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Departmental Performance Report 2011-12

The Parks Canada Charter

Our Mandate

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.

Our Role

We are guardians of the national parks, the national historic sites and the national marine conservation areas of Canada

We are guides to visitors from around the world, opening doors to places of discovery and learning, reflection and recreation.

We are partners, building on the rich traditions of our Aboriginal people, the strength of our diverse cultures and our commitments to the international community.

We are storytellers, recounting the history of our land and our people - the stories of Canada.

Our Commitments

To protect, as a first priority, the natural and cultural heritage of our special places and ensure that they remain healthy and whole.

To present the beauty and significance of our natural world and to chronicle the human determination and ingenuity which have shaped our nation.

To celebrate the legacy of visionary Canadians whose passion and knowledge have inspired the character and values of our country.

To serve Canadians, working together to achieve excellence guided by values of competence, respect and fairness.

Table of Contents

Minister's Message

Chief Executive Officer's Message

Section I: Organizational Overview

Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

Section III: Supplementary Information

Section IV: Other Items of Interest

End Notes

Table of Figures

Minister's Message

Minister Peter Kent

As the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency, I am pleased to present to Canadians this Performance Report providing an overview of last year's achievements. I am very proud of the progress that Parks Canada has made as we enter our second century as the world's first national parks service. Over the past year, we continued to build upon our successes with additional awards and distinctions. Hostelling International-Canada honoured us with its Partner of the Year Award and, in recognition of our leadership role in the expansion and preservation of the Nahanni National Park Reserve, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society awarded us its Gold Medal.

From Sable Island in the east to the grasslands of the southern prairies, we added to the national parks system and made significant progress toward a new national marine conservation area in the Southern Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. In the heart of Canada's most populous region - the Greater Toronto Area - we took important steps to create Canada's first national urban park in the Rouge River Valley.

The past year also saw significant achievements in connecting Canadians to their history and heritage. We commemorated 23 persons, places and events of historic significance. And we launched the celebration of the bicentennial of an event that was pivotal in shaping Canada - the War of 1812.

Throughout these activities, we targeted audiences that may be less familiar with the national treasures under our stewardship. Young Canadians, urban Canadians and new Canadians interacted with Parks Canada through a remarkable range of initiatives that reached them where they live, work and play. We created the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Parks Canada Youth Ambassadors Program, which will inspire young Canadians from across the country to enjoy Canada's great outdoors.

Parks Canada continued to play an important role in maintaining a clean and healthy environment and in promoting a vibrant Canadian culture and heritage. I'm proud of our achievements over this period, and I am also proud of the impact we have had on Canada's economy as the nation's largest provider of natural and cultural tourism products.

The work of Parks Canada is vital. Not only does it offer a glimpse of Canada's history, a departure point from which to discover, explore and appreciate Canada's natural and cultural heritage, it also serves to inspire the next generation of keepers of our land, our stories and our legacy.

Original signed by

The Honourable Peter Kent, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada Agency

Chief Executive Officer's Message

Chief Executive Officer for Parks Canada, Alan Latourelle

I am proud to submit this Performance Report, highlighting the achievements of the Parks Canada Agency for the period 2011/12. Parks Canada's centennial year witnessed many triumphs for the Agency. Over the course of the year, Parks Canada Agency worked on several fronts to promote and enhance our stewardship of Canada's natural and historic treasured places. We take great satisfaction in our efforts to protect and maintain healthy ecosystems through the third release of black-footed ferrets in Grasslands National Park, the creation of a partnership to implement a captive breeding program for woodland caribou in mountain national parks, and the transfer of 70 of our plains bison to the prairies of the United States.

We also took steps to commemorate the persons, places and events that helped to shape the Canada that we know today, such as Marshall McLuhan, who made a lasting and global contribution to our understanding of the media; the Esterhazy Flour Mill, which exemplifies the rich legacy of the grain economy to the early development of the West; and the Persons Case, a landmark legal decision that secured the right for women to serve in the Senate.

Through actions like these, we help protect an environment that is constantly under pressure and, at the same time, provide opportunities for people to nurture their relationship with nature and with the past.

With these accomplishments in hand, we built upon the momentum of our own centennial celebrations to connect to the hearts and minds of Canadians. We created programs to attract young Canadians, using such means as school contests, television programs, Smartphone applications and social media. We built upon the success of past programs such as My Parks Pass, and created a great deal of excitement around initiatives like Canada's Coolest School Trip Contest. We continued to find innovative ways to introduce new Canadians to Canada's natural and historic places. The Learn to Camp program and the centennial festivals in metropolitan areas helped to expand our reach and visibility to Canadians, and we offered free entry passes, valid for one year, to new Canadians on the day they received their citizenship.

None of this could have been done without the dedication, hard work and expertise of Parks Canada's employees. I want to thank them for their continuing passion for this Agency and its mission. Together we are taking the great legacy entrusted to us in our first century and protecting these national treasures so that future generations will continue to cherish them.

Original signed by

Alan Latourelle
Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada Agency

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d'être

The mandate of the Parks Canada Agency is presented in the Parks Canada Agency Act:

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.

The Agency's vision is:

Canada's treasured natural and historical places will be a living legacy, connecting hearts and minds to a stronger, deeper understanding of the very essence of Canada.

Responsibilities

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 that 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, provide 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.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

Flowchart - Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

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Organizational Priorities

Priority Type i Program Activity
Establishing National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas Ongoing Heritage Places Establishment
Parks Canada made demonstrable progress toward establishing national parks in four unrepresented terrestrial natural regions through its work on the Bathurst Island, Thaidene Nene (East Arm of Great Slave Lake), Mealy Mountains and Manitoba Lowlands proposals. Parks Canada also made demonstrable progress in three unrepresented marine regions with the Lancaster Sound, Southern Strait of Georgia and les Îles-de-la-Madeleine proposals.

Priority Type Program Activity
Conserving Canada's Heritage Places Ongoing Heritage Resources Conservation
Parks Canada made investments in the third year of the Action on the Ground initiative which consists of a variety of active management and restoration projects aimed at addressing priority ecological integrity issues in targeted national parks. Examples of ecosystem restoration projects currently underway include enhancements to watershed connectivity, control of invasive species, restoration of habitat for species at risk and improvement to water quality in aquatic ecosystems, all of which contribute to improving ecological integrity.

Over the period of 2007/08 to 2011/12, Parks Canada improved the Condition of Cultural Resources rating at nine of 14 national historic sites (64%) that were rated as poor. A further 17 of 22 sites (76%) that were rated as poor for the Selected Management Practices element of commemorative integrity improved that rating within five years of the initial evaluation. Cumulatively, this represents an improvement of 72 percent of the commemorative integrity elements rated as poor over the last five years. Much of this improvement is a result of targeted investments by Parks Canada to improve the condition of its built cultural resources.

Priority Type Program Activity
Increasing Visitation Previously committed to Visitor Experience
Parks Canada undertook targeted initiatives in 2011/12 to enhance the appeal of Canada's natural and historic places as travel destinations by providing more opportunities to explore and enjoy these places. These initiatives included special events across the country to celebrate Parks Canada's centennial in 2011; an extension of the freeze on admission fees; and the diversification of overnight accommodations, trails and technology applications. The Agency introduced new programs to connect with youth, families and new Canadians, and extended into 2011 the free-entry program for Grade 8 students that was launched the year before. Parks Canada enhanced its presence in travel media, and an official trip-planning guide to Canada's national parks was released by National Geographic.

Priority Type Program Activity
Increasing Canadians' Connection with Parks Canada Places Previously committed to Public Appreciation and Understanding
Parks Canada focussed on the celebration of its 100th anniversary of becoming the world's first parks service to create a heightened sense of connection and pride among Canadians in their national treasures. Through working with partners in the course of its centennial celebrations, such as the Royal Canadian Mint, Canada Post, Canadian Geographic and The Globe and Mail, the Agency brought the Parks Canada experience and the spirit, wonder and awe of Canada's natural and historic treasures to Canadians in their day-to-day lives.

Priority Type Program Activity
One Team, One Vision New Internal Services
In 2011/12, Parks Canada benefitted from the talent and level of engagement of its team of employees toward the collective achievement of the Agency's Vision. Parks Canada aligned its employee performance management process with the Agency-wide program outcomes and leadership attributes. Parks Canada also continued to support excellence in management as well as employee career development through sustained investment in leadership development and ongoing efforts to implement e-learning across the Agency.

In addition, Parks Canada team members organized and participated in special centennial events, which provided opportunities to share their pride in Canada's treasured natural and historic places directly with Canadians. The Agency continued its work to increase the consistency in the presentation of the Parks Canada brand.

Parks Canada received a number of awards in 2011, including the World Wildlife Fund's prestigious Gift to the Earth award, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Gold Medal, and Hostelling International-Canada's Partner of the Year award. This recognition reflects the dedication of all team members to achieving the Agency's vision.

Priority Type Program Activity
Asset Management New Internal Services
During 2011/12, Parks Canada furthered the development of its first Investment Plan, in accordance with Treasury Board policy. The new integrated investment planning process provides a consistent Agency-wide approach to ensure that decisions are based on the assessment of the highest priorities and risk areas across the organization.

Risk Analysis

Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas are among the nation's greatest treasures. Parks Canada, as the proud steward of these heritage places, protects and presents them for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, while ensuring they remain unimpaired for present and future generations. To achieve this, the Agency must conduct its operations in a multi-faceted environment where public, socio-economic, environmental and organizational elements come into play. All of these elements pose certain risks to the Agency in the achievement of its strategic outcome. Some of these risks include the Agency's competitive position in relation to leisure activities and interests offered by other organizations; environmental forces, such as biodiversity loss, exotic/invasive species and climate change; information management and the Agency's aging infrastructure.

Each year, Parks Canada reviews and updates its Corporate Risk Profile. In 2011/12, the Agency maintained three key corporate risks identified in 2010/11 - Competitive Position, Environmental Forces and Information Management - and highlighted Asset Management as its fourth key corporate risk. The Agency developed strategies to mitigate these risks, and actively manages and monitors the implementation of these strategies throughout the year.

During this period, Parks Canada also continued to improve its risk management practices by widening the scope of its environmental scan, an important tool in the identification of corporate risks. Parks Canada's efforts at mitigating its key corporate risks are presented in the following paragraphs.

Key Risk 1: Competitive Position

Parks Canada is not alone in offering places of natural and historic interest to Canadians. The risk exists that Parks Canada's service offer might be less competitive when compared to other natural and cultural attractions and/or leisure destinations in Canada and abroad, with the result that fewer Canadians would choose to visit these national heritage places and connect with them on a personal level. These treasured places are also important components of local and regional tourism offers. Reduced visitation to these places affects the communities that are inherently linked to them through lower employment and business opportunities to serve visitors, such as hotels, restaurants, and outfitters.

Dedicated teams of external relations and visitor experience professionals helped mitigate this risk in 2011/12 through proactive event planning, media relations, and product development. Examples of these activities include events to mark the centennial of the first national parks service in the world and to celebrate Canada's annual Parks Day, an enhanced and targeted media presence with regular stories and travel features in a diverse mix of newspapers and magazines, local promotional material in travel guides and other publications, and continued presentation of the Parks Canada's brand in all activities. The Agency introduced new programs encouraging youth and families to explore and connect with nature and history, offered alternative overnight accommodations, implemented technology tools and continued a fee freeze to further stimulate a desire to visit Canada's natural and historic places. Parks Canada also partnered with a mix of private, public and not-for-profit sector organizations and well known musicians and film makers, to extend its reach in urban and youth markets and to diversify its product and/or service offers.

Proactive communication activities had positive impacts on Parks Canada's media presence in 2011/12. The number of Canadians who read, heard, or watched something about Parks Canada increased, especially in Toronto and Montreal, Canada's two largest metropolitan areas. Traffic volume on Parks Canada's Website increased in 2011, especially from May to September which jumped by 20 percent. Referrals to Parks Canada's Website from tourism and trip planning Websites also increased in 2011 when compared to the year before.

