1.0 Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 The Role of the Minister
1.2 The Role of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
1.3 The Role of Parks Canada


1.1 The Role of the Minister

The Minister of the Environment is responsible for directing the national program of historical commemoration provided for in legislation.

1.1.1
The Minister will respond to public and other requests relating to the commemoration of aspects of Canada's human history.

1.1.2
The Minister will make designations of national historic significance, based on recommendations of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

1.1.3
The Minister will determine the appropriate forms of commemoration for recognizing national historic significance, based on recommendations of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, and information provided by the department.

1.1.4
Provinces and territories will be notified when the Minister receives a request for designation affecting that province or territory, and will thus have an opportunity to provide information they consider relevant.

1.1.5
In the case of a national historic site under the authority of another federal minister or agency, the Minister will seek an interdepartmental agreement providing for the protection of the site.

1.1.6
To protect national historic sites that are not owned by the federal government, the Minister will, at the time of designation, encourage the province or territory in which the site is located to apply its own heritage legislation. To the extent permitted by law, the Minister will recognize provincial or territorial heritage designations on lands under his or her authority.

1.1.7
The Minister will, at the time of designation, provide owners of national historic sites with a copy of the Cultural Resource Management Policy, and encourage them to apply the principles and practice described in the Policy. Where operational requirements permit, owners of national historic sites will be provided with professional and technical advice upon request.


1.2 The Role of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is an independent body that provides the Minister of the Environment with impartial and expert advice on matters relating to historical commemoration, and devises its own policies to carry out its responsibilities. In practice, the Minister will not designate or commemorate without the Board's advice. All parts of the country are represented on the Board, which includes two residents from Ontario, two from Quebec, one from each of the other provinces and territories, as well as the National Archivist of Canada, an official of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and an official of Environment Canada. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada meets at least twice a year and submits recommendations to the Minister for approval.

1.2.1
The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada will advise the Minister on those aspects of Canadian history that it considers worthy of a Ministerial designation of national historic significance, and will provide the Minister with reasons for the proposed designation.

1.2.2
The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada will advise the Minister on the form of commemoration it considers appropriate to recognize national historic significance, and may advise the Minister on any other matter relating to the commemoration of Canada's history.

1.2.3
When the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recommends that the Minister acquire a site to commemorate an aspect of Canadian history, the recommendation will be based on historical considerations relating to the national historic significance of the site, or its resources. The Board may advise the Minister on which in situ or extant resources, if any, are considered to have national historic significance.


1.3 The Role of Parks Canada

Parks Canada and its predecessors have been responsible for the national historic sites program since 1914.

1.3.1
Parks Canada will fulfill the Minister of the Environment's responsibility to provide a Secretary and other employees of the department necessary for conducting the business of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

1.3.2
Parks Canada will undertake studies on all aspects of Canada's human history relative to the national program of historical commemoration, and will compile inventories of sites in order to ensure that the commemorative program reflects the rich and varied texture of Canada's past. These studies will be undertaken to assist the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and the department in identifying, evaluating, selecting and commemorating sites of national historic significance.

1.3.3
Parks Canada will maintain and periodically update a long-range systems plan to identify and address gaps in the commemorative program and to provide a basis for making systematic decisions regarding forms of commemoration.

1.3.4
Parks Canada will provide managerial, policy, planning, research and technical facilities and services to support the effective implementation of the national commemorative program.

1.3.5
Opportunities for public involvement in the national commemorative program contribute to an overall sense of national identity and to a greater appreciation of the public benefits of national historic sites. Parks Canada will provide opportunities for public involvement in the identification, development and operation of national historic sites, and will work with individuals and volunteer groups such as cooperating associations to achieve commemorative objectives.

1.3.6
Parks Canada is committed to ongoing cooperation with those who are involved in the commemoration of Canada's history. It will consult and cooperate with agencies at the federal and other government levels, with non-government organizations and with members of the public to achieve commemorative objectives.

1.3.7
Parks Canada will encourage understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of Canada's history and of Canada's national historic sites by communicating the scope of the national historic sites system and by making the results of research available to the public through departmental, cooperative and private sector publications and other media.

1.3.8
Parks Canada will inform the public about those aspects of Canada's human history that have been designated nationally significant by the Minister, and about the location and significance of national historic sites so that Canadians can become better acquainted with the special places associated with their history. Only in those rare cases where the integrity of a site and its resources would be threatened will information about the location be withheld.

1.3.9
Parks Canada will review existing federal legislation for purposes of enhancing the statutory protection of national historic sites under federal jurisdiction.

1.3.10
Parks Canada will protect and present national historic sites under its administration in accordance with the Cultural Resource Management Policy.

1.3.11
Parks Canada will monitor the condition of national historic sites.