Table of contents

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Chief Executive Officer of Parks Canada Agency, 2019

  • ISSN 2371-784X

Minister’s message

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

As the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, I am pleased to present the 2019–20 Departmental Plan for the Agency. This plan provides Parliamentarians and Canadians information on Parks Canada’s work and the results the Agency expects to achieve in the coming year. The current document addresses the advancement and conclusion of the commitments set out by the Prime Minister in my Ministerial Mandate Letters since 2015.

A Historic investment in conservation – Canada’s Nature Legacy

Canada’s network of protected areas, including those administered by Parks Canada, play an important role in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Government of Canada is committed to conserving at least 17 percent of the country’s land and inland water and 10 percent of coastal and marine waters by 2020, a commitment that is both a national and international biodiversity conservation target and will require the collaboration of governments, Indigenous peoples and stakeholders across Canada.

Budget 2018 made a historic investment of $1.3 billion to protect Canada’s natural heritage, of which Parks Canada was allocated $220.8 million over five years in order to support Canada’s biodiversity goals and help conserve natural ecosystems. This funding will support Parks Canada in its mandate to protect and present the examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage under its care.

Canada’s Nature Legacy is changing the way conservation is implemented in Canada by improving the integration of national parks with the broader landscape and the use of science and knowledge to inform conservation decision-making. It is also contributing to the conservation of species at risk by using multi-species and ecosystem-based strategies. Parks Canada will undertake these actions in collaboration with partners and in ways that advance reconciliation by supporting Indigenous leadership in land stewardship.

Protect and Restore – A model for the rest of the world

Parks Canada will continue to advance work on establishing new national parks and national marine conservation areas, including: the proposed Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen in British Columbia; and the proposed Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut.

In my response to the 2017 Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!, published in May 2018, I reaffirmed that ensuring ecological integrity is the first priority in the management of national parks and commemorative integrity is the first priority in the management of national historic sites. This document was the result of extensive consultations with Canadians across the country. The valuable input received from Canadians will continue to inform Parks Canada on future strategies and decision-making.

As part of our commitment to the ongoing protection of Canada’s 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with the governments of Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to implement the recently completed Action Plan for Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site in partnership with Indigenous organizations and stakeholders. I am confident that through our cooperation to advance the measures outlined in the Action Plan and by making use of the best available science and Indigenous Knowledge, we can protect the Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site for future generations.

The Government of Canada welcomed the 2018 Auditor General’s report, “Conserving Federal Heritage Properties,” as part of its ongoing commitment to protect Canada’s heritage places. Action is under way to respond to the recommendations. The Government of Canada shares the Auditor General’s observations on the need to better protect federal heritage properties. Following the release of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s December 2017 report on the preservation and protection of Canada’s historic places, the Government has been reviewing recommended legislative measures, financial tools and best practices to strengthen heritage conservation and protection across Canada.

At the forefront of reconciliation

The Government of Canada is unwavering in its commitment to reconciliation and nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples based on a recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Parks Canada works with 300 Indigenous communities across Canada in conserving and restoring Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. Through a common goal with Indigenous peoples regarding conservation, Parks Canada is uniquely positioned at the forefront of reconciliation. Furthermore, in response to Call to Action 79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Government of Canada is investing $23.9 million over five years through Budget 2018 to integrate Indigenous peoples’ views and histories and to reflect Indigenous cultures in Parks Canada’s heritage places and programming.

Connecting Canadians

Protecting and restoring Parks Canada’s places is a Government of Canada commitment that is very near to my heart. By offering free admission for youth aged 17 and under and free admission for one year for new Canadians, we are making it easier for Canadians to discover and connect with our heritage places through innovative programs. It is important that we sustain the ecological, cultural and economic value that our national parks and national historic sites provide for communities across the country.

Whether your interests lie in science and conservation, learning about the history of Indigenous cultures, or visiting hidden gems, I encourage all Canadians to connect with their natural and cultural heritage and discover all that Parks Canada places have to offer.

original signed by

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Chief Executive Officer’s message

Michael Nadler, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada

Parks Canada places belong to all Canadians and tell the stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples. We are truly privileged to play a role in the stewardship of these national treasures, which represent the richness and diversity of Canada.

By fostering public understanding, appreciation and encouraging enjoyment, our goal is to conserve and ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of Parks Canada places for present and future generations.

Protect and Restore

Parks Canada is committed to being a leader and trusted partner in conservation and, together with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments and Indigenous partners, we will help advance our collective conservation goals.

In implementing the Nature Legacy, Parks Canada is modernizing its approach to conservation and advancing Indigenous engagement and leadership in the stewardship of Parks Canada places. The Agency will support this national effort by strengthening the ecological integration of these places in the broader landscape, improving the use of science and Indigenous Knowledge in conservation, enhancing the conservation status of Parks Canada places and building their resilience to climate change.

Discover and Connect

Parks Canada continues to provide Canadians with meaningful opportunities to experience significant and diverse cultural heritage. In Parks Canada’s role as guardian, guide, partner and storyteller, the Agency strives to build appreciation and understanding of places, persons and events of national historic significance and is committed to sharing stories from multiple perspectives, including those of Indigenous peoples.

As Canada’s largest provider of natural and cultural tourism, Parks Canada contributes $4 billion to the Canadian economy annually. While Parks Canada is home to some of Canada’s most iconic tourism experiences such as the West Coast Trail and the Fortifications of Québec, it also offers hidden gems such as Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The Agency is making it easier for visitors to plan their trip, with regular enhancements to Parks Canada’s mobile travel app and information updates on unique accommodations, visitor offers and ways to participate in conservation and site-specific activities held throughout the year. By building connections between Canadians and these places, Parks Canada will foster the stewards of tomorrow—people who know and care about these irreplaceable treasures.

Now entering its fifth year of implementation, Parks Canada’s program to invest approximately $3.6 billion in its infrastructure is continuing to enhance cultural heritage, visitor experience and waterway and highway assets across the country. These investments are helping to protect and conserve Canada’s treasured heritage places, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector.

Sustain

With a focus on integrating stakeholder perspectives, mobilizing talent and experimenting with new ways of working, the Parks Canada team is very excited about the future possibilities for the next decade that lies ahead.

original signed by

Michael Nadler
Acting Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada

Plans at a glance and operating context

The following four key corporate priorities were established by Parks Canada’s Executive Management Committee in the fall of 2018 to meet Parks Canada’s legislative mandate and priorities established by the Government of Canada.

