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2012-13 Parks Canada Agency Performance Report

2012-13 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Parks Canada's 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.

Parks Canada's Vision

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

1. Parks Canada Sustainable Development Vision

The Federal Sustainable Development Act defines sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It states that the Government of Canada "acknowledges the need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government."

Sustainable development is central to Parks Canada's mandate and vision. It is ingrained in all aspects of the Agency's activities from establishing and conserving national parks and national marine conservation areas to designating and commemorating national historic sites. Parks Canada is committed to ensuring that Canada's treasured natural and historic places remain unimpaired for the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Parks Canada activities also contribute to the Canadian economy. The combined annual expenditures of Parks Canada and its millions of visitors make a substantial and widespread contribution to the Canadian economy, both directly through its facilities, locations and services, and indirectly in the surrounding communities through spending on accommodations, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. Parks Canada places contribute $3.3 billion annually to the Canadian economy, sustaining more than 41,000 jobs in hundreds of communities across the country.

2. Agency Decision-Making and Sustainable Development Practices

Managing Sustainable Development

Sustainable development involves the consideration of environmental, economic and social objectives in the development and implementation of public policies and programs. The needs of the present as well as the needs of future generations are also taken into consideration. Integrated decision-making and a long-term approach to planning are defining characteristics of sustainable development and represent the key management challenges.

Parks Canada's mandate is composed of three elements: protection, education and visitor experience. In recent years, Parks Canada has pursued the integration of these three elements in the planning, design and delivery of its activities. For example, Parks Canada carries out active management and restoration projects in national parks. These projects are designed in a manner that ensures the conservation of natural resources, while enhancing visitor experience and learning opportunities. This integrated approach to the delivery of Parks Canada's mandate has strengthened the Agency's contribution to all aspects of sustainable development - environmental, social and economic.

Parks Canada's decision-making and sustainable development practices include collaborating with groups that share its values and have an interest in its work. The establishment of national parks and national marine conservation areas, for example, 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. The Agency recognizes that building and maintaining these collaborative relationships is essential to achieving its mandate of protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

Moreover, Parks Canada promotes sustainable development practices by encouraging the use of analytical techniques that compare and integrate environmental, social, and economic objectives and that address multi-year or long-term concerns. For example, the Agency uses social science analytical tools, such as national polls, surveys and socio-economic studies, to understand and engage Canadians, particularly certain segments of the population (e.g. urban youth, new Canadians), in meaningful ways to ensure that its heritage places remain relevant for present and future generations.

Finally the Agency is engaged in several interdepartmental initiatives related to sustainable development, such as the Clean Air Agenda, Species at Risk, Federal Contaminated Sites, Greening Government Operations and the FSDS working group for Theme III – Protecting Nature.

Strategic Environmental Assessment Highlights

Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a systematic, comprehensive process of evaluating the environmental effects of a proposed policy, plan or program and its alternatives. Parks Canada has integrated SEA as part of its decision-making process and undertakes SEA when a proposed policy, plan or program requires Cabinet or Ministerial approval and may result in important environmental effects, either positive or negative. The SEA identifies and mitigates any adverse environmental effects and enhances positive effects to support the achievement of FSDS goals and Parks Canada's expected results. SEA can be tracked via the Parks Canada website, where all of the public statements are sub-classified by type of Program, Plan or Policy.

As an Agency with a conservation mandate, Parks Canada’s programs, plans and policies are developed with the objective of supporting the protection and presentation of our heritage places. This is reflected in the assessments completed in 2012-2013, which reported insignificant negative effects and important positive effects. Parks Canada published SEAs for species at risk recovery documents and for park management plans, the results of which supported important positive effects on the following FSDS goals and targets: 5.1 Target: Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Conservation; 6.2 Target: Terrestrial Ecosystem and Habitat; and 6.4 Target: Managing Threats to Ecosystems.

Consistent with the Government of Canada's commitment to strengthen the application of SEA in the federal government, Parks Canada posts public statements on the internet for all completed SEAs (in conjunction with the public announcement of the initiatives assessed). Readers can find SEA public statements on the Parks Canada Agency public website at: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/eie-eia/itm4.aspx.