Key Risk 2: Environmental Forces

Environmental forces, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and alien/invasive species, may be hindering the ability of the Agency to maintain or improve overall ecological integrity in national parks and to meet legal requirements related to species at risk, making this one of the Agency's key corporate risks.

In order to mitigate this risk, the Agency continued the implementation of the Action on the Ground initiative to address pressing ecological integrity issues and to better protect, connect and restore ecosystems in targeted national parks. Projects funded under this initiative include actions to support the recovery of species at risk, eradication of invasive species, and restoration of ecological processes.

The Agency accelerated the development of recovery strategies for species at risk, in collaboration with Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, with whom Parks Canada shares responsibility under the Species at Risk Act. Consequently, 11 recovery strategies were posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry as required by the Act, setting the stage for targeted conservation actions.

Through new collaborative agreements with conservation partners, including industry, provincial governments, zoos and non-governmental organizations, Parks Canada has leveraged resources and expertise to improve the ecological integrity of national parks, support the recovery of species at risk and raise awareness and engagement among Canadians.

Key Risk 3: Information Management

The ability to effectively identify, capture, manage and report pertinent data and information is crucial for Parks Canada to effectively manage its programs and meet legal requirements. In mitigating the Agency's information management risk, Parks Canada made advancements in several key areas.

In the area of resources and capacity, Parks Canada undertook positive steps to deliver training sessions to information management staff to ensure work efforts were appropriately aligned to the most pressing Agency priorities. This enabled the Agency to effectively mobilize its information management workforce to respond to requests for information. Additionally, Parks Canada collaborated with Library and Archives Canada during the closure of some of their Regional Service Centres to ensure the continued accessibility of information resources that have business value to the Agency.

Parks Canada established new, comprehensive and practical information management guidance and posted it on its corporate Intranet. This guidance has improved overall information management awareness throughout the Agency and documents Agency-wide approaches and processes that support the consistent and effective management of information.

Finally, Parks Canada initiated work to put in place Agency-wide recordkeeping policy instruments required to manage information over its entire life cycle. This work will ensure that the Agency is compliant with Government of Canada's Record Keeping Directive by March 31, 2015.

Key Risk 4: Asset Management

Aging infrastructure and an inadequate level of maintenance and recapitalization, particularly for high risk categories of assets such as dams, bridges and highways, could result in failure of assets. Parks Canada's asset management policy framework mitigates these risks by providing operational units with clear direction and guidance and promotes value for money and sound stewardship. In this context, Parks Canada's focus remains on public safety, compliance with legislated requirements, due diligence practices as well as on the management of reliable information for decision making and reporting on performance.

Parks Canada engaged consultants to perform a high-level assessment of high-risk dams, including site inspections, to obtain additional information on dam conditions and safety hazards. This assessment led to the identification of modest short-term mitigation measures at the local level (e.g. slope stabilization and vegetation control) and formed part of a national program launched by the Agency to conduct comprehensive dam safety reviews of high-risk dams. Once complete, the results of the dam safety reviews initiated in 2011/12 will provide detailed recommendations to manage ongoing public safety.

Between April 2011 and March 2012, Parks Canada reviewed its existing policy framework for the management of built real property assets based on the guiding principle of integrating risk management, life-cycle management and portfolio management practices with Agency-wide decision making. The Agency initiated the development of new policy instruments on the management of roadways as well as wastewater systems. In addition, Parks Canada developed a project management standard, a plan and schedule for updating the asset management directive as well as policy instruments for the management of dams, bridges and potable water systems to promote nationally-consistent business processes.

Parks Canada, in accordance with Treasury Board Policy on Investment Planning - Assets and Acquired Services, developed a new investment planning cycle. Once fully implemented this cycle will facilitate the establishment of investment priorities and will clearly define how investments are identified, prioritized and approved, based on the highest corporate priorities and risks.

Summary of Performance

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
695,535 777,426 678,012

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
4,422 4,590 168

Progress Toward Strategic Outcome

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.
Performance Indicators Targets 2011/12 Performance
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 As of March 31, 2012, 42 national parks have identified key ecological integrity indicators. Thirty-eight parks have determined the condition of one or more of these indicators and 34 have identified at least one trend.
Overall average of commemorative integrity rating of national historic sites Improve the overall average commemorative integrity rating of national historic sites from 6.0/10 in March 2008 to 6.6/10 in March 2013 As of March 2012, Parks Canada achieved an overall average commemorative integrity rating of 7.1/10.
Percentage of Canadians that report a personal connection to Parks Canada administered places 65 percent of Canadians report a personal connection to Parks Canada administered places by March 2014 As of March 2012, 59 percent of Canadians reported a sense of personal connection to Canada's natural and historic places, an increase of 4 percent over 2008/09.

Performance Summary, Excluding Internal Services
Program Activity 2010-11
Actual
Spending
2011-12 ($000s) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
Main
Estimates
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities*
Actual
Spending*
1: Heritage Places Establishment 21,686 22,751 22,751 39,799 14,1681 A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage
2: Heritage Resources Conservation 215,947 198,921 198,921 165,068 158,761 A clean and healthy environment
3: Public Appreciation and Understanding 50,823 29,155 34,155 56,019 52,880 A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage
4: Visitor Experience 347,803 235,521 235,521 268,537 262,897 A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage
5: Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure 162,422 122,625 122,625 159,895 104,3652 A safe and secure Canada
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.

1 The variance between Total Authorities and Actual Spending is mainly due to delays in planned spending for the establishment of new national parks and national marine conservation areas.

2 The variance between Total Authorities and Actual Spending is mainly due to delays associated with the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park.
Total 798,680 608,973 613,973 689,318 593,071

Performance Summary for Internal Services
Program Activity 2010-11
Actual
Spending
2011-12 ($000s)
Main
Estimates
Planned
Spending
Total
Authorities*
Actual
Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
Internal Services 87,036 81,562 81,562 88,108 84,941

Vibrant Canadian Culture and Heritage is influenced by Heritage Places Establishment, Public Appreciation and Understanding and Visitor Experience because they

  • establish Canada's national parks and national marine conservation areas, as well as designate persons, places and events of national historic significance to Canada as symbols to the world and as part of the fabric of our nation;
  • create a system of national historic sites that respects the significance and irreplaceable historical legacy reflecting Canada's values and identity;
  • preserve Canada's natural and historical heritage and make it available to Canadians to discover and enjoy; and
  • enhance pride, encourage stewardship and give expression to our identity as Canadians.

Clean and Healthy Environment is influenced by Heritage Resources Conservation because it

  • maintains and restores ecological integrity in national parks through the protection of natural resources and natural processes;
  • ensures commemorative integrity of national historic sites managed or influenced by Parks Canada;
  • ensures the ecologically sustainable use of national marine conservation areas; and
  • ensures that many of Canada's most special natural and historical heritage resources will not be lost and that current and future generations will enjoy a system of protected heritage places.

Safe and Secure Canada is influenced by Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure because it

  • ensures the availability and maintenance of provincial and inter-provincial highways and bridges that connect communities and pass through national parks and national historic sites;
  • ensures that water level management is compliant with legislation, for effective commercial and recreational navigation at nine national historic canals and waterways; and
  • provides municipal services to ensure that residents and visitors are safe and secure.

Contribution to the FSDS

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. Parks Canada contributes to the following FSDS themes as denoted by the visual identifiers and associated program activities below.

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 3 Icon - Protecting Nature Theme III: Protecting Nature

  • PA1: Heritage Places Establishment
  • PA2: Heritage Resources Conservation
  • PA3: Public Appreciation and Understanding
  • PA4: Visitor Experience

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 4 Icon - Shrinking the Environmental Footprint Beginning with Government Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government

  • Internal Services

During 2011/12, Parks Canada considered the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposalsii. Through the strategic environmental assessment process, Agency initiatives were found to have positive environmental effects on goals and targets in Theme III - Protecting Nature and Theme IV - Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government.

For further information on Parks Canada's activities to support sustainable development and strategic environmental assessments, please consult the Parks Canada Websiteiii. For complete information on the Government of Canada's FSDS please visit Environment Canada's Websiteiv.

Expenditure Profile

Parks Canada's actual spending for 2011/12 was $678 million. Compared with actual spending of $885.7 million in 2010/11, this represents a decrease of 23 percent or $207.7 million. The decrease is mainly attributable to the end of funding received through Canada's Economic Action Plan (CEAP), which was invested in projects to improve national historic sites and visitor facilities, in the remediation of contaminated sites and in arctic research projects. In 2011/12, the Agency's regular program spending (excluding CEAP) decreased by six percent from 2010/11.

Spending Trend

Graph - Spending Trend

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Planned Spending of $695.5 million was augmented by $81.9 million, provided through new authorities and transfers. This amount included:

  • $44.4 million for funds appropriated over a two-year period;
  • $16.7 million for emergency response to natural disasters and capital repairs related to unanticipated health and safety issues;
  • $7.2 million in increased revenue collections;
  • $4.9 million for the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812;
  • $2.8 million for the assessment, management and remediation of federal contaminated sites; and
  • $5.9 million in various adjustments.

Actual Spending of $678 million was lower than Total Authorities of $777.4 million by $99.4 million. This is mainly due to delays in delivery of the following projects and initiatives: the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park; the establishment of new national parks and national marine conservation areas; the Trans-Canada Trail project, and celebrations related to the War of 1812. These funds will continue to be available for use in 2012/13 for their intended purposes.

Estimates by Vote

For information on Parks Canada Agency's Votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the 2011/12 Public Accounts of Canada (Volume II). An electronic version of the Public Accounts is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada's Web page, Public Accounts of Canada 2012v.

Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

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.

Parks Canada strives toward its Strategic Outcome by ensuring Agency activities and investments are relevant to Canadians and thereby create meaningful experiences in the enjoyment of national heritage places. This, in turn, fosters a strong sense of connection in the hearts and minds of Canadians as these places are protected in ways that allow present and future generations to enjoy them.

Parks Canada has developed three tangible and measurable performance indicators that inform management of the Agency's progress towards its Strategic Outcome. Contributing directly to these high-level expectations are the results of all of the Program Activities that comprise the Agency's Program Activity Architecture. Measuring these results allows Parks Canada to assess its overall performance and to determine the progress the Agency has made in attaining its long-term goal.

Parks Canada has made great progress towards achieving its Strategic Outcome, surpassing its goal of improving its overall commemorative integrity rating in 2010/11, two years ahead of the target date. Continued investment in strategic initiatives, projects and activities has also helped to bring the Agency closer to meeting its objectives.

Performance Indicator, Target Date and Performance in 2011/12

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

The Canada National Parks Act defines ecological integrity as follows: "with respect to a park, a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes." The Agency assesses ecological integrity by examining indicators that represent the major ecosystems of a park, such as forests, grasslands and tundra. Each indicator is assessed for its ecological condition (good, fair or poor) and the trend in that condition (improving, stable or declining). Collectively, these assessments provide a basis for understanding the overall ecological integrity of a national park.

As of March 31, 2012, 42 national parks have identified key ecological integrity indicators. Thirty-eight parks have determined the condition of one or more of these indicators and 34 have identified at least one trend.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada implemented the third year of the Action on the Ground initiative, using a strategic approach to focus on addressing key ecological integrity issues in targeted national parks. Examples of projects carried out under this initiative include: enhancements to watershed connectivity in Gros Morne, Terra Nova and Kejimkujik National Parks; control of invasive species in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site and Gros Morne National Park; restoration of habitat for species at risk in Point Pelee National Park and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; and improvement to water quality in aquatic ecosystems in Riding Mountain National Park.