Priority: Natural heritage protection

Parks Canada will expand the systems of national parks and national marine conservation areas, contributing to the development of an ecologically connected network of representative protected areas, and to the achievement of international biodiversity targets. Informed by the best scientific evidence and Indigenous knowledge, Parks Canada will conserve and restore existing national parks and national marine conservation areas, including by bringing enhanced attention to ecological integrity as the first priority in all decision-making in national parks.

Priority: Cultural heritage protection

Parks Canada will formally recognize places, persons and events of importance to Canadians; take measures to safeguard Canada's historical and archaeological objects, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites; and improve the condition of heritage structures. Parks Canada will ensure Indigenous perspectives and contributions to Canada's history are present and acknowledged. The Agency will also advance its leadership role in the broader cultural heritage community.

Priority: Connecting to Canadians

Through outreach, promotion and partnerships, Parks Canada will encourage Canadians to experience national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas and to learn more about the environment and Canada's heritage. The visitor experience will continue to focus on connection to nature and history. Parks Canada will provide visitor experiences that attract a broad diversity of Canadians, including youth and urban Canadians. The Agency will continue to be a key player in supporting tourism in Canada and will work with nearby communities to foster economic opportunities. In addition, Parks Canada will work with Indigenous communities on opportunities for interpretive and storytelling programs rooted in traditional activities and knowledge, and present Indigenous values, perspectives and contributions to Canada's history.

Priority: Asset sustainability

Parks Canada will continue to implement infrastructure projects to address deferred work and improve the condition of its contemporary assets and heritage structures. The Agency will also continue to make progress on a sustainable asset plan to protect cultural heritage and support program and service delivery for the long term.

For more information on the Parks Canada Agency’s plans, priorities and planned results, see the “Planned results” section of this report.

Operating context

An overview of Parks Canada’s vast network

  • 46 national parks
  • 4 national marine conservation areas
  • 1 national urban park
  • 171 national historic sites
    • 9 historic canals
    • 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • 505 federal heritage buildings
  • 10 heritage lighthouses
  • 7 townsite communities in national parks
  • 2 heritage railway stations
  • 6 heritage rivers
  • 2,000 (more than) national historic designations
  • 12,000 archaeological sites (estimated), the majority of which provide a direct connection to the heritage of Indigenous peoples

Parks Canada manages one of the most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world.

Parks Canada’s vast network includes townsites which are located within some national parks, such as Banff and Jasper. Townsites represent unique opportunities to present the overriding values of ecological and commemorative integrity, environmental citizenship and sustainable development. National park townsite communities will continue to manage development in accordance with community plans and legislation. In Banff and Jasper, commercial development limits are used to manage growth along with eligible residency and fixed boundaries.

Parks Canada monitors a number of internal and external factors, as well as social, environmental and technological trends that will influence the Agency’s operating environment over the coming decade.

Benefits of protected areas to Canadians

Canadians care about the environment and their protected areas, and benefit from them in many ways. Protecting and restoring healthy, biologically diverse ecosystems increases their resilience to climate change and other stressors, and ultimately provides many benefits for people and nature. Budget 2018 supported this work through the commitment of $1.3 billion distributed across federal departments and Agencies, including Parks Canada.

Climate change and other environmental forces

Environmental forces

Parks Canada’s heritage places may be vulnerable to environmental forces including changes to:

  • climate (global warming, increased sea levels)
  • physical environment (air quality, water quality ocean acidification and connectivity)
  • biodiversity (ecosystem processes, increased number of species at risk, hyper abundant species and invasive species)
  • habitat loss

Impacts on visitation

Wildfire uncertainty may influence future visitation patterns. The national parks and national historic sites in the mountain region of Canada are highly vulnerable to wildfire, a risk that is increasing with climate change. This region accounts for more than one-third of total visitation to Parks Canada places and more than one-half of visitor-related revenues.

An economic generator

Annually, Parks Canada contributes billions of dollars to Canada’s economy:

  • $4 billion—gross domestic product
  • 40,469—jobs supported
  • $2.5 billion—labour income
  • $532 million—tax revenues for governments

Using technology to improve visitor services

Parks Canada uses technology in a variety of ways to improve visitor services:

  • reaching Canadians where they live and work through digital channels (web, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • ensuring digital services for trip planning, purchasing admission and reserving accommodation
  • influencing visitation patterns: sharing visitor safety information and trail maps, promoting Canada’s heritage and conservation at the right time and with the right message

Sharing Indigenous stories and restoring cultural practices

  • Hands-on and engaging Indigenous tourism experiences at The Mi’kmaw Interpretive Centre, Fortress of Louisburg National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
  • Birchbark canoe building project, Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Nova Scotia
  • Traditional feeding of the fire ceremony, prayers and drumming by Dehcho First Nations, Nahanni National Park Reserve, Northwest Territories

Climate change and other environmental forces challenge the integrity of ecosystems and the condition of Parks Canada’s cultural resources and contemporary infrastructure. Shoreline erosion at national historic sites, the arrival of invasive species at national parks, impacts on biodiversity and changing species communities and vegetation patterns are all examples of the direct and indirect effects of climate change. The increasing severity and frequency of disturbances such as storms, wildfires, floods and avalanches impact Parks Canada’s infrastructure, including highways and bridges. Such events affect Parks Canada’s operations, and impact Canadians living in communities within and around parks and sites.

Parks Canada must protect its natural and cultural heritage places, while encouraging visitation and presenting these special places in ways that ensure they remain relevant to Canadians.

Tourism

Tourism is an important economic generator for Canada.

As the guardian of some of Canada’s most iconic natural and cultural treasures, Parks Canada plays an important role in the Canadian tourism sector. In 2017, total revenues amounted to $97.4 billion dollars from domestic and international travellers. Canada saw a record 20.8 million international visitors in 2017. Overall, tourism is responsible for 2% of Canada’s gross domestic product.

Parks Canada is a key partner in implementing Canada’s 2017 Tourism Vision. With a presence in over 400 communities throughout the country, Parks Canada collaborates with numerous partners and stakeholders to promote Canada’s national parks and national historic sites as premier tourism destinations. Some challenges faced by the sector are: concentrated demand, limited transportation options, and labour shortages. Parks Canada continues to collaborate with tourism sector partners to address issues that impact Canada’s tourism industry.

Visitation

Canadians make up Parks Canada’s largest market with 80% of visitation, followed by 10% visitation from the United States and the remaining 10% from overseas markets (primarily Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Australia and China). Some common inspirations for visitation include: enjoying nature, learning history, bucket lists and the desire to experience milestone moments.