3. Summary of Agency Implementation Strategies and Clean Air Agenda Programming in FSDS Themes I-III

Species at Risk
Implementation Strategy
5.1.7 Lead the development of national recovery strategies for species at risk that are found primarily on Parks Canada administered lands and waters.
Link to FSDS Goals and Targets
Theme III Protecting Nature
Goal 5 Wildlife Conservation: Maintain or restore populations of wildlife to healthy levels.
Target 5.1 Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Conservation: Population trend (when available) at the time of reassessment is consistent with the recovery strategy for 100% of listed species at risk (for which recovery has been deemed feasible) by 2020.
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.2 Heritage Resources Conservation
Sub Program 1.2.1 National Parks Conservation
Sub Sub Program 1.2.1.1 Species at Risk
Description of the Implementation Strategy
Over half of Canada’s endangered and threatened species can be found in the protected heritage areas administered by Parks Canada. Parks Canada will protect these species and their critical habitat in the Agency’s heritage areas, and will support their recovery by leading the development and implementation of recovery strategies, surveying and monitoring their status, and conducting public education programs. Recovery planning is an obligation under the Species at Risk Act.
Relationship with FSDS
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting natural spaces and wildlife, including species at risk. To promote stewardship activities that protect and restore threatened ecosystems and endangered species, the Government works in partnership with the provinces and territories, private industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation organizations, and individual Canadians. Animals such as bison and black-footed ferret have been reintroduced to restored habitats and brought back from near extinction, along with the Banff Springs snail, Blanding’s Turtle, and the pink sand-verbena. By helping maintain and restore the integrity of ecosystems, the habitats necessary for supporting the health of species are conserved.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: Parks Canada assumes its lead role in the development of national recovery strategies for 15% of federally listed species at risk.

Performance Expectation: 100% of species at risk that Parks Canada has the lead responsibility for have a recovery strategy in accordance with the legislated timelines.

Results: In 2012-13, Parks Canada completed recovery documents (recovery strategies or management plans as required) for 10 species at risk and posted them on the Species at Risk Public Registry. As of March 2013, the Agency has completed 93% of the 76 recovery documents for which it is responsible.
National Parks Conservation
Implementation Strategy
6.1.12 Through active management and restoration initiatives address conservation challenges and demonstrate improvements in key indicators of ecological integrity in 20 of Canada’s national parks.
Link to FSDS Goals and Targets
Theme III Protecting Nature
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.
Target 6.2 Terrestrial Ecosystem and Habitat – Park Protected Habitat: Maintain or improve the overall ecological integrity in all national parks from March 2008 to March 2013.
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.2 Heritage Resources Conservation
Sub Program 1.2.1 National Parks Conservation
Description of the Implementation Strategy
Parks Canada has responsibilities under the Canada National Parks Act to protect and conserve nationally significant representative natural areas on behalf of the people of Canada for their benefit, education and enjoyment and to ensure National Parks are maintained and made use of as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. National Parks Conservation includes maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity through: ecological research and monitoring to gain a better understanding of the state of health, natural ecological processes and biodiversity of parks; and the impact of stressors on ecosystems. Protection and conservation occurs through scientific research, planning, reporting, public consultation, negotiation with stakeholders and others to influence actions that occur on lands located adjacent to protected heritage areas, cooperative management agreements, adaptive management and restoration of ecosystem processes and biodiversity. Protection and conservation also occurs through specific activities such as prevention, law enforcement, and fire management.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians value the health of the country's natural environment, and the Government of Canada recognizes that our social and economic well-being depends on its sustainability. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action and investing in conservation and protection of ecosystems and habitat.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: Ecosystem conservation is improved through active management.

Performance Expectation: 80% of active management targets to improve ecological integrity are met by March 2015.

Results: Overall ecological integrity in all national parks has been maintained from March 2008 to March 2013. The percentage of assessed ecosystems in good or fair condition remains high, 92% in 2009 and 91% in 2013. The percentage of assessed ecosystems that have stable or improving ecological integrity trends also remained virtually the same during this period, 55% in 2009 and 57% in 2013.