These active management and restoration projects also provide opportunities to facilitate meaningful visitor experience, to increase appreciation and support for the protection of national parks among youth and urban Canadians, and to encourage stakeholder and partner engagement in conservation activities in national parks.

2. Improve the overall average commemorative integrity rating of national historic sites from 6.0/10 in March 2008 to 6.6/10 in March 2013

As of March 2012, Parks Canada achieved an overall average commemorative integrity rating of 7.1vi out of 10. This is an increase over the rating of 6.8 as of March 2011, and further exceeds the Agency's performance expectation of achieving 6.6 by March 2013. Parks Canada has evaluated and derived scores for 134 of the 167 national historic sites it administers. In 2011/12, 28 national historic sites were re-evaluated and one national historic site, L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish, was evaluated for the first time. Scores improved at 19 national historic sites, remained the same at seven and declined at two, resulting in an overall net improvement in commemorative integrity.

Parks Canada has gradually and consistently improved its overall average commemorative integrity rating over the past five years, from 6.0 in 2007/08, based on 119 baseline evaluations completed by that date, to 6.4 in 2008/09, 6.5 in 2009/10, 6.8 in 2010/11 and 7.1 in 2011/12. These improvements reflect the interventions the Agency has made to address identified deficiencies in cultural resource condition, effectiveness of communications or management practices. See Figure 1 for additional details on the re-evaluations conducted in 2011/12.

Figure 1: Results of 2011/12 re-evaluations of Commemorative Integrity
National Historic Site Previous Evaluation 2011/12 Re-Evaluation
Commemorative Integrity Score Degree of Impairmentvii Commemorative Integrity Score Degree of Impairment
Battle of the Windmill 7 Minor 7 Minor
Bethune Memorial House 10 None 10 None
Butler's Barracks 4 Significant 7 Minor
Coteau-du-Lac 8 Minor 9 Minor
Dredge No. 4 5 Significant 5 Significant
Forges du Saint-Maurice 7 Minor 7 Minor
Former Territorial Court House 4 Significant 7 Minor
Fort Gaspareaux 2 Major 2 Major
Fort George 4 Significant 8 Minor
Fort Henry 7 Minor 8 Minor
Fort Mississauga 2 Major 1 Severe
Fort St. Joseph 5 Significant 8 Minor
Fort Wellington 8 Minor 9 Minor
Howse Pass 5 Significant 8 Minor
Kicking Horse Pass 4 Significant 7 Minor
Kingston Fortifications 4 Significant 5 Significant
Kootenae House 5 Significant 9 Minor
Laurier House 9 Minor 10 None
Louis-Joseph Papineau 6 Significant 5 Significant
Lower Fort Garry 7 Minor 7 Minor
Murney Tower 5 Significant 6 Significant
Red Bay 9 Minor 10 None
Shoal Tower 5 Significant 6 Significant
Signal Hill 7 Minor 9 Minor
Sir Wilfrid Laurier 5 Significant 8 Minor
St. Peters Canal 5 Significant 5 Significant
Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station 4 Significant 7 Minor
The Fur Trade at Lachine 8 Minor 9 Minor

As of 2011/12, 72 percent (96) of the 134 national historic sites that have been evaluated so far exhibit no or minor impairment to their commemorative integrity, 23 percent (31) exhibit significant impairment, and five percent (7) show major or severe impairment. See Figure 2 for additional details.

Figure 2: Level of impairment of Commemorative Integrity at national historic sites
Level of Impairment 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
Number of Sites Percentage of Total Number of Sites Number of Sites Percentage of Total Number of Sites Number of Sites Percentage of Total Number of Sites
No impairment 9 7% 11 8% 13 10%
Minor 74 56% 76 57% 83 62%
Significant 40 30% 39 29% 31 23%
Major 8 6% 6 5% 5 4%
Severe 2 1% 1 1% 2 1%
Total 133 100% 133 100% 134viii 100%
3. Sixty-five percent of Canadians report a personal connection to Parks Canada administered places by March 2014

Parks Canada conducted its National Survey of Canadians for the second time in 2011/12. Its results show that the percentage of Canadians who have a sense of personal connection to Canada's natural and historic places in 2011/12 was 59 percent, an increase of four percent over the first survey conducted in 2008/09. The increase was driven mainly by growth in the percentage of Canadians who claim a personal connection to national historic sites. These results suggest that Parks Canada is making progress towards its performance target for 2014, when the Agency will again conduct the National Survey of Canadians.

Parks Canada recognized in 2010/11 that it is the cumulative impact of a long-term, sustained presence rather than a single activity or action that will influence Canadians' level of appreciation and support for Canada's natural and historic treasures. Building on this lesson, Parks Canada undertook a proactive, targeted and coordinated approach in 2011/12 to sustaining its public presence and connecting with the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Parks Canada benefitted from working with a diverse mix of partners to bring the Parks Canada experience to Canadians where they live, work and play, to inspire Canadians to visit their natural and historic treasures, and to nurture pride and support for conservation in Canada among Canadians. Other proactive initiatives included urban outreach events in Canada's largest metropolitan areas, television documentaries, movie screenings, a Smartphone application and trip contests.

Parks Canada's regular awareness tracking research demonstrates that overall awareness of the Agency and support for its mandate among Canadians remained stable in 2011/12. Aided awareness increased nationally and in major metropolitan areas from the fall of 2010, prior to the Agency's targeted and proactive approach. Awareness also increased during the latter half of 2011 in the same urban markets and among the 18-to-34 age group, suggesting that more people are connecting with the Agency and its work on behalf of all Canadians.

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.

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
22,751 39,799 14,168

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
92 83 9

Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Result
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 Actual Results
Number of represented terrestrial natural regions in the system of national parks Increase the number of represented terrestrial natural regions from 28 in March 2007 to 29 of 39 by March 2013 28
Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress in advancing through steps towards establishing national parks Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in three unrepresented regions 4
Number of represented marine regions in the system of national marine conservation areas Increase the number of represented marine regions from three in October 2007 to five of 29 by March 2013 5
Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress in advancing through steps towards establishing national marine conservation areas Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas in two unrepresented regions 3
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 43%

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 3 Icon - Protecting Nature Programming in this area contributes to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)
FSDS Goal FSDS Performance Indicator FSDS Target FSDS Actual Results
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.
Established Sable Island National Park Reserve in 2011/12.

Made demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in four unrepresented terrestrial natural regions: East Coast Boreal (Mealy Mountains proposal), Western High Arctic (Bathurst Island proposal), North Western Boreal Uplands (Thaidene Nene in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake proposal), and Manitoba Lowlands (Manitoba Lowlands proposal).

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

As of March 31, 2012, 28 terrestrial natural regions are represented in the system of national parks. Parks Canada worked towards increasing the number of represented terrestrial natural regions to 29 by March 2013 by furthering the Bathurst Island and Mealy Mountains proposals, which are currently in the negotiation phase.

Parks Canada exceeded its target of making demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in three unrepresented natural regions by March 2013. The Agency made progress in four unrepresented natural regions: East Coast Boreal (Mealy Mountains proposal), Western High Arctic (Bathurst Island proposal), Northwestern Boreal Uplands (Thaidene Nene in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake proposal) and Manitoba Lowlands (Manitoba Lowlands proposal).

With the establishment of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in June 2010, Parks Canada met its target of increasing the number of represented marine natural regions from three to five by March 2013, as Gwaii Haanas represents two marine regions.

Parks Canada also exceeded its goal of making demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas in two unrepresented regions. The Agency made progress in three unrepresented marine regions: Lancaster Sound (Lancaster Sound proposal); Strait of Georgia (Southern Strait of Georgia proposal); and Magdalen Shallows (les Îles-de-la-Madeleine proposal).

Parks Canada exceeded its target of 33 percent of yearly commemoration for under-represented themes in Canada's history, with 43 percent of the total number of commemorationsix (10 of 23) in 2011/12 related to Aboriginal history, Ethnocultural communities and Women.

Increasing the representation of terrestrial natural regions x

The national parks system currently consists of 43 operational parks representing 28 of the 39 terrestrial natural regions, and totals 301,507 square kilometres, equivalent to three percent of Canada's land mass. One national park was created in 2011/12 - Sable Island National Park Reserve in Nova Scotia. An additional 56,190 square kilometres of natural areas has been provided interim protection for future national parks by federal and provincial legislation within three unrepresented natural regions. With the advancement of the Bathurst Island and Mealy Mountains national park proposals, Parks Canada is well positioned to meet its target of increasing the number of represented terrestrial natural regions from 28 in March 2007 to 29 of 39 by March 2013.

In addition to the Bathurst Island and Mealy Mountains proposals, the Agency made progress in the Thaidene Nene national park reserve proposal in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake and the Manitoba Lowlands proposal, thereby exceeding its goal of making demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in three unrepresented regions. Details on the progress made in these four proposals, as well as other current proposals, are presented in Figure 3.

A key step in the establishment process is the negotiation and conclusion of the necessary agreements with provincial governments and Aboriginal organizations. During the past year, Parks Canada was able to make progress in the negotiation of six agreements for the protection of five terrestrial areas one of which was completed. The Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada signed an agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia to designate Sable Island as a national park reserve within the Atlantic Coast Uplands terrestrial natural region.

Figure 3: Progress of proposals to establishxi and expand national parks
Terrestrial Natural Region and National Park Area of Interest Progress Statement in 2011/12
Manitoba Lowlands (unrepresented)

Manitoba Lowlands (Man.)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3)

Parks Canada, the Government of Manitoba and Misipawistik Cree Nation (MCN) renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to continue the process of reviewing issues and sharing information that will lead to a decision by MCN on whether to establish a national park in the vicinity of Grand Rapids. In accordance with the MOU, MCN held a community workshop that concluded there was sufficient common ground to allow them to take the next step in determining community support for a national park reserve.
Interior Dry Plateau (unrepresented)

South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen (B.C.)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3)

In response to continuing local concerns over the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan - Lower Similkameen, the governments of British Columbia and the Government of Canada decided not to continue the work on their feasibility assessment for a national park reserve at this time. Parks Canada continued to provide information to the Okanagan Nation as part of their independent consideration of options for protected areas in this region.
Strait of Georgia Lowlands (represented)

Bowen Island (B.C.)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3)

In order to ascertain the level of community support for the idea of a national park reserve on Bowen Island, the island's municipal government called for a community opinion vote through a non-binding referendum on the matter. The November 2011 vote indicated that a majority of residents (55%) were opposed to the park proposal. As a result, Parks Canada has withdrawn from the project and is no longer pursuing establishment of a national park reserve on Bowen Island.
Northwestern Boreal Uplands (unrepresented)

Thaidene Nene in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake (N.W.T)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3) / Negotiation of Agreement (Step 4)

Parks Canada and the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation succeeded in bringing the negotiation of a park establishment agreement close to completion, subject to concluding public consultations and determining a final boundary. Also close to completion is the work on a social and economic study, as well as on the technical Mineral and Energy Resources Assessment in support of a final boundary. Parks Canada worked with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to renew the land withdrawal for the proposed park.
Mackenzie Mountains (represented)

Nááts'ihch'oh (N.W.T)
Negotiation of Agreements (Step 4)

Parks Canada continued its work to finalize both a boundary for the proposed Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve and an Impact and Benefit Plan with the Sahtu Dene and Metis, which is required under their land claim agreement in order to establish a new national park within the Sahtu Settlement Area. Parks Canada worked with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to renew the land withdrawal for the proposed park.
East Coast Boreal (unrepresented)

Mealy Mountains (N.L.)
Negotiation of Agreements (Step 4)

Parks Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to launch formal negotiation of a land transfer agreement to establish a national park reserve in the Mealy Mountains. Working collaboratively, both governments made progress in finalizing an approach to developing a legal description of the final boundary. The Agency signed a framework agreement with the Innu Nation to guide the negotiation of a Park Impact and Benefit Agreement. Consultations with the NunatuKavut Community Council led to the signing of a Consultation Protocol to guide future work.
Western High Arctic (unrepresented)

Bathurst Island (NU)
Negotiation of Agreements (Step 4)

Parks Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) brought to near completion their negotiation of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement to establish a national park on northern Bathurst Island, which is required under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement for any new national park in Nunavut. Parks Canada also worked to address a request by the QIA to consider a revised boundary for the proposed national park.
Atlantic Coast Uplands (represented)

Sable Island (N.S.)
Negotiation of Agreements (Step 4)

On October 17, 2011, the Minister of the Environment and the Premier of Nova Scotia signed an agreement to designate Sable Island as a national park reserve under the Canada National Parks Act. As part of the agreement, the two governments are required to amend their respective offshore petroleum legislation to prohibit drilling on the island and out to one nautical mile. Several permits held by petroleum companies were amended to give this prohibition effect within their license areas. Parks Canada succeeded in bringing close to conclusion the negotiation of Memoranda of Agreement with relevant federal departments to direct the transition of administration and control of the island to Parks Canada. Parks Canada also consulted with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia in the decision to designate Sable Island as a national park reserve, in view of the fact that their land claim includes Sable Island.
Increasing the representation of marine regionsxii

In 2010, Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site was formally protected under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. This action increased the number of represented marine regions in the system from three to five as Gwaii Haanas represents both the Hecate Strait and the Queen Charlotte Shelf marine regions in the Pacific Ocean region.

