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Yoho National Park

Advisory Development Board - Terms of Reference


The Advisory Development Board (Board) provides Canadians with the opportunity to be involved in the Development Review Process for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks of Canada. The Board assists Parks Canada in ensuring development permit applications receive consistent, fair and transparent reviews.


The primary purpose of the Board is to act in an advisory role to the Superintendent in the review of development permit applications and other matters that may be assigned by the Superintendent, for appropriateness and acceptability within a broad management, planning and development context.


The Board shall consist of a maximum of seven (7) volunteer members from the general public with an understanding of National Parks as well as the ability to understand complex issues and be tolerant of divergent points of view.

Board members shall sit for a two (2) year term, beginning on January 1 of the year of appointment.

Board members shall attend a minimum of 75% of all scheduled meetings. If a Board member is unable to fulfill their commitment, the member may be asked to resign their position on the Board.

Board members may not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.

Board members shall be selected by Parks Canada based upon applications received from the general public in response to an annual Call for Interest advertised in local papers for the Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks of Canada area. One outgoing Board member, selected by the Board, shall assist Parks Canada in the selection of new members.

A committee for the selection of new members shall consist of the Superintendent of the Banff Field Unit, the Superintendent of the Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay Field Unit, the selected outgoing Board member and the Senior Development Officer for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks of Canada.

Criteria used in the selection of new Board members may include knowledge of the National Parks, relevant education, vocation and experience, and ability to understand complex issues and be tolerant of divergent points of view.

In the event of resignation, death or a similar event, Parks Canada shall appoint a new member to serve for the remainder of the term. Parks Canada shall be bound by the criteria used for the selection of new members when appointing a person to fill a vacancy on the Board.

At the first regularly scheduled meeting in each new calendar year, the Board shall elect a Chair and Vice-Chair. The elected Chair shall preside over all public meetings of the Advisory Development Board. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall act as chair. In the absence of both, the Board members present shall elect an Acting Chair for that meeting.


Board members shall not represent special interest groups or similar organizations during Board deliberations.

Any contact with an applicant, interested party or special interest group before a meeting shall be disclosed to the remainder of the Board before presentation of the relevant development permit application.

Responsibilities of the Board and Parks Canada

Responsibilities of the Board

The primary role of the Board shall be to:

  • review development permit applications and provide the Superintendent with recommendations to either " accept for consideration" or to "reject" a development application, together with the reasons for the recommendation. The recommendations shall be based upon the acceptability of the projects as they comply with National Park management plans, community plans, guidelines, regulations, and other related policy and regulatory documents, and;
  • identify, confirm, revoke or vary development conditions identified by the Development Office.

The secondary role of the Board shall be to:

  • provide general recommendations to the Superintendent regarding perceived deficiencies in Park policy and other related documents arising from it's review of development permit applications, and;
  • advise or comment as appropriate in the course of discharging it's responsibilities, on any other planning matter referred to it.

Board members shall:

  1. remain impartial in all contacts with the applicant, interested parties and special interest groups;
  2. endeavor to read and keep up to date on information being exchanged;
  3. endeavor to attend Board meetings prepared to discuss development permit applications on the meeting agenda, and;
  4. rely on the professional expertise of Parks Canada staff to screen environmental assessments and to interpret Park policy and other similar documents.

Responsibilities of Parks Canada

Parks Canada shall:

a) be inclusive, open, and transparent in reviewing and issuing development permits;

b) identify the appropriate Class ("A", "B", "C", or D) for development permit applications based on Parks Canada screening criteria;

c) determine if the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act applies to the project and apply it;

applies to the project and apply it;

d) maintain and share a list of all registered environmental assessments for inspection by the public during business hours;

e) evaluate and issue development permits for routine and relatively small-scale projects to improve the efficiency of the development review process.;

f) be responsible for the Part I and Part II review of projects identified as Class A. A list of permits issued for Class "A" projects shall be provided to the Board at their scheduled meetings;

g) be responsible for the Part I review of projects identified as Class "B". Class "B" projects shall be referred to the Board for Part II review and recommendation to the Superintendent;

h) refer all Class "C" projects to the Board for Part I and Part II review;

i) inform the Board of projects considered to have significant adverse environmental effects and identified as Class D that are subject to the comprehensive study process. Class D projects subject to the comprehensive study process are not considered part of a formal Development Review Process (Part I and Part II) and shall be referred to the Board for information purposes;

j) present a summary of the development permit application to the Board. The summary shall include an analysis of public comments regarding the environmental assessment, Parks Canada's perspective on the application, and shall identify any issues, concerns or considerations relating to the project and/or to the environmental assessment. A development permit application shall only be referred to the Board when Parks Canada is satisfied that the environmental assessment is complete and is prepared to render a determination.