In 2012-13, through its Action on the Ground initiative, Parks Canada continued to invest significantly in active management and ecological restoration efforts to address some of the most pressing ecological integrity issues in targeted southern national parks and improve key ecological integrity indicators. Examples of issues being addressed through Action on the Ground include: rehabilitation of freshwater lakes in La Mauricie National Park; control of hyper-abundant moose and restoration of black spruce forest in Terra Nova National Park; reintroduction of Blanding’s turtles in Kejimkujik and of bison and black-footed ferrets in Grasslands national parks; control of invasive species in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve; and restoration of the balance of a wolf-elk food web in Riding Mountain National Park.
National Parks Establishment and Expansion
Implementation Strategy
6.1.13 Establish one new national park by March 2013; complete feasibility assessments for five other potential national parks and one proposed expansion.
Link to FSDS Goals and Targets
Theme III Protecting Nature
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.
Target 6.2 Terrestrial Ecosystem and Habitat – Park Protected Habitat: Maintain or improve the overall ecological integrity in all national parks from March 2008 to March 2013.
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.1 Heritage Places Establishment
Sub Program 1.1.1 National Parks Establishment and Expansion
Description of the Implementation Strategy
This strategy involves the completion of the national parks system in accordance with the National Parks System Plan. Canada is divided into 39 distinct natural regions based on unique physiographic and vegetative characteristics and Parks Canada’s goal is to have at least one national park representative of each natural region. The completion of the system will protect outstanding examples of Canada’s natural diversity, and provide Canadians with opportunities to experience, understand and appreciate that diversity. Five steps are involved in the process to establish a national park: identify areas representative of a natural region; select an optimum national park candidate from the list of representative areas; assess the feasibility of establishing the proposed park through studies and consultations; negotiate new park agreements, including any that may be required with Aboriginal peoples or organizations; and formally establish the national park in legislation.

Establishing national parks 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 the best of the world’s natural heritage.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians value the health of the country’s natural environment, and the Government of Canada recognizes that our social and economic well-being depends on its sustainability. Consequently, the Government of Canada is taking action and investing in conservation and protection of ecosystems and habitat.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: National parks are created in unrepresented regions and some existing national parks are completed or expanded.

Performance Expectations: Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in 3 unrepresented regions. Expand 1 national park by March 2013.

Results: In 2012-13, in addition to the establishment of Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve (Northwest Territories), Canada’s 44th national park, and the tabling in the Senate of Bill S15 to formally protect Sable Island National Park Reserve (Nova Scotia) under the Canada National Parks Act, Parks Canada made demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks in four unrepresented natural regions: East Coast Boreal (Mealy Mountains proposal), Western High Arctic (Qausuittuq - Bathurst Island proposal), Northwestern Boreal Uplands (Thaidene Nene in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake proposal) and Manitoba Lowlands (Manitoba Lowlands proposal).

Measuring 4,850 square kilometres, Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve adjoins Nahanni National Park Reserve (which was significantly expanded in 2009) and together, the Nahanni and Nááts'ihch'oh national park reserves protect about 86 percent of the entire South Nahanni watershed. The creation of Nááts’ihch’oh effectively completes the Nahanni expansion project.

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve saw its land base increased in 2012, with the acquisition of over 100 hectares of new protected lands on Pender, Saturna and Prevost islands.
National Marine Conservation Area Establishment
Implementation Strategy
6.3.8 Complete feasibility assessments for two potential national marine conservation areas.
Link to FSDS Goals and Targets
Theme III Protecting Nature
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.
Target 6.3 Marine Ecosystems: Improve the conservation of ocean areas and marine ecosystems by 2012.
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.1 Heritage Places Establishment
Sub Program 1.1.2 National Marine Conservation Area Establishment
Description of the Implementation Strategy
This strategy involves the expansion and ultimate completion of the national marine conservation areas system in accordance with the National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan entitled Sea to Sea to Sea. Canada is divided into 29 distinct marine regions based on unique oceanographic and biological characteristics and Parks Canada’s goal is to protect and conserve a representative example of each of the 29 regions. The completion of the system will protect outstanding examples of the diversity of Canada’s oceans and Great Lakes and provide Canadians with opportunities to experience, understand, and appreciate that diversity. Five steps are involved in the process to establish a national marine conservation area: identify areas representative of a marine region; select an optimum national marine conservation area candidate from the list of representative areas; assess the feasibility of establishing the proposed marine conservation area through studies and, consultations; negotiate new national marine conservation area agreements, including any that may be required with Aboriginal peoples or organizations; and formally establish the national marine conservation area in legislation.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians value the health of the country’s natural environment, and the Government of Canada recognizes that our social and economic well-being depends on its sustainability. Consequently, the Government of Canada is taking action and investing in conservation and protection of ecosystems and habitat.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: National marine conservation areas are created in unrepresented regions.