The national marine conservation area system currently consists of four operational marine areas representing five of the 29 marine regions and totalling 14,846 square kilometres in size.

In 2011/12, the Agency made demonstrable progress on the proposed national marine conservation areas for Lancaster Sound in Nunavut, for the Southern Strait of Georgia in British Columbia, and for a marine protected area in the waters around les Îles-de-la-Madeleine in Quebec. Further details on the progress in establishing national marine conservation areas in unrepresented regions can be found in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Progress of proposals to establishxiii national marine conservation areas
Marine Region and National Marine Conservation Area of Interest Progress Statement in 2011/12
Lancaster Sound (unrepresented)
Lancaster Sound (NU)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3)

Following the Government of Canada's announcement in 2010 of its potential future boundary for a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, Parks Canada made progress in updating studies on the ecological values and non-renewable resource potential within the 44,300 square kilometre area of interest. Coordination of the feasibility assessment continued through the work of a steering committee of representatives from Parks Canada, the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
Strait of Georgia (unrepresented)
Southern Strait of Georgia (B.C.)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3)

In October 2011, the Ministers of the Environment of the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia announced their agreement on a proposed 1,400 square kilometre boundary for a national marine conservation area reserve in the Southern Strait of Georgia. The ministers also announced that the next step would be in-depth consultations with First Nations, local governments and stakeholders. The Government of British Columbia indicated its agreement to transfer the administration of the seabed to the federal government if a national marine conservation area reserve is established.
Magdalen Shallows (unrepresented)
Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Que.)
Feasibility Assessment (Step 3)

In December 2011, the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec signed an accord to conduct a study on the creation of a marine protected area in Îles-de-la-Madeleine. This study will help both governments to better understand the area and to identify the opportunities and limitations related to establishing a marine protected area in Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Commemoration of under-represented themes in Canada's historyxiv

In 2011/12, Parks Canada unveiled commemorative Government of Canada plaques for 23 places, persons and events of national historic significance. Of these, 10 were related to under-represented themes in Canada's history, accounting for 43 percent of the total number of commemorations and exceeding the target of 33 percent. By comparison, in 2010/11, 31 percent of the commemorations related to under-represented themes.

Four of the commemorations in 2011/12 were related to women's history, two to Aboriginal history and two to the history of Ethnocultural communities. Two commemorations touched the themes of both Ethnocultural communities and Women - Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) National Historic Person and the Establishment of the Beaver Lake-Mundare Ukranian Catholic Mission National Historic Event. See Figure 5 for more details.

Under the Aboriginal history theme, Chiefswood National Historic Site of Canada at the Six Nations Grand River Reserve, Ontario, owes its importance both to its architecture and to the prominence of the people who lived here. The grandeur of this house reflects the status of its builder and owner, Chief George H. M. Johnson, a Mohawk chief of Six Nations and an intermediary with non-Aboriginal society. His daughter, celebrated poet Pauline Johnson, drew inspiration from the years she spent in this house.

Under the theme of Ethnocultural history, the commemoration of the Asahi Baseball Team National Historic Event recognizes the athletic and sportsmanlike performances of this historic team, which inspired both Japanese and Euro-Canadian spectators alike. Known for their strategic style of play called "brain ball," the Asahi became a symbol of the Japanese-Canadian struggle for equality and respect. Despite being disbanded during the Second World War Internment, they have left a legacy of inspiration for future generations.

Under the theme of Women's history, the commemoration of the Persons Case as a National Historic Event recognizes the landmark legal decision in the struggle of Canadian women for equality. On October 18, 1929, the Committee of the Privy Council, at the time the highest court in the British Empire, ruled that women were included under the term "persons" in Section 24 of the British North America Act, and were thus eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada.

Figure 5: Ministerial commemorations in 2011/12 by type and by under-represented theme
Total Commemorations Under-Represented Themes
Type Number Ethnocultural communities Women Aboriginal history Ethnocultural communities and Women Total Percentage
Places 6 0 1 2 0 3 50%
Persons 5 0 1 0 1 2 40%
Events 12 2 2 0 1 5 42%
Total 23 2 4 2 2 10 43%

Lessons Learned

Parks Canada continues to attribute much of its success to the positive and productive relationships it has developed with groups that have the strongest interest and involvement in its work. The establishment of national parks and national marine conservation areas requires a high level of engagement on the part of provincial governments and Aboriginal peoples. The designation and commemoration of persons, places and events of historic importance equally demands the active participation of stakeholders, partners and community groups.

Underlying Parks Canada's ability to make progress towards the establishment of new national marine conservation areas is the fact that other governments and Aboriginal organizations have also embraced the need to contribute to the conservation of Canada's marine heritage. In September 2011, the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers approved in principle a National Framework for Canada's Network of Marine Protected Areas. This document, developed through federal-provincial-territorial collaboration, provides direction for the design of the national network of marine protected areas that will be composed of 13 bioregional networks. The establishment of new national marine conservation areas will assist a range of governments in delivering on this national framework.

Parks Canada is reaping the benefits of its consultations and collaborative initiatives with various groups and communities across Canada. The Agency's continuing success in enhancing the commemoration of under-represented themes in Canada's history can be attributed to the Agency's involvement over the years in a wide array of discussions with communities throughout the country. This work has provided increased opportunities for Canadians to enjoy the rich history of those groups and communities and their contributions to Canada, and has generated many new national historic commemorations.

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 areas.

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
198,921 165,068 158,761

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
1,272 1,187 85

Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Result
Management actions result in improvements to ecological integrity indicators in national parks, and the state of cultural resources in national historic sites is improved.
Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Number of national parks with at least one improved ecological integrity indicator 20 national parks improve one ecological integrity indicator from March 2008 to March 2014 (target has been revised to 2015) To be reported in 2015
Percentage of the condition of cultural resources and management practices elements of commemorative integrity rated as poor are improved 70% of the condition of cultural resources element of commemorative integrity rated as poor is improved within five years Project ongoing
70% of the management practices element of commemorative integrity rated as poor is improved within five years 67%

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 3 Icon - Protecting Nature Programming in this area contributes to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)
FSDS Goal FSDS Performance Indicator FSDS Target FSDS Actual Results
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.
Of the 102 park ecosystems that have been assessed, 92% (94) are reported to be in either good or fair condition. Trends are more difficult to assess, but of the 81 ecosystems with reported trends, 46 (57%) are stable or improving.

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

Since 2009/10, 42 national parks have identified key indicators of ecological integrity. As of March 31, 2012, 38 parks have determined the condition of one or more of these indicators (up from 25 in 2008/09), and 34 parks have determined at least one trend (up from 23 in 2008/09).

In 2011/12, only one national historic site, Dredge No. 4, was due for reassessment of its poor rating for the Condition of Cultural Resources element of commemorative integrity. However, the decision was made to defer the reassessment until the completion of a multi-year project at the site.

In 2011/12, 67 percent (four of six) of national historic sites that had obtained a poor rating within the past five years for the Selected Management Practices element of commemorative integrity improved their rating.

Improving ecological integrity

In 2011/12, through the Action on the Ground initiative, Parks Canada continued the implementation of active management and restoration projects to address some of the most pressing ecological integrity issues in targeted southern national parks. Figure 6 provides details for six of the projects being implemented under this initiative.

Improvements in ecological integrity indicators may be realized in one of three ways: by improving the condition of the indicator (e.g. from poor to fair, or from fair to good); by improving the trend of the indicator (e.g. from declining to stable); or by meeting management effectiveness targets. Because ecological integrity indicators represent complex ecosystems that are sometimes slow to respond to management interventions, the third method measures the achievement of ecological integrity outcomes on a smaller scale (e.g. the ratio of native grasses to exotic grasses is improved by 15 percent in the area of the restoration).

The Action on the Ground projects contribute to addressing priority ecological integrity issues caused by environmental forces such as biodiversity loss and exotic and alien/invasive species. In addition, active management and restoration activities contribute to enhancing ecosystem resilience to the effects of climate and other global environmental forces.

Four of the five parks that have yet to assess the condition of an indicator are situated in northern Canada where additional challenges are encountered in implementing ecological integrity monitoring activities. In recognition of these challenges, the Agency has established an objective for northern national parks to report on at least two indicators by March 2014. The fifth park is the newly established Sable Island National Park Reserve.

To support the assessment of ecological integrity in northern national parks, Parks Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing, developed 14 protocols for satellite-based monitoring through the ParkSPACE program funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Specifically designed to measure change in Arctic ecosystems, these protocols are already being used, for example, to identify the potential impact of vegetation change on iconic species such as the Porcupine Caribou herd and to assess the state of the park as a key step in management planning.

The Agency also completed 11 final recovery strategies for species at risk that are found primarily on lands and in waters administered by Parks Canada and posted them on the Species at Risk Public Registry, bringing to 22 the number of strategies Parks Canada has completed over the past two fiscal years.

Parks Canada continued work towards the reintroduction of fire as a necessary process in support of the maintenance and restoration of ecological integrity, with 25 prescribed burns carried out in 10 national parks. In addition, the Agency coordinated suppression efforts for 74 wild fires affecting 16 national parks, as required in support of public safety in and around national parks.

