Environmental Impact Assessment
Louis S. St. Laurent National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan
Summary of Strategic Environmental Assessment
A strategic environmental assessment was made of the Louis S. St. Laurent National Historic Site management plan. This assessment was intended to examine the impacts of proposed management activities and measures on commemorative integrity and protection of the site’s biophysical resources.
This assessment is based on the 1999 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. It complies with the directions indicated in theParks Canada Guiding Principles and Operational Policies (1994) and Management Directive 2.4.2 on Impact Assessment (1998).
An initial verification confirms that the management plan complies with all Parks Canada and Government of Canada policies.
The “scope” of the assessment indicates what actually is covered by this assessment, thus effectively delimiting it too. The spatial boundaries used for the purposes of this assessment are those of the designated site. The timeframe contemplated is that which was outlined in the vision – namely, fifteen (15) years.
Assessment of potential impacts of management activities and measures
An analysis of the stressors of cultural and biophysical resources serves to identify their potential impact on heritage resources. As has been shown by our analysis, most of the site’s potential stressors have no impact on cultural and natural resources, while some have a slight impact.
Certain management measures are likely to have impacts and thus merit closer attention. The proposed mitigation measures would mitigate some of the negative impacts on commemorative integrity and the protection of biophysical resources.
Based on our analyses, we can assert that the management plan has a positive impact on the commemorative integrity of Louis S. St. Laurent National Historic Site.
Assessment of potential cumulative impacts of management plan activities and measures
This assessment is based on the principle that a combination of impacts from various projects and activities can result in different or more significant impacts than those resulting from each of these projects and activities considered in isolation.
An audit of the residual impacts of the management plan shows that few impacts should remain once mitigation strategies and measures have been implemented.
For the most part, the cumulative impacts of this plan relate to climate change, growth in visitation levels and site use.
Mitigation measures to eliminate or minimize negative impacts
Much as with the recommendations contained in the management plan, strategies must be devised to ensure the effective roll-out of impact mitigation measures. In particular, mitigation strategies must aim to:
- Integrate the precautionary principle and the adaptive management approach into Parks Canada’s strategy for the designated place and the administrative place in respect of achieving its objective of protecting commemorative integrity and natural resources.
- Minimize impacts on cultural and natural resources when planning projects or activities stemming from implementation of the management plan. Such impacts will be established through the environmental assessment process.
- Take an ecological approach to managing the historic site’s programs and operations.
- Draw up a preventive strategy for adapting to climate change in order to protect cultural resources, biophysical resources and site infrastructures.
On the basis of the information available to us and in view of the results obtaining from this strategic environmental assessment, we are able to conclude that the presentation concept used with this site is acceptable as regards heritage. In particular, the Louis S. St-Laurent management plan provides a basis for updating and upgrading of the commemorative integrity and for protecting biophysical resources. By implementing a range of strategies and measures, many negative impacts can be mitigated.
The most worrisome potential negative impacts can be mitigated by implementing known technical measures or other methods that have proved effective until now. Environmental assessments of projects will have to be made at a later stage of planning when sufficient details regarding implementation are known. These potential impacts of historic site operations could be controlled by an environmental audit of these operations.