Since 2012, visitation to Parks Canada places has rebounded following a decade of decline. Leading up to and during this period of growth, the Agency made a significant investment to attract larger and more diverse audiences. With free admission offered during the Canada 150 celebrations, visitation reached a record high in 2017–18 with 27.2 million visitors.

The Discovery Pass, which allows visitors access to all Parks Canada places, has helped create a loyal base of visitors for Parks Canada. In 2017, the free pass expanded the visitor base as millions of first-time visitors experienced Parks Canada places for the first time, fostering deeper connections and engagement to Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

Authentic Indigenous tourism experiences enable visitors to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultural connection between Parks Canada places and Indigenous peoples.

In 2017–18, national historic sites saw a 22% increase in visitation revealing that more Canadians than ever before are keen to learn about Canada’s diverse history. Interest and visitation at Parks Canada places is expected to be sustained over the next couple of years with visitor numbers being maintained at some places, and increasing at others.

Over the next decade, shifts in demographic patterns will impact visitation trends and influence service offerings. With the new Service Fees Act in place, many of Parks Canada’s fees will see a minor adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) starting January 1, 2020. As Parks Canada continues to enhance its service offer, the Agency will be consulting with Canadians on fees for optional, value-added facilities and services such as guided tours, boat launching, backcountry and winter trail use, and hot springs. The Agency continues its commitment to providing visitors with high-quality experiences that are affordable for all Canadians.

Demographics

Demographic shifts

Demographic shifts have generated new audiences that require placing greater emphasis on:

  • reaching Canadians where they live and work
  • integrating diverse cultures and histories into historical content
  • ensuring the Parks Canada service offer is inclusive and accessible for all Canadians

Canada’s population is evolving. It is expected to become more culturally diverse over the next two decades as Canada continues to rely increasingly on immigration to support population growth and to offset natural declines. The younger end of the Baby Boom generation is reaching early retirement age, people continue to concentrate in cities and the countries that dominate immigration patterns have shifted. Since 2006, Canada’s Indigenous population has grown more than four times the growth rate of the non-Indigenous population—accounting for more than 4.9% of Canada’s total population Footnote 1. With demographic changes and the rise of digital communications, the ways in which we tell stories and absorb information are being transformed.

Millennials have recently become the largest generation in the Canadian workforce Footnote 2. Currently, boomers and millenials account for just over half of Canada’s population. As Canada’s population continues to age, the workforce is expected to experience shortages in certain sectors. In 2018, the median age for Canadians was 40.8 years which has increased by 10 years since 1984, when it was 30.6 years Footnote 3. The tourism sector, for example, is expected to experience a shortfall of 250,000 youth workers by 2035 Footnote 4.

In the coming years, Parks Canada’s service offer will continue to be influenced by an increasingly diverse population with varying needs and interests. New national accessibility legislation, which aims to promote equality and participation for people of varying abilities will also influence Parks Canada’s programs and services. Currently, approximately 22% of the population is comprised of people with disabilities Footnote5.

Indigenous Collaboration

Supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Parks Canada is seeking to advance formal agreements that support Indigenous traditional activities. This work supports implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Cooperative management agreements

Cooperative management structures range from less formal advisory bodies that provide advice on matters of interest to Indigenous partners, to more formal structures that address the rights and interests of Indigenous partners via mechanisms provided for and established through formal agreements such as park establishment agreements and modern treaties.

The Government of Canada is committed to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a renewed, nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Parks Canada works with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and is committed to supporting Indigenous peoples’ connections to lands and waters within their traditional territories. Many Parks Canada places are managed through cooperative management bodies or advisory relationships with local Indigenous communities. These structures recognize the important and ongoing roles and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples as stewards of heritage places.

The Agency’s approach to working with Indigenous peoples is deeply rooted in engagement practices. For example, the support and collaboration of Indigenous governments, organizations and communities, as well as provincial and territorial governments, are essential to Parks Canada’s ability to establish or expand national parks and national marine conservation areas. The requirement to balance protection and ecologically sustainable use of national marine conservation areas, involves a much broader stakeholder perspective to consider. Bringing all of these elements together and moving forward in a harmonious and positive way requires time and respectful discourse.

Our understanding of Canada’s past continues to evolve. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has increased public awareness about the legacy of residential schools and colonialism in Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 79th Call to Action calls “upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration”. Parks Canada is working in collaboration with Indigenous groups to advance this framework.

Cultural Heritage

As the federal lead for heritage places conservation, Parks Canada administers federal heritage designation and built heritage conservation programs on behalf of the Government of Canada. Federal custodian departments, Crown corporations, provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and the broader heritage community play a major role in preserving Canada’s heritage places. The protection of heritage places by the federal government is a complex endeavour that requires a coherent and robust system for the identification and conservation of Canada’s nationally significant heritage places.

Both the November 2018 Auditor General’s report and the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s December 2017 report, highlighted the need to better protect federal heritage properties and to strengthen heritage conservation and protection across Canada. The recommendations include the integration of Indigenous perspectives, better policy and legislative measures, and financial incentives. Parks Canada is working towards addressing the findings from these reports.

Parks Canada’s Portfolio of Built Assets

Tracking the portfolio of built assets

  • Parks Canada continues to make progress on improving its infrastructure. In 2018, its annual Asset Report Card indicated that 60% of the Agency’s built assets are in good to fair condition, compared to 54% the previous year.
  • Annual variations in the total built asset inventory are influenced by factors such as the establishment of new parks and sites (e.g., Rouge National Urban Park resulted in the addition of 375 assets).
  • The Agency’s built asset inventory information now accounts for “all” fixed built assets with the inclusion of more than 1000 visitor exhibits in 2018.

Parks Canada manages a built asset portfolio of some 17,000 assets across the country, including visitor experience, highways, waterways and heritage assets with a current replacement value of approximately $24 billion. Over the past four years, the overall condition of Parks Canada’s portfolio of built assets has continued to improve as a result of an unprecedented infrastructure investment of approximately $3.6 billion by the Government of Canada. The Agency’s existing Investment Plan 2015–16 to 2019–20 summarizes these investments and will be updated in 2019–20. This funding is enabling Parks Canada to make priority investments to rehabilitate a portion of its built asset inventory in support of its mandate to protect and present Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and to ensure public safety.

Ensuring the long-term sustainability of Parks Canada’s built asset portfolio is essential to the delivery of high quality programs and services to Canadians. Efforts to make a long-term business case for on-going funding remain a central priority for the Agency. This is required to sustain improvements to the built asset portfolio and ensure that Parks Canada can meet its custodial responsibilities on behalf of the Government of Canada. Further to this, the November 2018 report by the Auditor General cited the need for Parks Canada to do more to conserve the physical condition and heritage value of federal heritage properties. The lack of sufficient ongoing funding to maintain its built asset portfolio puts the Agency at risk of not being able to deliver its mandate and of losing significant and irreplaceable examples of Canada’s cultural and built heritage.