Figure 6: Examples of Action on the Ground projects and their achievements
National Park Ecological Integrity Indicator To Be Improved Overall Project Objective Project Achievements 2011/12 Ecological Integrity Improvement Expected By March 2014
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site Coastal Restore sensitive seabird nesting habitat to a rat-free state on target islands Carried out ground-based eradication on the Bischof Islands and Arichika Island (100 hectares) with no rats detected since September 2011

Implemented pre-eradication monitoring to assess impacts of rats on intertidal communities

Completed feasibility study for eradication project (720 hectares) on Murchison and Faraday Islands
Improvement in indicator trend
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Shoreline Restore the native plant communities to the dune ecosystems in selected sites Restoration activities resulted in:

plant communities in restored dune areas dominated by native species

return of Pink Sand Verbana to the Wickaninnish and Cheewhat dunes

increased sand movement in restored areas
Improvement in indicator condition and trend
Riding Mountain National Park Lakes Improve the ecological integrity of Clear Lake Continued upgrades of wastewater treatment system (85% decrease in nutrient level)

Promoted use and provision of lake friendly products

Carried out shoreline clean-up

Conducted survey of invasive species with focus on rusty crayfish and zebra mussel to support prevention program
Improvement in indicator trend
Point Pelee National Park Non-forest Develop and implement a restoration program for the savannah ecosystem Cleared invasive shrubs and implemented prescribed burns to restore 3.25 hectares in two savannah restoration areas

Planted 21,000 native plant seedlings in savannah restoration areas with help of local volunteers and schools

Implemented prescribed burns and mechanical clearing in two restoration areas to provide mosaic of open habitat for species at risk
Improvement in indicator condition and trend
Gros Morne, Terra Nova and Kejimkujik National Parks Freshwater Improve aquatic connectivity by mitigating barriers to fish passage at road crossings Achieved improved connectivity, as follows:

four watersheds in Gros Morne - met or exceeded target of 50% increase in connectivity

two watersheds in Terra Nova - approached target of 85% connectivity in one and reached target of 100% in the other

four watersheds in Kejimkujik - reached target with 100% connectivity restored
Improvement in indicator condition and trend
Gros Morne National Park Forest Engage Canadians in the restoration and maintenance of the closed canopy balsam fir forest Carried out volunteer-based hunt resulting in removal of 150-200 moose from pilot project area (over 300 km2)

Finalized plans for expanded 2012/13 season in cooperation with the Wildlife Division of the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation

Involved volunteers in biological sample collection
Improvement in indicator trend
Improving commemorative integrityxv

Each year, Parks Canada conducts a site-level reassessment of all elements of commemorative integrity that had received a poor rating five years previously. In 2011/12, the one site that had received a poor rating in 2006/07 for the Condition of Cultural Resources element of commemorative integrity, Dredge No. 4 National Historic Site, was undergoing a multi-year stabilization project to address deficiencies. It is expected that the rating will improve when the site is re-evaluated at the completion of the project.

Parks Canada conducted reassessments at six national historic sites that had received a poor rating within the past five years for the Selected Management Practices element of commemorative integrity. Sixty-seven percent (four of six) of those sites improved their rating. Details are provided in Figures 7 and 8.

Since 2007, when the reassessment of sites with poor ratings in commemorative integrity elements began, sixty-four percent (nine of 14) of the sites that had a poor rating for the Condition of Cultural Resources element have improved that rating. In addition, 77 percent (17 of 22) of the sites with a poor rating for the Selected Management Practices element of commemorative integrity improved their rating.

Figure 7: 2011/12 Reassessment results of national historic sites that received poor ratings within the past five years for the Condition of Cultural Resources element of Commemorative Integrity
National Historic Sites
With Poor Ratings
2011/12 Rating Progress Statement
Dredge No. 4 NHS Poor During 2011/12, a multi-year stabilization project was in progress, which included the assessment, design, silt removal, and repair of the bow gantry and the replacement of rotted structural elements on the hull port bow.

Figure 8: 2011/12 Reassessment results of national historic sites that received poor ratings within the past five years for the Selected Management Practices element of Commemorative Integrity
National Historic Sites
With Poor Ratings
2011/12 Rating Progress Statement
Fort Gaspareaux NHS Poor The agreement with the Munro Heritage Centre managed by the Westford Historical Society was renewed and yearly monitoring is now being conducted. Erosion mitigation is being employed at the site in the form of armour stone placed on the exterior of the site seawall.
Fort George NHS Fair The status of the inventory of landscapes and landscape features, archaeological sites and historic objects continues to be good. There have been improvements to the required monitoring of cultural resources and some condition problems have been addressed.
Fort St. Joseph NHS Fair Various improvements were made to the site's management framework to guide future cultural resource management actions, such as preparation of a Landscape Conservation Maintenance Manual and a Visitor Centre Site Collections Maintenance Plan.
Kicking Horse Pass NHS Fair Site locations and research data were entered into an interactive Geographic Information System database. As the twinning of the Trans Canada Highway proceeds through the site, Parks Canada staff has been involved in the environmental assessment process to minimize impact to the cultural landscape.
St. Peters Canal NHS Poor Efforts to find a suitable community group use for the Lockmaster's House to improve maintenance and monitoring are ongoing.
Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station NHS Fair The lease relationship was improved to ensure the operator has an improved understanding of the heritage value of the national historic site and of the need to protect and communicate this value. New interpretive panels reflect and promote improved understanding and appreciation of the site. A conservation plan was devised to conserve the site's masonry foundation and a recent boardwalk conservation project was completed.

Lessons Learned

Implementation of active management and restoration projects is influenced by several external and internal factors including weather conditions and events, timeliness of resource availability and stakeholder processes and requirements. These factors have had impacts on the Action on the Ground initiative resulting in decisions to extend project timelines and the Agency's performance expectation target date by two years. This change is reflected in the Parks Canada Agency Corporate Plan 2012-2013/2016-2017.

Parks Canada is advancing into the next phase of the implementation of the Species at Risk Act, focussing on the development of action plans for species at risk. Building on its experience in streamlining recovery strategy documents, the Agency piloted site-based action plans for species at risk in five national parks, which resulted in the development of an integrated and sustainable process. This process will enable the efficient delivery of the Agency's action planning obligations under the Act and will enhance the Agency's capacity to deliver on species at risk recovery objectives.

Parks Canada has used commemorative integrity evaluations to assess the overall health of the national historic sites it administers for over 10 years. During this time, it has become clear that several sites experience environmental threats to certain cultural resources that continue to challenge Parks Canada's efforts to improve their condition. At some sites, such as Fort Gaspareaux National Historic Site, the scale of the issue is manageable and can be remediated by investments in cost-effective solutions. Other sites, such as Fortress of Louisbourg, Navy Island and York Factory National Historic Sites, continue to experience the effects of some degree of shoreline erosion. Parks Canada will continue to pursue alternative management solutions to these threats, including selective recording, better predictive capabilities and engineering solutions.

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.

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
34,155 56,019 52,880

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
294 415 121

Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Result
Canadians appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada and support their protection and presentation.
Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
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 51%
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 68%

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 3 Icon - Protecting Nature Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

As of March 31, 2012, 51 percent of Canadians appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada, and 68 percent support their protection and presentation.

Appreciation and support

Parks Canada conducted the 2012 National Survey of Canadians, which showed that the percentage of Canadians who appreciate the significance of heritage places administered by Parks Canada was 51 percent in 2011/12, a decrease of two percent over 2008/09.

The percentage of Canadians who support the protection and presentation of heritage places administered by Parks Canada was 68 percent, an increase of one percent over 2008/09. Maintaining relatively stable levels of support and appreciation over a three-year period can be considered an accomplishment, particularly when many things compete for the time and attention of Canadians. The results suggest that Canadians are engaged, but that they require further awareness and understanding of the reasons why natural and historic places are protected on their behalf.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada took advantage of its centennial celebrations as the world's first national parks service to work with a variety of partners on proactive and targeted outreach and media initiatives aimed at connecting with Canadians and inspiring them to appreciate and support their natural and cultural heritage. Some of these activities are described below.

Recognizing the legacy
  • Canadian Geographic released a special issue of their magazine entitled "National Parks - The Future of our Natural Wonders" and a collector's edition entitled "Best National Parks Pictures 2011."
  • Canada Post issued a commemorative 59-cent stamp with a montage of Banff National Park.
  • The National Capital Commission adorned lampposts in the Ottawa/Gatineau area with banners that depicted images of national parks and national historic sites.
  • The Royal Canadian Mint issued 5 million loonies under their "Celebrating Our Legendary Nature" series.
  • The Government of Canada unveiled a plaque in Banff National Park commemorating the creation of the Dominion Parks Branch - founded in 1911 - and the birth of Parks Canada as an event of national historic significance.
Special Events
  • In collaboration with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, Parks Canada launched its 2011 operating season with an outreach event in downtown Toronto on May 21.
  • A free outdoor street festival near the CN Tower showcased the ”Parks Canada Experience” and included costumed interpreters, recreational and theatrical activities, show-and-tell exhibits and visitor kiosks.
  • The Rogers Centre was the location for a Blue Jays game that had for its theme "Parks Canada Centennial" and an all-night campout hosted by the Blue Jays for 350 people who were new to the camping experience.
  • Parks Canada hosted centennial-inspired urban festivals and music concerts in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and participated in other prominent urban festivals throughout the year, including Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill, the Calgary Stampede, and Winterlude in the national capital region.
  • In collaboration with Ottawa's Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism, Parks Canada issued its first Smartphone application for food enthusiasts entitled "Heritage Gourmet."
  • Parks Canada also launched a number of youth-targeted contests such as "Canada's Ultimate Family Adventure," in collaboration with Historica-Dominion Institute and Nature Canada, and "Canada's Coolest School Trip."
Media events
  • W5 (CTV) broadcasted a one-hour program about the work of Parks Canada's underwater archaeologists and their discovery of the HMS Investigator shipwreck.
  • Oasis High Fidelity HDTV and Discovery World HD re-aired on their respective channels two popular broadcast series that premiered last year - "National Parks Project" and "A Park for All Seasons".
  • HLP + Partners, GlassBOX Television, VIA Rail and Parks Canada launched a new six-episode series entitled "Operation Unplugged" in February 2012 (Travel + Escape channel).
  • Maclean's, Canadian Living, Old Farmer's Almanac - Canadian edition, West Jet's up!, VIA Rail's Destinations, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Kayak, explore, Taste and Travel International, Canadian Immigrant, Archaeology and Lakeland Boating magazines featured articles on some of the country's natural and historic places.
  • Parks Canada also received coverage throughout the year in some of Canada's national, urban and metropolitan newspapers, such as The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star and 24 hours.

Lessons Learned

To reach and engage Canadians in the discovery, appreciation, and support for Canada's natural and historic places, Parks Canada realizes that the cumulative, long-term impact of its presence and public interactions is critical. The Agency further recognizes that it needs to build on the success of its centennial year's activities to create those initial connections and increase awareness. A proactive and consistent approach that reflects the Agency's brand and allows for tangible follow-up is vital for moving forward.

Parks Canada was honoured with the Hostelling International-Canada Partner of the Year Award in 2011, which reflects an ongoing shift in how the Agency does it work. Parks Canada has learned that to extend its reach it needs to work closely with partners. In 2011/12, Parks Canada sought a range of relevant and strategic opportunities to engage stakeholders and partners in a manner that is aligned with their interests but that also helps the Agency reach Canadians where they live, work, and play. Parks Canada worked with a wide variety of organizations and these relationships have fostered new opportunities to reach and engage Canadians in new and exciting ways in the months and years to come.

Program Activity 4: Visitor Experience

Program Activity Description

This program supports the opportunities provided for the more than 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.

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
235,521 268,537 262,897

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
1,951 2,111 160

Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Result
Visitors at surveyed locations feel a sense of personal connection to the places visited.
Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Percentage of visitors that consider the place is meaningful to them On average, 85% of visitors at surveyed locations consider the place meaningful 86%
Percentage of visitors that are satisfied with their visit On average, 90% of visitors at surveyed locations are satisfied with their visit 96%
Percentage of visitors that are very satisfied with their visit On average, 50% of visitors at surveyed locations are very satisfied with their visit 69%

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 3 Icon - Protecting Nature Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

Parks Canada conducts its Visitor Information Program survey every year at select national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas to determine the level of visitors' satisfaction with the products and services offered at the location. In 2011/12, the Agency administered the survey at 13 national parks and 11 national historic sites.

Parks Canada exceeded all of its performance targets related to the percentage of visitors at surveyed location who considered the place meaningful to them and who were satisfied and very satisfied with their visit.

In 2011/12, on average, 86 percent of visitors felt the place was meaningful to them. Sixteen of 24 locations met or exceeded the target of 85 percent, while eight locations mostly met the target. Over the last four years, the overall annual average has remained relatively stable, fluctuating from 86 percent in 2008/09, to 78 percent in 2009/10, to 84 percent in 2010/11, to the current 86 percent. The overall average over the past four years is 83 percent.