Performance Expectation: Make demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas in 2 unrepresented regions.

Results: In 2012-13, Parks Canada made demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas in three unrepresented marine regions: Lancaster Sound with the Lancaster Sound proposal in Nunavut; Strait of Georgia, with the Southern Strait of Georgia proposal in British Columbia; and Magdalen Shallows, with the les Îles-de-la-Madeleine proposal in Quebec.
National Marine Conservation Areas Sustainability
Implementation Strategy
6.3.9 Develop a national zoning framework for the national marine conservation area program.
Link to FSDS Goals and Targets
Theme III Protecting Nature
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.
Target 6.3 Marine Ecosystems: Improve the conservation of ocean areas and marine ecosystems by 2012.
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.2 Heritage Resources Conservation
Sub Program 1.2.3 National Marine Conservation Areas Sustainability
Description of the Implementation Strategy
Parks Canada has responsibilities under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act to protect and conserve representative marine areas for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people of Canada and the world. These areas are to be managed and used in an ecologically sustainable manner that meets the needs of present and future generations without compromising the structure and function of the ecosystems with which they are associated. The management of marine conservation areas involves agencies other than Parks Canada that have legislated mandates respecting activities such as fishing and marine navigation, activities that will continue subject to shared understandings that respect the principle of ecologically sustainable use. National Marine Area Sustainability includes ecological research and monitoring to gain a better understanding of the state of health, natural ecological processes and biodiversity of national marine conservation areas. These areas are managed through scientific research, planning, reporting, public consultation and negotiation with other involved management agencies, stakeholders and others to influence actions that occur in areas adjacent to protected heritage areas, cooperative management agreements, adaptive management and restoration of ecosystem processes and biodiversity.

In Summer 2011, the national marine conservation area sustainability program was reviewed to address weaknesses in the logic model. It was determined that the identification of a key output for national marine conservation area sustainability would be the preferred approach for this program, leaving the expected result and related performance expectation to be determined at a later time. This key output is a national marine conservation area policy framework which will provide the foundation for other policy tools such as a zoning framework.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians value the health of the country’s natural environment, and the Government of Canada recognizes that our social and economic well-being depends on its sustainability. Consequently, the Government of Canada is taking action and investing in conservation and protection of ecosystems and habitat.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: The expected result and performance expectation for the national marine conservation area sustainability program are pending the completion of the national marine conservation area policy framework.

Results: In 2012-13, progress was made on the development of a policy framework to inform the management of national marine conservation areas. This framework will include guidance with regards to: ecologically sustainable use; monitoring and reporting; and zoning.
Clean Air Agenda
Activity
Parks Canada will deliver a program entitled “Understanding Climate-Driven Ecological Change in Canada's North” with funding in the amount of $2.41 million over five years (2011-12 to 2015-16) received under the Clean Air Agenda.
Link to FSDS Theme
Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.2 Heritage Resources Conservation
Sub Program 1.2.1 National Parks Conservation
Description of the Activity
Parks Canada contributes to the understanding of climate-driven ecological change in Canada's North by consulting with park co-management boards, conducting process-based ecosystem mapping, and completing scenarios modeling and reporting to help communities understand the risks to important country food, recognize the need for adaptation, and discuss options for action. Parks Canada will also link key drivers to changing ecosystem composition and structure and discuss how these changes might impact other ecosystem components (such as caribou and other species) and the ecological integrity of parks. This activity supports communities in assessing the risks as well as opportunities arising from climate change, and provides them with options for adapting.
Relationship with FSDS
Air pollutants are often closely associated with greenhouse gas emissions. Many air-borne substances have an impact on smog, pollution and our overall quality of life, including human health. Poor air quality also affects plants and animals, may put species at risk, and can reduce the productivity of our farms, fisheries and forests. The Government of Canada has developed a strategy to address climate change and air quality by taking action to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: Climate-driven ecological change in Canada's Northern National Parks is understood.

