Chapter 1: Statement of the Agency Ethics
The role of the Parks Canada Agency
The Parks Canada Agency is an important national institution, part of the essential framework of Canadian parliamentary democracy. Through the support they provide to the duly constituted government, Parks Canada employees contribute in a fundamental way to good government, to democracy and to Canadian society.
The role of the Parks Canada Agency is to assist the Government of Canada to protect, as a first priority, the natural and cultural heritage of our special places and ensure that they remain healthy and whole; to present the beauty and significance of our natural world and to chronicle the human determination and ingenuity that have shaped our nation; to celebrate the legacy of visionary Canadians whose passion and knowledge have inspired the character and values of our country, and to serve Canadians. The Constitution of Canada and the principles of responsible government provide the foundation for Parks Canada's roles and responsibilities. The democratic mission of the Parks Canada Agency is to assist the Minister, under law, to serve the public interest.
The Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency is a cornerstone of the Agency's organizational character. It enhances working conditions, employer/employee relations, interpersonal relationships and decision making at Parks Canada. The Chief Executive Officer expects all Parks Canada employees and managers to act in ways that support the Code . Actions and activities that best exemplify the Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency will contribute to the recognition of employees within the Agency and to their personal success, as well as make Parks Canada a more rewarding place to work.
Parks Canada mandate
The mandate of the Parks Canada Agency and its employees as per the Parks Canada Charter is:
"On behalf of the people of Canada, we protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations."
Doing this "on behalf of the people of Canada" entails great responsibilities. We should all be guided in our work and professional conduct by a balanced framework of democratic, professional, ethical and people qualities. This Code sets out the qualities expected of us by Parks Canada, which will guide us in the overall delivery of our work. It will help all Parks Canada employees to fully understand and uphold these qualities.
Objectives of the Code
We all have a responsibility to keep in mind the balance between democratic, professional, ethical and people qualities as we make work–related decisions, to seek help when we feel that the balance may be in jeopardy, and to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest. Managers have an additional responsibility to monitor behaviour with respect to these qualities and to assist employees in using them, as well as to monitor possible conflicts of interest. Doing so will help all of us to make informed decisions. Employees and managers who fail to respect the Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including the termination of their employment with the Agency.
The Code sets out the Agency's mandate and rules of conduct concerning the Conflict of Interest and Post–Employment Measures.
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for preserving public confidence in the integrity of management and operations of the Agency and for maintaining the tradition of political neutrality of the Government of Canada and its continuing ability to provide professional, candid and frank advice.
Helping the Chief Executive Officer and the Minister, under law, to serve the public interest.
- All Parks Canada employees shall give honest and impartial advice and make all information relevant to a decision available to their supervisor.
- All Parks Canada employees shall loyally implement Agency decisions, lawfully taken.
- All Parks Canada employees shall support Agency accountability, and provide their supervisor with information on the results of their work.
Serving with competence, excellence, efficiency, objectivity and impartiality.
- All Parks Canada employees must work within the laws of Canada and demonstrate political neutrality, as well as support for the agenda and objectives of the Government of Canada and the objectives of the Parks Canada Agency, as they undertake the responsibilities of their position.
- Within the scope of their authority, all Parks Canada employees must ensure the proper, effective and efficient use of public money.
- All Parks Canada employees must take into account that how Parks Canada's and the Government of Canada's objectives are achieved should be as important as the achievements themselves.
- All Parks Canada employees must continually improve the quality of service they provide, by adapting to changing needs, being innovative and striving to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Parks Canada programs and services offered in both official languages.
- All Parks Canada employees must respect the confidentiality of information they have access to through their work, as required under the law.
- All Parks Canada employees must be open and honest in their dealings with the public, stakeholders and other organizations.
Acting at all times in such a way as to uphold the public trust.
- All Parks Canada employees shall perform their duties and arrange their private affairs so that public trust in their integrity, objectivity and impartiality, as well as that of the Agency, is conserved and enhanced.
- All Parks Canada employees shall act at all times in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny.
- All Parks Canada employees shall, in fulfilling their official duties and responsibilities, make decisions in the public interest. If a conflict should arise between their private interests and their official duties, employees will resolve the conflict in favour of the public interest.
