate competencies for effective mandate delivery. To support this work, PeopleSoft self-service and reporting functionalities will be leveraged to maximize the system’s effectiveness.
  • 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.

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