The previous plan for National Historic Sites was introduced in 1981. The priorities identified in that plan have guided the federal government's system enhancement activities for the past 20 years. As a result, representation of thematic areas that had been identified as under-represented, including economic history and built heritage, has improved.
In the current revision of the system plan, Parks Canada has recognized the importance of consulting key Canadians interested in heritage preservation to build a solid foundation for future initiatives. Between 1992 and 1996, there were extensive consultations with heritage constituencies across Canada on system enhancement priorities. Meetings were held with provincial and territorial heritage agencies, as well as non-government organizations.
As history and what Canadians view as significant is a dynamic process, this new system plan recommends an open-ended approach. The plan provides Parks Canada with a means to monitor progress on an ongoing basis and adjust priorities to ensure that the goal of a representative system is being achieved. The implementation of the system plan depends on the active participation of individual Canadians, heritage partners, provinces, territories and the private sector across Canada.
The plan allows Parks Canada to take a leadership role in the designation and stewardship of the collective heritage of all Canadians.
Red Bay, Newfoundland
16th Century Basque Whaling Industry Complex