Furthermore, Parks Canada’s commitment to address government priorities for ensuring the accessibility and inclusiveness of its places for visitors, and for supporting the resiliency of its built asset portfolio against the effects of climate change, places additional strain on existing resources and the Agency’s capacity to deliver and evolve Parks Canada’s programs and services.

Planned results: what we want to achieve this year and beyond

Core responsibility

Protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage

Description

Establish national parks and national marine conservation areas; designate places, persons and events of national historic significance; protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage guided by science and Indigenous knowledge; provide opportunities to visit, experience and enjoy Canada’s natural and cultural heritage; work with the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders to carry out these responsibilities.

Departmental results

In carrying out its core responsibility, Parks Canada will advance three Departmental Results:

  • Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations
  • Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations
  • People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them

Risks

Parks Canada has identified five risks in relation to its core responsibility that could impact delivery of programs and services. Associated mitigation strategies have been developed to minimize the overall likelihood and impact. These risks and associated mitigation strategies are described in the tables below.

Environmental Forces Adaptation and Response
Risk The magnitude and rapid pace of environmental changes, including climate change, may affect Parks Canada's ability to maintain the integrity of its ecosystems, cultural resources and infrastructure.
Mitigation Strategies To mitigate this risk, Parks Canada will:
  • undertake applicable assessments, planning and monitoring to identify potential threats to or at heritage places, and take action to mitigate those impacts, where possible
  • undertake ecological restoration projects focused on improving ecological integrity or advancing towards recovery targets for priority species at risk
  • explore ways in which climate change and extreme weather effects on cultural heritage can be mitigated through climate change adaptation workshops
  • lead climate change adaptation workshops in collaboration with partners and stakeholders
  • continue to review emergency management and provide Parks Canada personnel with ongoing emergency management and response training
  • continue to implement measures to protect contemporary and built heritage assets, such as using more resilient designs and construction materials
  • nurture a strong culture of conservation in Canada through targeted communications related to science and conservation.
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
Risk
  • There is a risk that Parks Canada's actions may not fulfill obligations to Indigenous peoples.
  • There is a risk that Canadians may not support/understand Parks Canada’s reconciliation actions.
Mitigation Strategies To mitigate this two-sided risk, Parks Canada will:
  • advance projects and mechanisms that facilitate Indigenous connections with traditionally used lands and waters
  • support collaborative decision-making by increasing cooperative management structures that provide advisory roles for Indigenous partners
  • review and increase the number of Indigenous designations under the National Program of Historical Commemoration
  • create working groups to address barriers to entry with respect to Indigenous collaboration and engagement
  • work with Indigenous communities to develop visitor experience opportunities to help Canadians learn about and connect with Indigenous culture
  • host Indigenous events, support Indigenous-themed product development, and provide venues for Indigenous groups and people to tell their stories, in their words, and offer unique opportunities for reconciliation.
Relationships
Risk There is a risk that Parks Canada will not establish the partnerships required to achieve Agency results.
Mitigation Strategies To mitigate this risk, Parks Canada will:
  • continue to collaborate with federal departments, provincial, territorial and local governments, Indigenous partners, international organizations and stakeholders
  • continue to improve the Agency's ability to work within the broad spectrum of engagement and collaborative activities with renewed policy, directives, guidance, tools and instruments.
Relevance and Public Support
Risk There is a risk that Parks Canada’s programs and services may not meet the expectations of Canadians.
Mitigation Strategies To mitigate this risk, Parks Canada will:
  • reach nationally identified markets and audiences to diversify and build visitation and to enhance public awareness and support
  • develop national outreach and marketing efforts in a digital first context
  • manage visitation levels so they are sustainable and ensure quality visitor experiences, including growth where appropriate, and redistribution of visitation geographically and temporally, as necessary.
  • diversify and renew visitor experience opportunities to respond to public expectations for new and innovative experiences
  • leverage key anniversaries, and offer enhanced programming, special events and other promotions to encourage visitation.
Built Asset Condition and Long-term Sustainability
Risk There is a risk that a sustainable asset portfolio will not be maintained to support the delivery of Parks Canada's mandate.
Mitigation Strategies To mitigate this risk, Parks Canada will:
  • develop longer term investment and management plans and strategies for the sustainability of Parks Canada's assets so that Canadians are able to experience their national parks and learn more about the environment and their heritage
  • develop a cultural fixed asset prioritization framework to guide decision-making related to investments for all heritage properties under the administration of the Agency
  • continue to update Parks Canada's asset management database to ensure that it has complete information on the number and current condition of its heritage properties.

Priorities

Parks Canada is guided by four priorities to achieve Departmental Results:

  • Natural Heritage Protection
  • Cultural Heritage Protection
  • Connecting to Canadians
  • Asset Sustainability

Government-wide priorities

In delivering on these results, Parks Canada contributes to the following government-wide priorities:

  • A clean environment and a strong economy
  • Open and transparent government
  • Social inclusion and diversity
  • Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

Ministerial priorities

  • Develop Canada's National Parks system
  • Develop Parks Canada programs and services so that more Canadians can experience our National Parks
  • Make admission free for children under 18 and new citizens
  • Expand Learn-to Camp programs
  • Protect our National Parks by limiting development within them and help local eco-tourism industries (in collaboration with Innovation, Science and Economic Development under the Small Business and Tourism portfolio)
  • Enhance protection of Canada's endangered species (in collaboration with Canadian Wildlife Service)
  • Increase the proportion of Canada's marine and coastal areas that are protected to 5% by 2017, and 10% by 2020 (in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Wildlife Service)

Planning highlights

Departmental Result 1: Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations

Natural heritage establishment
  • Continue to play an important role in implementing of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Canada.
  • Support the recognition and implementation of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.
  • Work to expand the national parks system and to protect marine and coastal areas as a contribution to the government’s commitment to Canada Target 1 as outlined in the following table.
National park/marine and coastal area Contribution to Canada Target 1 Partners
Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve, East Arm of the Great Slave Lake of the Northwest Territories
  • Confirm a final boundary and conclude negotiation of an establishment agreement, including an Impact and Benefit Agreement
  • Draft legislation to formally protect the area under the Canada National Parks Act
  • the Government of the Northwest Territories and Łutsël K'e Dene First Nation
  • Northwest Territories Métis Nation
South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve, southeastern British Columbia
  • Confirm a final boundary and governance approach for a national park reserve, followed by negotiation of the relevant establishment agreement(s)
  • the Government of British Columbia and local First Nations
Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area, Lancaster Sound in Nunavut
  • Conclude an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement and complete an interim management plan for the area
  • the Qikiqtani Inuit Association
Proposed national marine conservation area in Arctic Basin, Ellesmere Island in Nunavut - “Last Ice Area”
  • Launch a feasibility assessment
  • the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association
Proposed national marine conservation area reserve in the southern Strait of Georgia, Strait of Georgia in British Columbia
  • Conclude ongoing feasibility assessment
  • the Government of British Columbia, local First Nations and stakeholders
Proposed national marine conservation area adjacent to the Îles de la Madeleine, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
  • Launch a feasibility assessment
  • the Government of Quebec
Proposed national marine conservation area in James Bay, eastern James Bay
  • Launch a feasibility assessment
  • the Cree Nation Government
Other national marine conservation area proposals in unrepresented marine regions
  • Advance a feasibility assessment for a new proposal for a site in western Hudson Bay
  • Work on the national Imappivut (Our Water) initiative regarding oceans management in northern Labrador within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.  This work may offer a possibility to initiate a proposal for a marine conservation area offshore of Torngat Mountains National Park
  • the Government of Manitoba
  • the Nunatsiavut Government
  • the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Natural heritage conservation

Contributing to a Nature Legacy for Canada

To support international targets and Indigenous leadership in land stewardship, Parks Canada is moving towards an integrated, landscape-level conservation approach involving ecosystem and multi-species strategies.

Undertaking conservation and restoration projects

  • Restoring important cultural plants such as t’suu (cedar) and providing deer meat to community food programs by eradicating introduced deer, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site
  • Helping reptiles at risk, including rattlesnakes and turtles, by installing wildlife road crossings, Bruce Peninsula National Park
  • Improving habitat for Beluga by reducing threats from human activities, Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
  • Receive and work toward implementing the recommendations of the Minister’s Round Table independent working group to more fully incorporate ecological and commemorative integrity into decision-making.
  • Implement conservation and restoration programs and initiatives that enhance the ecological integrity of Parks Canada’s places and contribute to landscape-level conservation, including by working with Indigenous peoples, land owners and managers, and stakeholders. This will support species recovery and build ecosystem resilience in response to climate change and other stressors.
  • Complete site-based, multi-species action plans, and focus on implementing actions from existing plans to protect and recover species at risk, in coordination with key partners. This will enhance the ecological integrity of Parks Canada’s places and contribute to landscape-level conservation.
  • Seek a decision from the World Heritage Committee in July 2019 regarding conservation of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site. Continue early implementation of key conservation actions in collaboration with Indigenous partners, other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo National Park is maintained for future generations.
  • Continue to manage human/wildlife conflict, hyper abundant species, alien invasive species and wildland fire to enhance ecological integrity and ensure public safety.
  • Work with partner organizations and specialists to refine tools and approaches, including an adaptation framework, regional reports and workshops, to better understand and support climate change adaptation in parks and protected areas in Canada.
  • Continue to work with other federal departments, Indigenous peoples and stakeholders to advance policy and management tools to ensure the effective conservation and management of national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada will continue to implement a pilot monitoring program, enabling the Agency to better understand the state of the national marine conservation area system and more effectively manage these areas.
  • Respond to new legislative direction for impact assessment in Canada and collaborate with other government departments in developing whole-of-government approaches to implementing this new legislation.
Working with Indigenous peoples

Advancing cooperative management structures

  • 32 heritage places are currently managed cooperatively with Indigenous groups
  • 20 have formal cooperative management governance arrangements
  • Continue to advance cooperative management with Indigenous peoples at heritage places by establishing new cooperative management structures, or transitioning existing relationship-building structures to include roles to support the management of heritage places.
  • Coordinate and support Parks Canada’s participation in the review and consideration of proposals related to the Nature Fund and the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program.
  • Renew existing standards, guidance and tools to foster collaboration with Indigenous knowledge holders and meaningful engagement of Indigenous partners in conservation.
  • Develop policy instruments to support rights implementation and facilitate Indigenous peoples’ uses of heritage places, including those required for planning, managing and implementing Indigenous renewable resource harvesting.

Departmental Result 2: Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations

Cultural heritage designation and commemoration

Celebrating 100 years in helping to shape Canada’s history

Marking its 100th anniversary in 2019, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plays a pivotal role in ensuring that Canada's diverse heritage is commemorated for future generations.
  • Implement the new Framework for History and Commemoration to set direction for history presentation at all heritage places. This will include strategic priorities for designating places, persons, and events of national historic significance—emphasizing a full range of voices, perspectives, and experiences and the input of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and members of the public.
  • Continue to undertake the commemoration of national historic designations by carrying out commemorative plaque unveiling ceremonies in 2019–20, thereby increasing the number of places, people and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized.
  • Support the nomination of Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi provincial park in southeastern Alberta for possible inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List pending a decision by the World Heritage Committee in July 2019. Preparation of the World Heritage nomination was developed in partnership with the Government of Alberta and Blackfoot Confederacy.
Cultural heritage conservation

Partnering with Inuit Heritage Trust

Parks Canada and the Inuit Heritage Trust will co-manage:
  • 9 artifacts recovered from the 1845 Franklin Expedition (September 2018)
  • all yet-to-be discovered artifacts
  • Continue to undertake various actions to better protect the heritage value of cultural resources in a sustainable manner, including ensuring the collection is safeguarded and accessible for present and future generations:
    • Consolidate the collection of historical and archaeological objects―one of the largest in North America―under Parks Canada’s care to a new purpose-built collection facility in Gatineau, Quebec. The new facility design is expected in May 2019.
    • Continue to engage Indigenous groups connected to Parks Canada’s heritage places on the conservation of Indigenous artifacts and objects.
  • Provide financial assistance to support the protection and presentation of nationally recognized heritage places not administered by the federal government through Parks Canada’s National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places.
  • Finalize terms of co-management under a memorandum of understanding with the Inuit Heritage Trust following the gifting of the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror and any remaining artifacts by the United Kingdom, to Parks Canada and the Inuit.
  • Undertake a research plan that will examine the economic, social and environmental impacts of heritage places conservation, upon which options for enhancing heritage preservation measures can be based.
  • Continue to support the conservation of cultural heritage under the responsibility of other government departments through Parks Canada’s Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office. Parks Canada will continue to work closely with custodian departments to complete the increased number of reviews of interventions.
  • Advise Treasury Board Secretariat on the development of heritage requirements in the revised Treasury Board Directive on Management of Real Property.
  • Investing in heritage assets