The overall average of visitors who were satisfied and very satisfied with their visit to the Parks Canada places who conducted a Visitor Information Program survey in 2011/12 is 96 percent and 69 percent, respectively. All locations surveyed exceeded the target of 90 percent of visitors satisfied, and 23 of 24 locations exceeded the target of 50 percent of visitors very satisfied with their visit. Over the past 12 years, the overall average is 95 percent and 69 percent, respectively.

Meaningfulnessxvi

In 2011/12, for the fourth year in a row, Parks Canada asked visitors if the national park or national historic site they visited was meaningful to them. Meaningfulness is a subjective measure of personal connection and is based on an individual's internalization of his or her experiences at a particular national park or historic site. The mix of experiences that are important for personal connection varies by visitor. The results for the places surveyed in 2011/12 are shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Percentage of visitors that consider the park/site meaningful to them
Location Surveyed Total
Banff NP 93%
Batoche NHS 93%
Battle of the Chateauguay NHS 80%
Cape Breton Highlands NP 85%
Coteau-du-Lac NHS 73%
Fort Battleford NHS 87%
Fort Beauséjour - Fort Cumberland NHS 84%
Fort George NHS 82%
Fort St. Joseph NHS 88%
Gros Morne NP 90%
Jasper NP 89%
Kejimikujik NP 85%
Kootenay NP 76%
Levis Forts NHS 75%
Mount Revelstoke / Glacier NPs 85%
Pacific Rim NP 89%
Point Pelee NP 90%
Port Royal NHS 89%
Prince Albert NP 89%
Sault Ste. Marie Canal NHS 84%
S.S. Klondike NHS 87%
Waterton Lakes NP 90%
Wood Buffalo NP 90%
Yoho NP 83%
Average for 2011/12 surveys only 86%
Agency overall average (4 years) 83%

The reasons visitors to Parks Canada's natural and historic places develop a sense of connection to them are inherently personal and thus inherently diverse. Feedback from visitors at locations surveyed in 2011/12 revealed similar themes to previous years, such as the beauty and serenity of the environment, the history and/or significance engrained in the fabric of the place, the opportunities to indulge recreational and/or learning interests, pride in Canada's conservation efforts, the people they're experiencing the place with and past memories. Any or all of these experiences can leave enduring impressions in the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Visitor Satisfactionxvii

Satisfaction is a subjective measure of a visitor's overall experience. Services, activities, and interactions with staff are among the many things that contribute to a visitor's level of satisfaction, and the mix of factors that is important varies by visitor and can, to some degree, vary by place.

Parks Canada consistently meets its target for the percentage of visitors satisfied and very satisfied with their visit. The results for the locations surveyed in 2011/12 are shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10: Percentage of visitors satisfied and very satisfied with their visit
Location Surveyed Satisfied Very Satisfied
Banff NP 97% 67%
Batoche NHS 96% 77%
Battle of the Chateauguay NHS 99% 80%
Cape Breton Highlands NP 96% 66%
Coteau-du-Lac NHS 95% 61%
Fort Battleford NHS 93% 73%
Fort Beauséjour - Fort Cumberland NHS 97% 77%
Fort George NHS 96% 78%
Fort St. Joseph NHS 99% 81%
Gros Morne NP 98% 73%
Jasper NP 95% 61%
Kejimikujik NP 94% 58%
Kootenay NP 95% 48%
Levis Forts NHS 98% 79%
Mount Revelstoke / Glacier NPs 93% 55%
Pacific Rim NP 92% 55%
Point Pelee NP 94% 71%
Port Royal NHS 98% 79%
Prince Albert NP 96% 60%
Sault Ste. Marie Canal NHS 97% 71%
S.S. Klondike NHS 98% 78%
Waterton Lakes NP 95% 68%
Wood Buffalo NP 96% 72%
Yoho NP 95% 61%
Average 2011/12 surveys only 96% 69%
Agency overall average (12 years) 95% 69%

In 2011/12, Parks Canada introduced and/or improved activities and programs to enhance visitor experience and to facilitate the creation of personal connection with Canada's natural and historic places, some examples of which are described below.

  • Parks Canada introduced a program for children aged six to 11 years and their families at 41 national parks and national historic sites. The program involved games, puzzles and prizes, and was designed to be a fun and interactive way for children to learn about, explore, and discover Canada's natural and historic places. In its inaugural year, over 77,000 children participated in the program.
  • Parks Canada collaborated with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship to offer new Canadians a free entry pass to Canada's natural and historic places. The entry pass is valid for one year from the date an individual receives his/her citizenship.
  • The Agency offered alternative overnight accommodations, such as yurts, tepees, rustic cabins and all-inclusive camping, at some national parks.
  • Parks Canada hosted "Learn to-Camp" events at 16 natural and historic places. The events provided families, new Canadians and others interested in camping, a safe place to learn the technical skills involved and a chance to experience the fun associated with camping. Over 1,000 people participated in the initiative.
  • Parks Canada hosted special events at natural and historic places across the country, many inspired by the Agency's centennial. At one of these events, 34 national historic sites celebrated historic forts during the "Fab Forts Weekend."

Lessons Learned

Parks Canada appreciates that people want to experience and connect to Canada's treasured places in different ways and for different reasons, and that their interests, needs, and expectations will vary. Special events and new and/or enhanced products and programs, along with core service offers, provided a range of opportunities for Canadians to connect with their natural and historic places. In 2011/12, Parks Canada learned that while special events are beneficial in attracting Canadians, a consistent base offer is necessary to sustain growth in visitation.

Parks Canada continues to recognize that there are Canadians who have yet to visit Canada's natural and historic places and to experience what millions of people who love and cherish these places already know. To inspire Canadians to visit their national heritage places, Parks Canada recognizes that a strategic and proactive approach is needed to promote Canada's natural and historic places and the products, services and experiences they offer. Promotion needs to occur early in the year to inspire Canadians to consider Canada's natural and historic places as destinations of choice. Parks Canada will build on the success of its centennial celebrations in 2011/12 and work towards more proactive promotion and targeted engagement so that more Canadians will have the opportunity to connect personally with the places the Agency administers.

Program Activity 5: Townsite and Throughway Infrastructure

Program Activity Description

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

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
122,625 159,895 104,365

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
325 270 55

Program Activity Performance Summary
Expected Result
Condition of contemporary infrastructure for townsites and waterways is maintained or improved, and through highways are open to traffic.
Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
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 94%

15%
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 92%

7%
Number of days of closure of through highways due to asset condition Zero (0) days of closure of through highways due to asset condition 0

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

As of March 31, 2012, Parks Canada maintained the condition of 94 percent of townsite assets, exceeding the target of 75 percent. The Agency improved the condition of 15 percent of townsite assets rated as poor or fair.

Parks Canada also maintained the condition of 92 percent of waterway assets, surpassing the target of 75 percent. The Agency improved the condition of 7 percent of waterway assets rated as poor or fair.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada recorded no days of closure due to asset condition.

Improving the condition of townsite contemporary assets

Parks Canada provides a number of municipal and related services to the following townsites located in its national parks: Field in Yoho National Park, Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park, Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park, and Waterton in Waterton Lakes National Park.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada invested $3 million on townsite contemporary assets to maintain and improve their condition.

Parks Canada inspects its townsite assets on a five year-cycle. Between April 2011 and March 2012, Parks Canada continued with inspections, focusing on those that were deferred as a result of the implementation of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Agency performed inspections on Waskiesiu townsite assets and completed condition assessments for Wasagaming townsite assets.

Of a total 371 townsite assets, 46 percent (170) are presently in good condition, 29 percent (108) are in fair condition, 15 percent (57), 7 percent (26) are in very poor condition, and 3 percent (10) are not rated. Parks Canada updated its asset inventory in 2011/12 resulting in the revised total of 371 assets. See Figure 11 for details.

Figure 11: State of townsite contemporary assets
Townsite Condition Assessment 2010/11 Condition Assessment 2011/12
Good Fair Poor Very Poor Not Rated Total Good Fair Poor Very Poor Not Rated Total
Field 20 4 0 0 0 24 12 10 0 0 0 22
Lake Louise 24 3 1 2 2 32 12 8 4 2 2 28
Wasagaming 56 22 11 0 3 92 57 22 11 0 2 92
Waskesiu 33 31 19 1 1 85 56 23 3 1 1 84
Waterton 33 45 39 23 5 145 33 45 39 23 5 145
Total 166 105 70 26 11 378 170 108 57 26 10 371
Percentage 44% 28% 18% 7% 3% 100% 46% 29% 15% 7% 3% 100%

Projects active in 2011/12 to improve asset condition are described in Figure 12.

Figure 12: Projects to improve condition of townsite contemporary assets
Townsite Asset Condition Before the Project Project Description Expected Condition When Project Completed Expected Completion Date
Wasagaming Lagoon Poor Sewer Upgrade Good Projected extended to December 2012 to complete minor repairs and sludge application
Waskesiu Townsite Roads Fair & Poor Resurfacing and reconstruction of 12.5 km of severely deteriorated residential roads Good Completed in September 2011
Waterton Townsite grounds Good Stump grinding protruding stumps and tree trunks Good Completed in October 2011
Townsite Roads Fair Line painting on streets and crosswalks Good Completed October 2011
Townsite sidewalks Fair & Poor Replace sidewalk on Windflower Ave Good To be completed summer 2012
Lake Louise Lake Louise Sewage Treatment Plant Good Computerized Systems at Lake Louise Wastewater Treatment Plant Good Completed March 2012
Improving the condition of waterway contemporary assets

Parks Canada administers nine through waterways, namely: Carillion Canal, Chambly Canal, Lachine Canal, Rideau Canal, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal, Saint-Ours Canal, Sault-Ste. Marie Canal, St. Peters Canal, and Trent Severn Waterway. Dams and bridges comprise a significant portion of Parks Canada's portfolio of assets related to waterways. Dams are an integral part of waterway management, especially in the management of water levels to ensure that waterways are navigable and for flood control. Bridges provide a path across waterways and connect communities while enabling transportation of people, goods and services.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada invested $10.1 million to maintain or improve the condition of its through waterway assets.

The Agency also updated its preliminary dam hazard and condition ratings. Hazard ratings identify the potential level of impact in the event of dam failure and are required by the Agency's dam safety directive. As Parks Canada continues to manage, study and inspect the portfolio of dams and water retaining structures, adjustments to classifications and new information is uncovered. In 2011/12, Parks Canada updated its inventory of assets related to waterways and as a result five assets were added to the inventory of dams and seven others were removed due to reclassification, bringing the total number of dams to 202. Of Parks Canada's 202 dams related to waterways, 58 percent (118) have been classified as high-hazard, 23 percent (46) have been classified as significant-hazard, 15 percent (31) have been classified as low-hazard, and three percent (7) have been classified as very low-hazard. Figure 13 presents the 2011/12 preliminary hazard classification of dams.

Figure 13: 2011/12 Preliminary hazard classification of dams related to through waterways
Waterway No. of Dams High-Hazard Significant-Hazard Low-Hazard Very Low-Hazard
Carillon, Chambly, Lachine, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Saint-Ours Canals 34 21 6 7 0
Rideau Canal 40 16 14 7 3
St. Peters Canal 1 0 1 0 0
Sault Ste. Marie Canal 1 0 0 0 1
Trent-Severn Waterway 126 81 25 17 3
Total 202 118 46 31 7
Percentage 100% 58% 23% 15% 3%

Of the total number of dams related to waterways, 15 percent (31) are rated in good condition, 44 percent (89) are in fair condition, 40 percent (80) are deemed in poor condition and one percent (2) is in very poor condition.

Parks Canada manages 115 road bridges, pedestrian bridges and structural culverts along its waterways. Of the total number of bridges, 19 percent (22) are in good condition, 37 percent (43) are in fair condition, 25 percent (29) are in poor condition, one percent (1) is in very poor condition and 17 percent (20) are not rated. Figure 14 summarizes the most recent results of inspections of dams and bridges related to waterways.