- All Parks Canada employees shall report, within 60 days of being appointed to their first position at Parks Canada, and within 60 days of any subsequent appointment, transfer, promotion or deployment within the Agency, all outside activities, assets, and direct or contingent liabilities that may result in a conflict of interest with respect to their official duties.
- All Parks Canada employees shall treat public property with care and respect, recognizing that it belongs to the people of Canada.
Demonstrating respect, fairness and courtesy in dealings with both citizens and colleagues, and recognizing that people who are treated with fairness and civility will be motivated to display these qualities in their own conduct.
- Employees should always place respect for human dignity first in the exercise of authority and responsibility, in their dealings with the public as well as with their colleagues.
- In any circumstance where employees are placed in a leadership role, they should lead through participation, openness and communication and with respect for diversity and for the official languages of Canada.
All the activities connected to each employee's and manager's work should be consistent with the Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency . If employees and managers have questions about how and when the Code applies, they should ask their supervisor for guidance.
This Code applies to all employees and managers working in the Parks Canada Agency.
Responsibilities, authorities and accountabilities
Responsibilities of all Parks Canada employees
This Code forms part of the conditions of employment in the Parks Canada Agency. At the time of signing their letter of offer, all Parks Canada employees acknowledge that the Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency is a condition of employment. All Parks Canada employees are responsible for ensuring that they comply with this Code .
All Parks Canada employees must also be aware of and observe the statutes governing the Parks Canada Agency and their profession, where applicable.
When negotiating financial arrangements with outside parties, employees must ensure compliance with the Conflict of Interest and Post–Employment Measures in accordance with directives on this matter issued by the Treasury Board. When in doubt, they must immediately report the situation to their supervisors in order to seek advice or direction on how to proceed.
When an employee faced with an ethical dilemma is in need of assistance with a particular issue or has knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, the employee is encouraged to seek the guidance from his/her immediate supervisor or manager, or the Field Unit Superintendent or Director General. They may also refer to the Policy on the Internal Disclosureof Information Concerning Wrongdoing in the Workplace .
In cases where an employee does not feel comfortable in pursuing this reporting relationship, the employee may bring the issue to the attention of the Ombudsman, to raise, discuss and resolve issues of concern related to this Code . The Ombudsman is also the designated officer in the Parks Canada Agency serving as the Senior Integrity Officer and the Senior Values and Ethics official.
All Parks Canada employees who feel they are being asked to act in a way that is inconsistent with the qualities set out in this chapter are encouraged to raise the matter first using the usual reporting relationship. Should this fail to resolve the issue, the matter may be brought to the attention of the Ombudsman. Further avenues for resolution are contained in Chapter 4 of this Code.
Responsibilities of Parks Canada managers
Managers have a particular responsibility to exemplify, in their actions and behaviour, the qualities set out in this chapter. They have a duty to infuse these qualities into all aspects of the work of sectors in the Agency under their responsibility. It is expected that they will take special care to ensure that they comply at all times with both the spirit and the specific requirements of this Code .
Managers have an additional responsibility to monitor behaviour with respect to these qualities and to assist employees in using them, as well as to monitor possible conflicts of interest. Doing so will help all of us to make informed decisions.
The Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer may delegate responsibilities and authorities for the implementation of this Code .
At Parks Canada, the Ombudsman is accountable to the Chief Executive Officer.
The role of the Ombudsman is to provide employees with informal and confidential support. He/she is a person with whom employees can raise their concerns and problems. He/she will attempt to help employees resolve their issues.
The Ombudsman at Parks Canada is also the Senior Integrity Officer and Senior Values and Ethics official. In these capacities, his/her role is to receive, record and review disclosures of wrongdoing in the workplace, including breaches of the Code , and to make recommendations where warranted to the Chief Executive Officer for resolution. Further, the Senior Integrity Officer may report on any cases dealing with breaches of the Code as part of his or her annual report. The Senior Values and Ethics official fosters and sustains dialogue on values and ethics, provides informal advice and guidance on ethical dilemmas, conflict of interest and the application of the Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency, and provides advice and guidance on the development of policies and directives.
The effective date of the Code of Ethics of the Parks Canada Agency is February 1, 2006.