    • Rehabilitation of the North and South Front Fortifications at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
    • Restoration work on historic buildings at the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site
    • Structural stabilization of the powerhouse at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site
    • Conservation of stone walls at the Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site
    • Rehabilitation of the Chambly Wharf (Chambly Canal National Historic Site)
    • Masonry rehabilitation at the Jones Falls Locks (Rideau Canal National Historic Site)
    • Earth dam rehabilitation at Talbot River Dykes Locks 39, 40, 41 on the Trent Severn Waterway
  • Continue investments to improve the condition of heritage properties at heritage places. As part of this work, Parks Canada’s heritage conservation professionals will continue to support the protection of cultural resources in infrastructure projects and conduct impact analyses to identify and mitigate potential threats.
  • Implement the Action Plan developed in response to the Auditor General’s report on the conservation of federal properties including: updated information and reviewing the approach for designating federal heritage properties and implementing changes for better conserving them.
  • Under Phase 1 of the Government’s Federal Science and Technology Infrastructure Initiative, begin working with partners, including the Canadian Conservation Institute and the Canadian Heritage Information Network, to create a Cultural Heritage Science Cluster. This cluster will include centralized conservation laboratories to encourage greater collaboration and innovation among conservation scientists, researchers and students.
  • Begin implementation of Parks Canada’s International Strategy to reassert Parks Canada’s leadership role within the international natural and cultural heritage community. A scalable approach has been developed to leverage partnerships, advance international priorities, enhance implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements and share best practices.
Working with Indigenous peoples

Reflecting Indigenous cultures

The Government of Canada is investing $23.9 million over five years through Budget 2018 to integrate Indigenous peoples’ views and histories and to reflect Indigenous cultures in Parks Canada heritage places and programming.
  • Plan and implement the process to add Indigenous representation (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
  • Revise the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to better reflect Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.
  • Develop and implement a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada’s history, in partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (in response to Call to Action 79).

Departmental Result 3: People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them

Design and target communications, promotions and experiences for key audiences and markets

Connecting to Canadians

Over the last several years, Parks Canada has undertaken a number of initiatives to encourage Canadians to experience and engage with Parks Canada places. As a result of these efforts:
  • 2 million more Canadians know Parks Canada is responsible for national parks and historic sites today than a decade ago
  • 3 million more Canadians today support Parks Canada’s work
  • awareness and support among youth and first generation Canadians have improved over the last decade
  • public reach has increased (promotion, social media, and outreach campaigns)
  • reservations and trip planning inquiries have increased
  • there is an increased interest in partnering with Parks Canada
  • Reach nationally-identified markets and audiences to diversify and build visitation, and to increase public awareness and support including: youth 17 and under, young adults, young families, and urban Canadians, as well as various niche markets and select international markets.
  • Building on the 2018 awareness and pride campaign (450 000 km2 of memories), launch a national advertising campaign to promote visitation, conservation and authentic Indigenous experiences that showcases activities rooted in Indigenous knowledge.
  • Enhance public understanding and appreciation of Parks Canada’s work in science and conservation and highlight the importance of working with Indigenous knowledge holders and partnerships through strategic and targeted communications, promotion and outreach activities such as media events, social media interactions, media relations, website updates, advertising and promotional activities.
  • Renew interpretive and outreach programming with a focus on fostering meaningful connections to nature and history.
  • Continue to deliver and enhance Learn-to Camp programming and events in urban centres to better equip Canadians with the tools to connect to and explore the outdoors and to help low-and middle-income families visit and enjoy Parks Canada places.
Apply Parks Canada’s brand experience to everything we do

Renewing the brand

In support of the Government’s goal to deliver a digital government that provides improved digital-first, user-centered services and programs, Parks Canada is renewing its brand to ensure it continues to engage with audiences within this digital first context.
  • Integrate promotion, communication, outreach, education, social media and web content with a focus on content marketing in a digital first context.
  • Introduce a renewed brand in time for the 2020 operating season and develop accompanying tools to guide its implementation.
Provide seamless touch points for visitors to get information, plan their visit, and experience Parks Canada places
  • Renew Parks Canada’s reservation system for 2022, increasing the types and number of experiences that can be reserved and purchased and optimizing their availability across a wider variety of channels and devices.
  • Renew Parks Canada’s point of sales system so the Agency continues to have an effective and efficient system to serve visitors.
  • Improve the links between the reservation and point of sales systems, the Parks Canada web site and other systems, to create a more seamless and convenient user experience, and to allow for the effective collection of business intelligence.
  • Building on the success of 2018 and visitor feedback, improve online planning tools and reservation capabilities to support trip planning, including adding new features to the Parks Canada’s mobile app.
External relations and visitor experience activities are designed to contribute to the financial health and sustainability of the Agency

Managing visitation levels

  • Operational strategies are used to manage increased traffic; such as:
    • timed parking at Bruce Peninsula National Park
    • expanded transit options, including shuttle buses at Lake Louise
  • Strategic messaging is used to encourage early trip planning and booking, to balance visitation

Curating unique visitor experiences

  • The one-of-a-kind gaming adventure “The Test of Tykir: Escape Room” is an immersive experience set in the legends of the Vinland Sagas, at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, Newfoundland.

Making infrastructure improvements

  • camping facilities in Banff and Jasper national parks
  • visitor facilities in Forillon, Prince Edward Island and Bruce Peninsula national parks
  • highway infrastructure in Kootenay and Glacier national parks
  • Manage visitation levels so they are sustainable and ensure quality visitor experiences, including growth where appropriate, and redistribution of visitation geographically and temporally as necessary.
  • Continue to diversify experiences and interpretive offers to encourage exploration and learning at heritage places.
  • Implement the Service Fees Act, including a national consultation with Canadians on value-added experiences and services.
  • Plan for visitor experience and investments in visitor infrastructure to maintain access to high quality experiences, maximize revenues and improve financial sustainability.
Build engagement and collaboration

Offering once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences

Destination Canada's Canadian Signature Experiences collection shows the world the very best that Canada has to offer and many of these special travel experiences can be discovered at Parks Canada places.