Figure 14: Condition of dams and bridges related to waterways
Waterways Number & Percentage Condition Assessment 2010/11 Condition Assessment 2011/12
Good Fair Poor Closed Not Rated Good Fair Poor Very Poor Not Rated
Dams 202 32 88 82 2 0 31 89 80 2 0
100% 16% 43% 40% 1% 0% 15% 44% 40% 1% 0%
Bridges 115 23 45 21 5 21 22 43 29 1 20
100% 20% 39% 18% 4% 18% 19% 37% 25% 1% 17%

Figure 15 presents a few examples of projects ongoing in 2011/12 to improve the condition of dams and bridges related to waterways.

Figure 15: Examples of projects to improve the condition of dams and bridges related to waterways
Waterway Asset Condition Before the Project Project Description Expected Condition When Project Completed Expected Completion Date
Rideau Canal Detached Bridge in Smiths Falls Poor Recapitalization of swing bridge on Abbott Street in Smiths Falls Good To be completed May 2012
Trent-Severn Waterway Bridge No. 60 Poor

(Closed in May 2009 for safety reasons)
Recapitalization of Bridge No. 60 - Bolsover Good Completed September 2011
Bridge No. 50 Poor

(Closed in August 2008 for safety reasons)
Recapitalization of Bridge No. 50 - Bolsover Good Completed August 2011
Bridge No. 43 Poor

(Closed in December 2008 for safety reasons)
Recapitalization of Bridge No. 43 - Bolsover Good Completed July 2011
Chambly Canal Canal de Chambly - Bridge No. 9 Very poor

(Decommissioned)
Construction of new Bridge, No. 9, to replace the original Bridge No. 9 Good Completed September 2011
Ensuring through highways are open to traffic

In 2011/12, Parks Canada observed no days of closure due to asset condition. The Agency invested $60.4 million in 2011/12 to maintain or improve the condition of its through highways.

Parks Canada completed several projects in 2011/12 aimed at improving the condition of the 1,151 kilometres of through highways under its management. These projects include the re-paving and guardrail repair of 50 kilometres of Highway 93S in Banff and Kootenay National Parks, the rehabilitation of two overpass bridges along the Trans-Canada Highway through Yoho National Park, and the rehabilitation of the Big Brook Bridge and North West River Bridge along the Trans-Canada Highway in Terra Nova National Park.

The twinning (two-directional widening) of the Trans-Canada Highway near Banff National Park continued through 2011/12. The total investment in the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway is $267 million, with $130 million over five years (2009/10 to 2013/14) funded through Federal Budget 2009, $100 million over five years (2008/09 to 2012/13) funded through the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund and $37 million over three years (2007/08 to 2009/10) funded through Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. In 2011/12, Parks Canada invested $39.9 million in the project, $24.6 million of which was funded through the Gateways Border Crossings Fund and $15.3 million was funded through Canada's Economic Action Plan. The work during this period resulted in the completion of sections of highway east and west of Lake Louise.

Lessons Learned

In 2010, an internal evaluation found that while the design and delivery of Parks Canada's through highways management program are adequate, there would be efficiencies gained by providing national policy direction for the management of roadways. The evaluation identified concerns in managing legal risks and potential for liabilities arising from lawsuits and for informing users and stakeholders of intended levels of service. In addressing the recommendations of the evaluation, the Agency recognized that a nationally consistent approach to standards does not require that the same standard be applied to all highways across the country since practices and jurisdictional standards vary geographically. Parks Canada noted, however, that direction for the management of roadways should be representative of the current body of technical knowledge, legally defensible and publicly accessible so that service expectations are clear to users and stakeholders. In 2011/12 Parks Canada initiated the development of a new directive for the management of roadways. Once completed and put into effect, the directive will provide direction and define minimum baseline standards for the operation, maintenance, inspection, design and construction of all roadways located within national parks and national historic sites.

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme 4 Icon - Shrinking the Environmental Footprint Beginning with Government Program Activity: Internal Services

Program Activity Description

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 (i.e. Investment Planning, Project Management, Risk Management, Planning and Reporting, Internal Audit and Evaluation); 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 that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

Parks Canada is a participant in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) and contributes to the Greening Government Operations targets through the Internal Services Program Activity. The Agency contributes to the following target areas of Theme IV of the FSDS: Green Buildings, Green Procurement, E-Waste, Managed Print, Paper Consumption, Green Meetings and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Buildings and Fleet. For additional details on Parks Canada's Greening Government Operations activities, please see the List of Supplementary Information Tables in Section III.

2011/12 Financial Resources ($000s)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
81,562 88,108 84,941

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
488 524 36

Performance Summary and Analysis of Program Activity

Financial Management Services

The implementation of the Government's Financial Management Framework, which places increased expectations on reporting and stewardship, is ongoing at Parks Canada. To respond to the Government's new reporting standards, the Agency included future-oriented financial statements in its 2012/13 Corporate Plan.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada continued to improve its financial management governance framework. As a result, the Agency improved its Management Accountability Framework assessment rating for financial management by virtue of the performance of its financial planning cycle, its implementation of the Chief Financial Officer Model and the quality of the required reports produced during the year, including the Quarterly Financial Reports, the Public Annex to the Statement of Management Responsibility and its publicly-available financial statements.

In response to the Treasury Board of Canada's Policy on Internal Control, Parks Canada is in the process of implementing its action plan and has begun its documentation phase. This action plan forms part of the Statement of Management Responsibility including Internal Controls over Financial Reporting included in this Performance Report.

Parks Canada actively participated in interdepartmental working groups led by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada to develop common financial management business processes. In 2011/12 the Agency adopted the government-wide Chart of Accounts. Parks Canada continued or completed the implementation of a series of automated tools to harmonize financial management business processes within the Agency, including a direct deposit functionality, electronic specimen signature cards and a point-of-sale system. This last includes the standardisation point-of-sale systems for the collection of user fees across most of Parks Canada's places and the establishment a Revenue Comptrollership Standard and set of Guidelines to ensure that monies received from user fee revenue are properly controlled, deposited, and accounted for in an accurate and timely manner.

Management and Oversight Services

Parks Canada completed its work in developing guidelines, templates and updated approaches to planning and conducting evaluations and addressed all outstanding issues to comply with Treasury Board policy.

Parks Canada has made important progress in addressing known deficiencies and improving efficiencies in key security activities. A major achievement in 2011/12 was the development of the Parks Canada Departmental Security Plan, which provides a departmental security governance structure within Parks Canada; demonstrates alignment with Parks Canada program activities; outlines security threats, risks and vulnerabilities; and presents a five-year action plan for improving security. Other realizations include the development and approval of the Parks Canada Firearm Policy and of the management directive on the reporting and recording of serious incidents.

Human Resources Management Services

To realize its Vision, Parks Canada relies on a team of highly knowledgeable, skilled and passionate professionals to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of the 21st century. In addition, Parks Canada continues to benefit from a highly-engaged workforce, as evidenced by the results of the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey. Consequently, the Agency's focus in 2011/12 was to continue to foster and capitalize on these important advantages in planning for the future.

In 2011/12, Parks Canada continued to engage its workforce and to create a respectful workplace that is effective now and into the future. The implementation of strategic changes to the Parks Canada employee performance management process offers an important example of this approach. The performance commitments of all employees were aligned with the Agency-wide program activity outcomes and Leadership Attributes, supporting the Agency's One Team, One Vision priority. As the beginning of the fiscal year foreshadowed potentially significant changes within the Agency due to federal fiscal realities, Parks Canada implemented an integrated planning process in order to identify key positions for succession planning in a renewed structure.

Parks Canada actively supports employees in their career development and encourages a workplace that values diversity in all its aspects. In 2011/12, the Agency reinvigorated GenerAction, an Agency-wide program whose main objective is to provide multigenerational developmental, networking and mentoring opportunities for employees. Each year, Parks Canada also provides students, hired through the Federal Student Work Experience, Young Canada Works and co-operative education programs, with opportunities to learn more about the Agency and its job possibilities while gaining valuable work experience and skills. Moreover, in July 2011, the creation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Parks Canada Youth Ambassador program was announced as a legacy to commemorate their first visit to Canada. The Youth Ambassador Program is one of a number of initiatives by which Parks Canada is working to connect youth to Canada's natural and cultural heritage.

Parks Canada continued its efforts to implement cost-effective e-learning. To make way for this change, the Agency undertook a revamp of its learning policy, governance structure and strategy to facilitate more effective and efficient management and delivery of all learning in the organization, which is near completion. By improving access to learning opportunities and fostering a culture of learning and competence within the organization, Parks Canada continues to position itself as an employer of choice.

A continued investment in leadership development with a particular emphasis on the delivery of three mandatory courses for middle managers reflected the Agency's ongoing support for the achievement of excellence in management. More than 83 percent of managers and supervisors with a human resources delegation have now successfully completed these courses, which will enable them to better exercise their accountabilities under the revised Instrument of Delegation of Human Resources Authorities that was also put in place.

Excellence in human resources management will be further guaranteed by ensuring that the right systems are in place. The major human resources management system initiative in 2011/12 was the upgrade to PeopleSoft version 8.9, which will be completed in early 2012/13. Functional improvements in the upgraded application will provide a platform through which costs will be reduced and service levels improved by automating, streamlining and optimizing human resources business processes, including the enterprise-wide integration of common human resources business processes. In addition to enabling more efficient and effective responses to current internal business requirements, the upgrade positions the Agency to take full advantage of federal government initiatives to enhance human resources management systems and adopt common configurations.

Asset Management

During 2011/12, Parks Canada brought to near completion its first Investment Plan, in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Investment Planning - Assets and Acquired Services. As part of the investment planning initiative, Parks Canada developed a new investment planning cycle. This cycle will facilitate the establishment of investment priorities and will clearly define how investments are identified, prioritized and approved, based on the highest corporate priorities and risks.

Travel and Other Administrative Services

In 2011/12, Parks Canada rolled out an electronic travel expense management tool, choosing an automated solution that was part of the Shared Travel Services Initiative. As part of its expenditure reduction strategy, the Agency continues to target reductions to travel, hospitality and conferences by making investments in alternative means for holding meetings, such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing. Parks Canada published its first annual report on this spending in November 2011, showing that travel expenditures have decreased by 30% from the 2009/10 levels.

Parks Canada is minimizing the environmental impacts of its operations, in accordance with the FSDS, by demonstrating progress in specific areas identified in the Greening Government Operations Table found in the supplementary tables Section III.

Changes to Government Structure

Impacts on Financial and Human Resources Resulting from the Establishment of Shared Services Canada

2011/12 Financial Resources ($ Millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities*
*Pursuant to section 31.1 of the Financial Administration Act and Orders in Council P.C. 2011-0881 and P.C. 2011-0877 and P.C. 2011-1297, this amount was deemed to have been appropriated to SSC, which resulted in a reduction in the appropriation for Parks Canada.

**Total authorities, as presented in the 2011/12 Financial Resources table (and other relevant tables) in the Summary of Performance section, is the net of any transfers to SSC. Actual spending does not included expenditures incurred on behalf of SSC as of the OIC date.
Net transfer post Orders in Council (OIC)** to Shared Services Canada (SSC) 695.5 7.5

2011/12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual
Deemed transferred to SSC 4,422 6

Section III: Supplementary Information

Financial Highlights

Parks Canada Agency's unaudited financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Government's accounting policies, which are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards (accrual accounting principles) and, therefore, are different from appropriation-based reporting, which is reflected in Sections I and II of this report. Sections I and II are prepared on a modified cash basis rather than an accrual basis. A reconciliation between the parliamentary appropriations used (modified cash basis) and the net cost of operations (accrual basis) is set out in note 11 of the unaudited financial statements.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (Unaudited)
As of March 31, 2012 ($ thousands)
Change $ 2011/12 2010/11
Total net liabilities (9,637) 182,862 192,499
Total net financial assets (43,355) 76,798 117,153
Net debt 30,718 106,064 75,346
Total non-financial assets 16,153 1,825,173 1,809,020
Net financial position (14,565) 1,719,109 1,733,674

Condensed Statement of Operations and Net Financial Position (Unaudited)
For the Year ending March 31, 2012 ($ thousands)
Change % 2011/12 2010/11
Total expenses 4.39 734,811 703,904
Total revenues 1.77 114,218 112,229
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 4.89 620,593 591,675
Net financial position (0.84) 1,719,109 1,733,674

Financial Statements

A full set of the Agency's unaudited financial statements can be found on the Parks Canada Websitexviii.