k) provide interpretation of Parks policies, plans or procedures when required;

l) shall inform the Board of the Superintendent's decision and the reasons for the decision (or appeal if there shall be one) within 24 hours of the Superintendent's decision. (see Appendix 1);

m) be the approving body under the Superintendent's authority for development permits, and;

n) provide administrative support to the Board including, but not limited to:

i) organizing and advertising monthly meetings;
ii) providing the information required to review development permit applications and make informed recommendations;
iii) recording of Board meeting minutes;
iv) reimbursing Board member's travel costs;
v) developing and maintaining a communication plan to inform members of the public about the Development Review Process and development permit application requirements, and;
vi) providing media training to the Chair and Vice Chair as required.

Board Recommendations

Procedures of Board Recommendations

The Board's objective is to provide a recommendation to the Superintendent to either accept for consideration or reject a development permit application, and provide reasons for the recommendation. The recommendation is reached when the Board votes on a development permit application.

A quorum is a majority of Board members present (4) at the beginning of the meeting. It is incumbent upon the Board to have the minimum of a quorum in attendance at a meeting.

If a quorum is not available at the beginning of the meeting, or is lost due to a declaration of conflict of interest or a similar event, the item under consideration shall be deferred to a special meeting to be convened at the next earliest date when a quorum shall be available to proceed with the review, such date to be determined by the Board. The Chair shall poll all Board members, present and not present, by various means to determine the earliest date a quorum of the Board would be available to carry out it's responsibilities.

A motion can be put forward without being seconded.

A tied vote shall be considered a defeated motion.

The Chair shall vote and take part in discussion, but may not put forward a motion.

The Board may elect to hold discussion in camera relating to the project under review. Attendance during in camera discussion shall be limited to Board members, with the Board retaining the right to request individual participants in the review to attend and provide further information.

The Chair, or Vice-Chair, shall instruct the recording secretary to restate the motion before the Board votes.

Board members shall allow each other the freedom to enter into a discussion without prejudice to future decisions and shall not hold statements against those who made them.

Recommendations forwarded to the Superintendent shall be supported by the Board's reasons for recommendation. An explanation shall be provided to the Superintendent including both minority as well as majority reasons (including in the case of unanimity).

Basis of Board Recommendations

In formulating a recommendation, the Board shall:

a) defer recommendation on a development permit application if the Board feels additional information is required;

b) identify any missing information required to make a recommendation;

c) comment whether the project may cause significant social, economic or environmental effects;

d) comment on the adequacy of the mitigation measures presented in the environmental assessment, and;

e) not reconsider a recommendation once voted upon unless:

i) it is a new development permit application for the same project, or
ii) it is a recommendation for a phased development plan or similar situation.

Board Meeting Procedures and Presentations

Board Procedures

Board meetings for the consideration of Development Applications shall be open to the public and media. The Board shall meet, as required, on the last Thursday of each month.

Rules of operation and conduct by the Board shall be guided by Robert's Rules of Order.

The Board Chair or Vice-Chair shall direct meetings, call meetings to order, direct motions, and perform other such duties as required for the orderly running of the public meetings, as per Appendix 2 .

Discussions during a meeting for the consideration of Development Applications shall be limited to Board members. Parks Canada staff, the proponent, and others present may be queried by the Board.

A meeting agenda, including development permit applications and supporting materials, shall be received by Board members at least five (5) business days before the meeting.

Minutes of all Board meetings shall be kept by the recording secretary and shall include Board recommendations to the Superintendent, key facts influencing the recommendation, and shall identify Board members making motions. For each Board recommendation, the recording secretary shall include the development review project number (DRP #), the legal description, the project description, and other pertinent information.

The Board shall maintain an open and transparent process.

The Board shall meet a minimum of bi-monthly to perform administrative duties of the Board. Such administrative meetings shall not be open to the general public.

Parks Canada and the Board shall review the terms of reference every two years.

Public Presentations and Procedures

Parties representing the same organization shall be represented by one person making one presentation, and must do so within the allotted presentation time.

Board members, exclusively, may direct questions to park staff, the applicant, and public presenters.

