About the consultations

Parks Canada is undertaking an assessment of its various regulations and internal policies related to planning permits. This process will result in new regulations, tentatively titled ‘Land Use Management Regulations’, as well as updated policies and operating procedures to assist with compliance.

Parks Canada’s current development, building and occupancy permit review process is divided among several statutes, regulations and local policies. The regulations concerning permitting for construction and renovation projects need to be updated to reflect current national standards and to ensure consistency with municipal and provincial/territorial approaches from across Canada.

In her response to the feedback received through Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!, released in May 2018, Minister McKenna committed to “undertake a review of development and land use management decision-making tools to ensure a consistent and transparent process for development decisions at Parks Canada places”. These decision-making tools include the regulatory authorities to grant construction and renovation permits in areas identified for recreational and visitor services.

Over the summer and fall of 2018, Parks Canada sought public input on how best to establish a streamlined framework for the planning permit process. A What We Heard Report summarizes public input received during these consultations and outlines next steps.

Parks Canada thanks the more than 200 individuals and organizations who took the time to participate in these consultations. Your input is greatly appreciated and will be invaluable as we move to the next step to modernize the planning permit process.

Update

Further public consultations in Jasper were held on local land use issues specific to the Town of Jasper Zoning Regulations. A What We Heard Report is now available.


Questions and answers

Why is Parks Canada undertaking this review?

Parks Canada is undertaking an assessment of its building, cottage, and sign regulations. Parks Canada regulations concerning permitting for construction and renovation need to be updated to reflect current construction codes (e.g., Building, Plumbing, and Fire Codes) and to be consistent with municipal and provincial/territorial standards, where beneficial.

Parks Canada is undertaking this review to ensure that its regulations and polices reflect modern planning principles and that projects receive the highest standard of scrutiny throughout the planning permit process. The commitment to review Parks Canada’s current regulations related to planning permits is identified in the Agency’s Forward Regulatory Plan. In Let’s Talk Parks, Canada! Minister McKenna committed to undertake a review of development and land use management decision-making tools to ensure a consistent and transparent process for development decisions at Parks Canada places. By completing these consultations, the Agency has taken a concrete step towards meeting these commitments.

What does Parks Canada hope to achieve?

Parks Canada sought public input on how best to establish a single, modern, streamlined framework for permitting that provides a consistent, transparent and predictable review process of applications for construction and renovation projects. The new permit process will continue to reflect the principal of ecological integrity as a first priority in decision-making, as set out in the Canada National Parks Act.

Parks Canada consulted Indigenous groups, stakeholders and the public to understand and identify key issues and improvements to be made to the current permit application processes. Public input will help to inform the creation of a new national planning permit process to ensure the continued protection and presentation of Parks Canada places.

New regulations will be drafted to set out permitting requirements and required steps in the review of permit applications. Supporting land use policies (i.e., architectural guidelines, local zoning, setbacks, etc.) will be revised, once updated regulations have been established.

Will this encourage more development in protected areas?

New regulations and policies will ensure a consistent Agency decision-making process for planning permit applications. It will not change existing commercial caps, townsite boundaries, or amount of land currently zoned for development, etc. – those are long-term planning decisions made through legislation, management plans, community plans, site guidelines, and related documents.

This updated process will provide clear decision-making on an application for redevelopment of particular lots that are already zoned for commercial, private accommodation or visitor services purposes through existing management and systems plans. It will not be possible to seek a permit for an area not already identified for these purposes.

Who was consulted?

Parks Canada sought input from stakeholders online and by conducting in-person meetings across a broad selection of Parks Canada places.

Parks Canada heard from individuals and stakeholder groups with an interest in how planning permit decisions are made. This includes, but is not limited to: commercial and residential leaseholders; business operators; Indigenous groups; parks community residents; visitors; representatives of local governments; property owners near Parks Canada places, such as along historic canals and waterways; industry professionals; and other interest groups.

Parks Canada sincerely thanks the more than 200 individuals and organizations who took the time to participate in these consultations. The input received through this process is invaluable as we move to the next step to modernize the planning permit process.

What were the results of the public consultations?

Parks Canada sought public input on establishing a modern and streamlined framework for planning permits that provides a consistent, transparent, predictable, and rigorous review process for permit applications in Parks Canada managed places.

The following key principles consistently heard in the course of the consultations will guide the development of these regulations:

  • protection of ecological integrity;
  • flexibility;
  • consistency;
  • transparency; and
  • public participation.

Please consult the What We Heard Report for more details on the public feedback received through this process.

When will a draft of the new regulations be ready?

Parks Canada received comments and feedback on the planning permit process, as outlined in the What We Heard Report. Based on the input received, Parks Canada will draft new ‘Land Use Management Regulations’. Draft regulations are expected to be pre-published in the Canada Gazette by spring 2020. In order to clearly explain the regulatory process to stakeholders, interpretive guidelines will be published at the same time. There will be an opportunity for the public to provide further input at that time.

Timeline

The timelines for this regulatory project have been updated to account for the quantity and complexity of public input received.

Activity Dates
Public meetings and online comment period Complete
What We Heard Report published Complete
Regulatory drafting 2019
Draft regulation and the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) posted online for public comment
  • Canada Gazette, Part I
2020
Refinement of the draft regulations based on feedback received 2020
Finalized regulations posted online
  • Canada Gazette, Part II
To be determined
Coming into force of the regulations To be determined

Resources available

Current regulations

Parks Canada Agency contact:

Daniel Mercer
Manager, Land Use Planning Services
Strategic Policy and Investment Directorate