Growing Indigenous tourism experiences

  • In February 2018, Parks Canada entered into a four-year contribution agreement with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
  • The objective is to grow authentic Indigenous experiences in regions across the country

Sharing untold stories

  • Hometown Heroes program celebrates the untold stories of Canadian and Indigenous women during the World Wars
  • Home Port Heroes program celebrates Canadian women’s contributions to the Second World War shipbuilding industry
  • Continue to improve the Agency’s ability to work within the broad spectrum of engagement and collaborative activities with renewed policy, directives, guidance, tools and instruments.
  • Develop innovative partnerships with tourism partners, national and local stakeholders and Indigenous peoples to target key audiences and develop visitor experiences.
  • Implement the Stories of Canada program by working with Indigenous communities on opportunities for experiences, interpretation and storytelling, and present Indigenous values, perspectives and contributions to Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.
  • Leverage Government of Canada milestone anniversaries and special events, such as the commemorations of the World Wars, and the third annual Canada Historic Places Day, as a means to attract new audiences and to enhance Canadians’ connections to and understanding of Canada’s heritage.
  • Support Canada’s new Tourism Vision to grow Canada’s revenue through international tourism.

Planned results

Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2015–16 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2017–18 Actual results
Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 ‐ Terrestrial): percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national parks system 84% March 31, 2020 77% 77% 77%
Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 ‐ Marine): percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system 31% March 31, 2020 17% 17% 17%
Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved 92% March 31, 2023 90% 88% 88%
Number of heritage places managed in a way consistent with the Government’s commitment to nation to‐nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationships 23-25 March 31, 2020 n/a n/a n/a
Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations Number of places, people and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized 3778 March 31, 2021 3730 3758 3812
Percentage of cultural resources in Parks Canada's care that are safeguarded 90% March 31, 2022 n/a n/a n/a
Percentage of heritage structures in poor condition that have improvedtable 2 note * 60% March 31, 2020 14%
45 out of 3282
24%
80 out of 3282
35%
151 out of 4331,2
People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them Maintain or increase the number of people that connect with nature at Parks Canada places 24.7M or greater March 31, 2020 23.3M 24.7M 27.2M
Percentage of visitors to Parks Canada places that are new Canadians and young adults 14% March 31, 2020 n/a n/a n/a
Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places 78% - 82% March 31, 2020 n/a n/a n/a
Number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices 32-39 March 31, 2021 n/a n/a n/a
Percentage of contemporary infrastructure that facilitates visitor access and/or use of Parks Canada places in poor condition that have improvedtable 2 note * 60% March 31, 2020 14%
223 out of 15943
28%
447 out of 15943
46%
1474 out of 32161,3
Table 1 Note
Table Note *
  1. The baseline for heritage structures and contemporary infrastructure was revised in 2017–18 following a National Asset Review.
  2. Includes heritage assets in national parks and national historic sites.
  3. Includes: 1) visitor experience assets in national parks, the Rouge National Urban Park, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas, and heritage canals; and 2) heritage canal, highway and townsite assets.

Return to first footnote * referrer

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
1,511,172,628 1,511,172,628 598,160,141 591,116,046

The decrease in planned spending in 2020–21 is primarily due to the sunsetting of funding for Parks Canada’s infrastructure initiatives to rehabilitate a significant portion of its built asset inventory.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
4,560 4,197 4,169

The decrease in full-time equivalents is primarily due to the sunsetting of funding for Parks Canada’s infrastructure initiatives to rehabilitate a significant portion of its built asset inventory.

Financial, human resources and performance information for Parks Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of Programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct services that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. These services are:

  • Management and Oversight Services
  • Communications Services
  • Legal Services
  • Human Resources Management Services
  • Financial Management Services
  • Information Management Services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Real Property Management Services
  • Materiel Management Services
  • Acquisition Management Services

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
139,371,019 139,371,019 116,460,557 116,236,338

Human Resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
904 712 712

The decreases in both planned spending and in full-time equivalents are primarily due to decreased resources for internal services to support the Agency’s infrastructure initiatives, which sunset in 2019–20.

Planning highlights
  • Fostering a high-performing and diverse workforce. As a highly operational organization, Parks Canada's workforce is its strength. Actions the Agency will take to support performance and diversity in 2019–20 include the development and implementation of a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, the implementation of a new approach to the Youth Employment program, as well as updating human resources talent and performance management practices.
  • Optimizing a safe, healthy and inclusive workplace. Parks Canada remains committed to building a safe and harassment-free work environment, supportive of workplace health and wellness and the promotion of respect through the development of specific policies and guidelines, by carrying out workplace risk assessments and leveraging results from the Public Service Employee Survey to guide related action.
  • Enabling tools that support and adapt to changing operational needs. Parks Canada will continue to collaborate with Public Services and Procurement Canada to reduce the occurrence of pay issues and improve the timeliness of their resolution. The Agency will foster the use of data and tools to support evidenced-based decision-making, such as dashboards and other reports.
  • Collaborate openly and digitally with partners and Canadians. Parks Canada will continue its phased roll-out of new collaboration tools to support productivity and teamwork internally and with partners.
  • Enabling Parks Canada with a mobile workforce.  Much of Parks Canada's work happens outside of traditional offices.  In 2019–20, the Agency will support this work by deploying more mobile-enabled and cloud applications, including its mobile reporting pilot with the Agency's Visitor Safety, Human-Wildlife Conflict and Law Enforcement teams.
  • Connect with Canadians using Open Data. Parks Canada supports the Government of Canada's priority for OpenData. In 2019–20, the Agency will develop a framework to help make OpenData a part of operations at all levels and make more datasets publicly available.
  • Using technology to continuously improve. Parks Canada continues to improve its network connectivity and telecommunications to help ensure that its employees can offer Canadians the standard of service they expect. 

Spending and human resources

Planned spending

Departmental spending trend graph

Departmental spending trend graph
  • Long Description for Agency Spending Trend Graph
    Agency Spending Trend Graph
    Fiscal year Statutory Voted Total
    2017–17 198,981 992,712 1,191,693
    2017–18 151,411 1,165,622 1,317,033
    2018–19 189,389 1,377,711 1,567,100
    2019–20 203,221 1,447,323 1,650,544
    2020–21 199,630 514,991 714,621
    2021–22 199,059 508,294 707,352

The above graph depicts the Agency’s spending trend over a six-year period. The increase in expenditures and planned spending over the four years (2017–17 to 2019–20) is primarily due to infrastructure investments of approximately $3.6 billion in national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas, enabling Parks Canada to rehabilitate a significant portion of its built asset inventory. This time-limited funding sunsets in 2019–20, which explains the significant reduction in funding in 2020–21.