Performance Expectation: Ecosystem mapping of Wapusk, Ivvavik and Torngat Mountains National Parks will be completed by March 2013.

Results: The ecosystem mapping and description has been completed for the northern portion of Torngat Mountains National Park and for Ivvavik National Park.

Extensive field data were collected and ecosystem mapping and description were initiated for Ukkusiksalik National Park, including consultation with the co-management board.
Spending Information
Planned spending for 2012-13: $507,510

Actual spending for 2012-13: $471,280

4. Additional Agency Sustainable Development Activities

In addition to its core implementation strategies, Parks Canada contributes to sustainable development through additional activities such as the Clean Air Agenda (reported in section 3), the engagement of stakeholders, partners and Aboriginal peoples, and the facilitation of visitor experience opportunities for Canadians.

Stakeholder and Partner Engagement
Activity
Parks Canada will provide increased opportunities for Canadians to be involved with Parks Canada places in activities they consider meaningful and relevant including consultations, open doors and an increasing array of volunteer activities.
Link to FSDS Themes
Theme III Protecting Nature
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.3 Public Appreciation and Understanding
Sub Program 1.3.2 Stakeholder and Partner Engagement
Description of the Activity
The support and involvement of Parks Canada's stakeholders and partners is essential to Parks Canada’s program delivery and continued relevance. Parks Canada’s stakeholders represent all sectors of Canadian society, and include individuals, groups and organizations that have an interest in the Agency’s actions and direction. Stakeholders engage with Parks Canada through a wide variety of activities at all levels of the organization and in ways that are relevant to them, such as formal and informal consultation processes, and the national volunteer program. Stakeholder and partner engagement supports results in all program activities and leads to new or expanded opportunities for Canadians to discover and develop a sense of connection to their protected heritage places.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians value the health of the country’s natural environment, and the Government of Canada recognizes that our social and economic well-being depends on its sustainability. Consequently, the Government of Canada is taking action and investing in conservation and protection of ecosystems and habitat.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: Stakeholders and partners are engaged in the protection and presentation of Parks Canada's administered places.

Performance Expectations: Increase the % of stakeholders and partners that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada's administered places by March 2014.

Increase the % of stakeholders and partners that feel that they have opportunities to influence and contribute to Parks Canada's activities by March 2014.

Results: Our success at bringing Parks Canada to where Canadians live, work, and play and facilitating opportunities for them to learn about and be inspired about their natural and historical heritage is shared with dedicated partners and stakeholders who play an active role in the development and implementation of these opportunities. In 2012, Parks Canada collaborated with partners to bring the spirit, wonder, and awe of Canada’s natural and historic treasures to Canadians through a variety of documentaries, enhanced programming, urban outreach events, family and youth-oriented contests, national television broadcasts, and social media applications.

In terms of the performance expectations, Parks Canada established preliminary baselines in 2010 for Stakeholder and Partner Engagement. In 2010, 82 percent of stakeholders and partners supported the protection and presentation of Parks Canada administered places and 41 percent of stakeholders and partners felt they had opportunities to influence and contribute to the Agency’s activities. A follow-up survey is not planned at this time and it is anticipated that these indicators will be retired in 2014.
Engagement of Aboriginal Peoples
Activity
Parks Canada will finalize the framework to engage Aboriginal peoples in the planning and management of heritage places administered by Parks Canada.
Link to FSDS Themes
Theme III Protecting Nature
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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.
Program 1.3 Public Appreciation and Understanding
Sub Program 1.3.2 Stakeholder and Partner Engagement
Description of the Activity
To effectively manage its heritage places, Parks Canada counts on the support and collaboration of over 300 Aboriginal communities across Canada. New natural heritage places can be established only with the support, collaboration, and involvement of Aboriginal peoples. Additionally, aboriginal peoples have been engaged in the establishment of protected areas under land claim processes. Over the years, cooperative management with Aboriginal partners has taken many different forms and has become a common practice within Parks Canada. The members of these cooperative committees work jointly with Parks Canada in the planning and operations of heritage places.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians value the health of the country’s natural environment, and the Government of Canada recognizes that our social and economic well-being depends on its sustainability. Consequently, the Government of Canada is taking action and investing in conservation and protection of ecosystems and habitat.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: Stakeholders and partners are engaged in the protection and presentation of Parks Canada's administered places.