Financial Highlights - Charts and Graphs

Expenses by Program Activity

Pie Chart - Expenses by Program Activity

[long description]

See note 14 of the financial statements - Segmented Information

In 2011/12, the total expenses were $734.8 million, compared to $703.9 million in 2010-2011, representing an increase of $30.9 million (4.4%). This variance can be explained mainly by an increase in Heritage Resources Conservation ($10.5 million), Public Appreciation and Understanding ($4.5 million) and in the Amortization of tangible capital assets ($13.1 million). The majority of the expenses consists of salary and employee benefits for $426.7 million (58.1%). Visitor Experience and Heritage Resources Conservation program activities account for 55.7% of the total expenses.

The amount of expenses for information technology infrastructure services (email, data centres and networks) provided internally up to the transfer of those responsibilities to Shared Services Canada ($9.0 million) is presented separately above and as well in the financial statements under Transferred Operations Expenses.

Revenues by Major Classification

Pie Chart - Revenues by Major Classification

[long description]

See note 14 of the financial statements - Segmented Information

Total revenues amounted to $114.2 million for 2011/12. Revenues have remained fairly stable compared to prior year's total of $112.2 million. The majority of the revenue is derived from Entrance fees and Recreational fees, which together represent 69.6% of total revenues for the Agency.

In addition, revenues from Visitor Experience Program activity represent 72.5% ($82.8 million) of the total revenues of the Agency.

Assets

Pie Chart - Assets

[long description]

See notes 7, 8 and 9 of the financial statements - Cash entitlements, Inventory of consumable supplies and Tangible capital assets

Total assets of $1,902.0 million have slightly decreased this year by $24.2 million (1.3%). Tangible capital assets represent 95.5% of the total assets of the Agency.

The decrease in the total assets is caused by a $40.4 million decrease in the financial assets, along with a $16.2 million increase in the non-financial assets. The decrease of $39.0 million in the Due from Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) is caused by the reduction in accounts payable and accrued liabilities, by the decrease in New Parks and Historic Sites account and by accrued liabilities not charged to authorities. The increase of $20.6 million in the net tangible capital assets is the result of more additions than disposals and amortization during the course of the year 2011/12.

Liabilities

Pie Chart - Liabilities

[long description]

See notes 3, 4, 5 and 6 b) of the financial statements - Deferred revenue, Lease obligation for tangible capital assets, Employee future benefits and Provision for environmental clean-up

Total liabilities are $182.9 million on March 31, 2012. This represents a decrease of $9.6 million (5.0%) from the previous year's total liabilities of $192.5 million. The Accounts payable and accrued liabilities continue to represent the largest component of liabilities at 45.1% ($82.5 million) of total liabilities in 2011-2012 as the employee future benefits account for 35.4% ($64.8 million).

The decrease is mainly explained by the reduction of $15.1 million in the Accounts payable and accrued liabilities with other government departments.

List of Supplementary Information Tables

All electronic supplementary information tables found in the 2011/12 Performance Report can be found on the Parks Canada Websitexix

  • Details on Transfer Payment Programs (TPPs)
  • Greening Government Operations
  • Internal Audits and Evaluations
  • Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits
  • Sources of Respendable and Non-Respendable Revenue
  • Status Report on Projects Operating with Specific Treasury Board Approval
  • User Fees Reporting

Section IV: Other Items of Interest

Organizational Contact Information

General Inquiries:
Parks Canada National Office
25-7-N Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
Canada
K1A 0M5

General Inquiries:
888-773-8888

General Inquiries (International):
613-860-1251

Teletypewriter (TTY):
866-787-6221

Additional Information

The Visitor Information Program

The Visitor Information Program uses a standard questionnaire to provide information to managers of national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas about their visitors, including their use of products and services, their satisfaction with products and services, and other aspects of their visit. Selection of individual protected places to participate in the Visitor Information Program each year is aligned, as much as possible, with the timing of management planning and reporting requirements. The national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas that participate in the Visitor Information Program over a five-year cycle account for the majority of the total recorded visits to heritage places administered by Parks Canada.

In 2011/12, 24 locations conducted the survey during the peak survey period of June to September 2011. Visitors were invited to participate on-site and were provided with the paper survey to complete and return. The average refusal rate for heritage places surveyed in 2011/12 was 10 percent, ranging from a low of one percent to a high of 34 percent. Overall, it means that nine of every 10 visitors who were asked to participate in the survey agreed to do so.

National Survey of Canadians

Parks Canada measures its Strategic Outcome and its performance related to Program Activity 3, Public Appreciation and Understanding, using the National Survey of Canadians (NSC). The NSC is designed to provide information about Canadians' attitudes towards natural and cultural heritage; their awareness and understanding of the Agency, its programs and responsibilities; and their appreciation of the places administered by Parks Canada and general support for the Agency's mandate and activities.

The NSC is a telephone survey of a representative sample of Canadians. The survey was last conducted in February 2012 and 3,786 respondents completed the survey, resulting in a response rate of four percent - the industry standard for telephone surveys today. The results of the survey are considered accurate 19 times out of 20 (95% level of confidence). The next NSC is planned for February/March 2014.

Stakeholder and Partner Engagement Survey

Parks Canada measures its performance related to Stakeholder and Partner Engagement using the Stakeholder and Partner Engagement Survey (SPES). Stakeholder and Partner Engagement is one of the sub-activities of Program Activity 3, Public Appreciation and Understanding. The SPES is designed to assess Parks Canada's performance in the eyes of its stakeholders and partners; in particular, the quality and relevance of its public engagement practices, the extent to which stakeholders and partners support the Agency's activities, and how well Parks Canada provides opportunities for their involvement.

The SPES is an online survey of a representative sample of Parks Canada's stakeholders and partners. The survey was last administered in November 2009. In total, 2,538 stakeholders and partners were invited to participate in the study, 781 of whom completed the survey, representing a response rate of 31 percent. The results of the survey are considered accurate 19 times out of 20 (95% level of confidence). The next SPES is planned for 2013/14.

Métis Reconciliation

The Government of Canada is committed to building strong, effective and mutually beneficial working relationships with Métis and other Aboriginal groups. As part of a multi-departmental strategy to implement programs related to the reconciliation and management of Métis Aboriginal rights, Parks Canada received $4.25 million in 2010/11 to invest over five years, of which $601,500 was spent in 2011/12. The strategy is led by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and also involves Environment Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The funding received for this initiative allows Parks Canada to work with Métis communities and organizations to carry out approximately 18 projects that celebrate Métis history and culture while building on ongoing relationships with Métis communities. These projects also help preserve Métis history and culture and increase Canadians' awareness of this important aspect of Canadian heritage through public education programs at national parks and national historic sites in western and northern Canada.

During the second year of the initiative, Parks Canada initiated projects in Western Canada with Métis groups. One of the projects that received funding in 2011/12 was the Métis in New Caledonia project at Fort St. James National Historic Site. Métis groups in British Columbia had previously expressed concern over the lack of explicit Métis content at the national historic site. Parks Canada consulted with Métis and First Nations stakeholders to develop a new exhibit for the Visitor Centre, which now has a major Métis component and weaves Métis history through the larger story of Fort St. James. The new exhibit should help Métis visitors to better connect with the site as well as make all visitors more aware of the importance of Métis history in the New Caledonia fur trade. The exhibit is scheduled to open in summer 2012.

Another project that received funding in 2011/12 was the Building a York Boat project at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. In consultation with Transport Canada, Parks Canada initiated the construction of two York Boats for transporting passengers. Now almost complete, the boats, built using contemporary fabrication techniques that meet current standards for modern vessels, will be manned by volunteers located through the Selkirk Métis Federation and the Louis Riel Institute. A third boat, soon to be begun, will be constructed in a historic manner using local materials and will be used for an exhibit at Lower Fort Garry detailing the use of the vessels and the role of the "tripmen," primarily the Métis. The boats will also be used at celebrations and community events.


End Notes

i Type is defined as follows: Previously committed to - committed to in the first or second year prior to the subject year of the Parks Canada Agency Corporate Plan; Ongoing - committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the Corporate Plan; and New - newly committed to in the year of the Corporate Plan.

ii Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals

iii Additional information on Parks Canada's activities to support sustainable development; and Strategic Environmental Assessment

iv Environment Canada Website

v Public Accounts of Canada 2012

vi Average commemorative integrity is calculated by adding the commemorative integrity numerical score for all national historic sites as determined through initial (baseline) evaluations or subsequent re-evaluations and dividing it by the total number of sites that have had commemorative integrity evaluations (134 in total).

vii Commemorative integrity ratings and scoring

Score Degree of Impairment Ratings
10
Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot
No impairment means that all three CI elements were rated as good
9
Green DotGreen DotYellow Dot
Minor impairment means that at least one CI element was rated less than good but no aspect of CI was rated as poor
8
Green DotYellow DotYellow Dot
7
Yellow DotYellow DotYellow Dot
6
Green DotGreen DotRed Dot
Significant impairment means that one CI element was rated as poor
5
Green DotYellow DotRed Dot
4
Yellow DotYellow DotRed Dot
3
Green DotRed DotRed Dot
Major impairment means that two CI elements were rated as poor
2
Yellow DotRed DotRed Dot
1
Red DotRed DotRed Dot
Severe impairment means that all three CI elements were rated as poor

viii The total number of sites has increased by one as a result of the completed baseline evaluation for L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish NHS in 2011/12 (level of impairment is minor).

ix Commemoration Program

x A region may be represented by a national park or national park reserve. A reserve is an area managed as a national park but where the lands are subject to one or more claims by Aboriginal people that have been accepted for negotiation by the Government of Canada. A region is considered to be represented when one or more national parks or park reserves are operational as a consequence of: signing a park establishment agreement (federal-provincial and/or Aboriginal agreements); the lands have been transferred to Canada (from the province); and/or the park/reserve is in a schedule of the Canada National Parks Act.

xi The establishment of a national park begins with the identification of several natural areas that are representative of a natural region (Step 1); followed by the selection of a potential national park area (Step 2); then conducting a feasibility assessment including consultations (Step 3); negotiating park establishment agreements (Step 4); and formally protecting a park under the Canada National Parks Act (Step 5).

xii A marine region is considered to be represented when one or more national marine conservation areas or reserves are operational as a consequence of: signing an establishment agreement (federal-provincial and/or Aboriginal agreements); seabed and any lands have been transferred to Canada (from province); and/or the national marine conservation area/reserve is in a schedule of the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

xiii The establishment of a national marine conservation area begins with the identification of several areas that are representative of a marine region (Step 1); followed by the selection of a potential national marine conservation area (Step 2); then conducting a feasibility assessment including consultations (Step 3); negotiating marine conservation area establishment agreements (Step 4); and formally protecting a marine area under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (Step 5).

xiv Information on under-represented themes

xv Definition of the concept of Commemorative Integrity

xvi Meaningfulness has been measured since 2008. The overall average is based on 73 locations surveyed between 2008 and 2011.

xvii The Agency has been measuring visitor satisfaction since 2000/01. The overall average is based on 105 locations of 212 places administered by Parks Canada.

xviii Parks Canada Agency Unaudited Financial Statements

xix Supplementary Information Tables