The Chair shall ensure that all comments received by and presentations made to the Board are pertinent to the review of a development application.

Technical Information and Expert Advice for Submitted Development Permit Applications

Parks Canada shall provide the Board with background information and the necessary Parks Canada documentation.

Parks Canada shall provide the Board, five (5) business days before the next scheduled meeting, with the following:

a) annotated meeting agenda;

b) observations/comments from Parks Canada specialists, where applicable;

c) information requested by the Board and provided by Parks Canada subject to the resources available;

d) information and letters of intent received from members of the public;

e) the minutes of the previous meeting;

f) a copy of the terms of reference provided to the applicant by Parks Canada and a copy of the environmental assessment submitted by the applicant, and;

g) a summary of a development permit application, see Responsibilities of Parks Canada, Item (j) .

In addition to the ten minutes allocated for presentations, Parks Canada may invite technical experts or resource specialists to:

a) address Board members,

b) assemble and verify data, and

c) sit in on the process as advisors.

Relations with the Public and Media

Board meetings for the consideration of Development Applications are open to the public and the media. At the start of each meeting the Chair shall inquire if the media is present. Both the public and the media are expected to respect the proceedings.

The Chair, or Vice-Chair, shall be the Board spokesperson with the media.

Conflict of Interest

Board members with a conflict of interest shall declare their bias and excuse themselves from voting and discussion related to the development permit application under consideration.

Conflict of interest shall include:

a) pecuniary interests; any matter that could monetarily affect a Board member, the Board member's family, the corporation in which the Board member is an employee, a shareholder, a director, or a partnership, foundation or firm of which the person is a member, and;

b) any matter involving personal or other interests of a Board member, or the Board member's family, which may affect the Board member in the performance of his or her duties.

Board Liability

Parks Canada shall provide Board members with Commercial General Liability Insurance and Group Personal Accident Insurance as per Parks Canada National Volunteer Program.

Signed and Approved by:

Bill Fisher,
Field Unit Superintendent, Banff National Park of Canada

Michel Boivin,
Field Unit Superintendent, Lake Louise, Kootenay, and Yoho National Park

Walter Bruns,
Chair, Advisory Development Board

APPENDIX 1 - Communication

Public Notification

Board members will be notified of development permit applications that require Board review before the advertising of the next scheduled Board meeting.

The Advisory Development Board (ADB) meeting agenda will be published in local newspapers three weeks in advance of scheduled meetings.

A notice of the Superintendent's decision for Part II development permit application(s), class B and C projects, will be published in local newspapers following the decision of the Superintendent.

Board Meetings

The Board will provide the Park Superintendent with a reasoned recommendation to either accept for consideration or reject a development permit application.

Approving Authority's Decision

The Development Officer will inform the Board of the Approving Authority's decision and reasons to grant or refuse a development permit for applications referred to the Board, within 24 hours of the Approving Authority's making that decision.

The Development Officer will inform the Board of the Mountain Park Review Boards appeal hearing decision and reasons for it, within 24 hours of the Mountain Park Review Board making that decision.

The decisions of an Approving Authority and the Mountain Park Review Board will be presented to the Board at regular scheduled meetings.

Development Permit Follow up and Monitoring

A Development Officer will periodically brief the Board on the status of development proposal and associated conditions.

APPENDIX 2 - Advisory Development Board Meeting Procedure

The following information is intended to assist the Chair or Vice-Chair in conducting Board meetings.


  1. Introduction of Board Members and Parks Canada Administration
  2. Confirmation of notification of meeting in newspaper
  3. Presentation procedure
    " Sequence (Applicant, Parks Canada Administration, Public Presentations)
  4. Review of development permit applications
  5. Board Members to share if a conflict of interest exists.

Any objection by the Public to any Board member reviewing this development application? (pecuniary interest or perceived bias (i.e. could not provide a fair hearing or fair recommendation because of Board members involvement or affiliation with the issue being considered).


  1. Presentations
    " Applicant presentation - 10 minute limit for applicant or their agent
    " Development Officer's overview -10 minute time limit
    " Public presentations - 5 minute time limit. Presenters to supply their name & address (street and mailing address) to recording secretary
    " Public correspondence - Administration will read into record any comments/concerns received by mail or other.
  2. Discussion and questions by Board members
  3. Option to continue discussion in-camera (Board may leave to reach recommendation)
  4. Chair announces Board recommendation and members vote.