Performance Expectation: Aboriginal advisory relationships in various locations across the organization, guided by the unique legal and cultural contexts of the different Aboriginal groups, are established by 2013.

Results: In order to meet it’s performance expectation, Parks Canada has set up 24 formal advisory relationships across Canada where Aboriginal peoples and Parks Canada share, in most cases, equal representation. Cooperative management boards, Working Groups and Advisory Boards are the most common methods of formalizing a relationship with Aboriginal communities and are strengthened by a formal agreement signed between the Aboriginal group and Parks Canada. For example, in 2012-13, Parks Canada has set up a number of Formal Advisory Relationships such as the Tseycum First Nation-Parks Canada Committee and the Hul'qumi'num-Parks Canada Committee in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and the Torngat Mountains Management Board in Torngat Mountains National Park.
Visitor Experience
Activity
Parks Canada will facilitate a diverse range of opportunities in Parks Canada’s protected heritage places for visitors to learn about, experience, and enjoy the spirit, wonder, and awe of Canada’s network of heritage places.
Link to FSDS Themes
Theme III Protecting Nature
Link to Parks Canada Program Alignment Architecture
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
Program 1.4 Visitor Experience
Description of the Activity
"Visitor experience" refers to a visitor's interactions with Parks Canada in the context of their visit to a national park, national historic site, or national marine conservation area. This program supports the opportunities provided for more than 20 million person visits that are made annually to Parks Canada's protected heritage places. 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 visitor experience program facilitates opportunities for enjoyment and learning, leading to a sense of personal connection and the continued relevance of Canada's protected heritage places for Canadians.
Relationship with FSDS
Canadians are proud of the nation's rich and diverse natural heritage. Canada is a steward of many globally significant ecosystems, including 30% of the world's boreal forests and 20–30% of freshwater wetlands. Nature and natural ecosystems clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, support the food we grow, and play a critical part in maintaining our general well-being. Canadians themselves value nature and spend more than $11 billion annually on nature-related activities such as bird watching and canoeing, creating approximately 215,000 jobs (Statistics Canada, 2000).

Relevant and memorable visitor experiences based on quality services, activities, and programs, in conjunction with passionate and knowledgeable staff, help inspire and nurture a sense of personal connection among Canadians and ensure the continued relevance of Canada's heritage places for the country as a whole. The Government of Canada understands the importance of protecting nature for current and future generations of Canadians.
Performance Results (Non-Financial)
Expected Result: Visitors at surveyed locations feel a sense of personal connection to the places visited.

Performance Expectation: On average, 85 % of visitors' at all surveyed locations consider the place meaningful to them.

Results: People experience and connect with Canada's treasured places in different ways and for different reasons, because their interests, needs, and expectations vary. For some, the serenity and awe of the natural environment leaves an enduring impression in the hearts of minds of Canadians; for others, it is family traditions or opportunities to indulge recreational and/or learning interests that help them connect. In 2012-13, Parks Canada hosted War of 1812 inspired special events on site, held learn-to-camp events for families, diversified overnight accommodation options (e.g., all inclusive camping, oTENTiks, yurts), and continued to nurture its youth and family programs to facilitate the creation of personal connection with Canada's heritage places. In doing so, Parks Canada met its performance target. On average, 85 percent of visitors to surveyed locations in 2012-13 considered the place meaningful to them.
5. Greening Government Operations Supplementary Information Table

Additional information on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Theme IV of Greening Government Operations can be found on the Parks Canada's website at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/pc/rpts/rmr-dpr/03312013/Section03/ts-st.aspx#sip02.

6. Additional Information

Information on the Agency's contribution to the FSDS - Theme IV of Greening Government Operations can be found on Treasury Board Secretariat's website.

For complete details on the Government of Canada's Federal Sustainable Development Strategy please visit Environment Canada's website.