Budgetary planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (dollars)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016–17
Expenditures
2017–18
Expenditures
2018–19
Forecast spending
2019–20
Main Estimates
2019–20
Planned spending
2020–21
Planned spending
2021–22
Planned spending
Protecting and Presenting Canada’s Natural and Cultural Heritage 1,037,923,019 1,144,729,565 1,401,612,211 1,511,172,628 1,511,172,628 598,160,141 591,116,046
Subtotal 1,037,923,019 1,144,729,565 1,401,612,211 1,511,172,628 1,511,172,628 598,160,141 591,116,046
Internal Services 153,770,032 172,303,245 165,487,890 139,371,019 139,371,019 116,460,557 116,236,338
Total 1,191,693,051 1,317,032,810 1,567,100,101 1,650,543,647 1,650,543,647 714,620,698 707,352,384

For fiscal years 2017–17 and 2017–18, the amounts represent the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts. For fiscal year 2018–19, the amounts represent the forecast spending which include planned budgetary and statutory expenditures as presented in the Main and Supplementary Estimates.

For the fiscal years 2019–20 to 2021–22, planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the Agency’s programs.

The trend of increasing spending until 2019–20 is primarily due to investments of approximately $3.6 billion in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas to rehabilitate a significant portion of its built asset inventory. This time-limited funding sunsets in 2019–20, which explains the significant reduction in spending in 2020–21.

Planned human resources

Human resources planning summary for Core Responsibilities and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)

Core Responsibilities and Internal Services 2016–17
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2018–19
Forecast full-time equivalents
2019–20
Planned full-time equivalents
2020–21
Planned full-time equivalents
2021–22
Planned full-time equivalents
Protecting and Presenting Canada’s Natural and Cultural Heritage 3,907 4,356 4,312 4,560 4,197 4,169
Subtotal 3,907 4,356 4,312 4,560 4,197 4,169
Internal Services 1,107 1,226 1,221 904 712 712
Total 5,014 5,582 5,533 5,464 4,909 4,881

The trend of increased full-time equivalents until 2018–19 is primarily due to investments of approximately $3.6 billion in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas to rehabilitate a significant portion of its built asset inventory and an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy. This time-limited funding sunsets in 2019–20, which explains the significant reduction in full-time equivalents starting in 2020–21.

Estimates by vote

Information on the Parks Canada’s organizational appropriations is available in the 2019–20 Main Estimates.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations

The Future Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations provides a general overview of the Parks Canada Agency’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management. The forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Departmental Plan are prepared on an expenditure basis; as a result, amounts may differ.

A more detailed Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, are available on Parks Canada’s website.

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations for the year ended March 31, 2020 (dollars)

Financial information 2018–19
Forecast results
2019–20
Planned results
Difference
(2019–20 Planned results minus 2018–19 Forecast results)
Total expenses 841,877,000 878,127,000 36,250,000
Total revenues 140,000,000 150,000,000 10,000,000
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 701,877,000 728,127,000 26,250,000

The net cost of operations should increase by $26.3M in 2019–20 as a result of an expected increase in amortization expenses following many important capital asset acquisitions over the last few years.

Additional information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister: The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.

Institutional head: Michael Nadler, Acting Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Enabling instruments:

Year of incorporation / commencement: 1998

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on Parks Canada’s website.

Reporting framework

The Parks Canada Departmental Results Framework and Program Inventory of record for 2019–20 are shown below.

Departmental Results Framework
  • Long Description for Departmental Results Framework graph

    The graphical illustration shows Parks Canada Agency’s Departmental Results Framework which includes: one Core Responsibility, three Departmental Results, twelve Departmental Results Indicators, and five supporting programs in its program inventory. The Agency’s Departmental Results Framework also includes the standardized Government of Canada Internal Services element at the Core Responsibility level.

    Parks Canada Agency’s Core Responsibility is: Protecting and Presenting Canada’s Natural and Cultural Heritage

    The Core Responsibility Description is: Establish national parks and national marine conservation areas; designate places, persons and events of national historic significance; protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage guided by science and Indigenous knowledge; provide opportunities to visit, experience and enjoy Canada’s natural and cultural heritage; work with the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and stakeholders to carry out these responsibilities.

    There are three departmental results:

    1. Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations
    2. Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations
    3. People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them.

    The first result, Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations, is supported by four indicators:

    • Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 - Terrestrial): percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national parks system
    • Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 - Marine): percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system
    • Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved
    • Number of heritage places managed in a way consistent with the Government’s commitment to nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationships

    The second result, Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations, is supported by three indicators:

    • Number of places, people and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized
    • Percentage of cultural resources in Parks Canada's care that are safeguarded
    • Percentage of heritage structures in poor condition that have improved

    The third result, People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them, is supported by five indicators:

    • Maintain or increase the number of people that connect with nature at Parks Canada places
    • Percentage of visitors to Parks Canada places that are new Canadians and young adults
    • Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places
    • Number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices
    • Percentage of contemporary infrastructure that facilitates visitor access and/or use of Parks Canada places in poor condition that have improved

    Parks Canada Agency’s Program Inventory consists of the following five programs:

    • Heritage Places Establishment Program
    • Heritage Places Conservation Program
    • Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support Program
    • Visitor Experience Program
    • Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management Program

No changes have been made to the approved reporting framework since 2018–19.

Supporting information on the Program Inventory

Supporting information on planned expenditures, human resources, and results related to Parks Canada’s Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on Parks Canada’s website.

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more
  • Disclosure of transfer payment programs under $5 million
  • Gender-based analysis plus

Information formerly provided in the supplementary information tables “Planned evaluation coverage over the next five fiscal years” and “Upcoming internal audits for the coming fiscal year” will be posted on the department’s website by the end of June each year.

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs, as well as evaluations, research papers and gender-based analysis. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Parks Canada National Office

30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
Canada
J8X 0B3

General Inquiries

888-773-8888

General Inquiries (International)

819-420-9486

Teletypewriter (TTY)

866-787-6221

Website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca

Email: information@pc.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (plan ministériel)
A report on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
Any change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by Program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
The department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision-making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical process used to help identify the potential impacts of policies, Programs and services on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people. The “plus” acknowledges that GBA goes beyond sex and gender differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2019–20 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada's Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiative (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, Program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
Performance Information Profile (profil de l’information sur le rendement)
The document that identifies the performance information for each Program from the Program Inventory.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
plan (plan)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in the Main Estimates.
A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
priority (priorité)
A plan or project that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Departmental Results.
Program (programme)
Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.
Program Inventory (répertoire des programmes)
Identifies all of the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s Core Responsibilities and Results.
results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, Program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, Program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, Program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.