2.0 Resource Management

Historic canals provide a range of opportunities for the public to enjoy activities on water and land, and to learn about aspects of Canada's cultural and natural heritage. As with all resources administered by Parks Canada, the cultural and natural resources are managed so as to protect and present the legacy that they represent.

Cultural resources form part of the historical context of the canals and, coupled with natural resources, provide a landscape whose heritage character should be protected, appreciated, enjoyed and understood. Natural landscapes and habitats along the canals complement the cultural resources and contribute to the environmental quality of the canals. Systematic management of the historic canals will provide for the protection, presentation and appropriate use of cultural and natural resources as well as for navigation.

2.1 Planning for Resource Management and Use
2.2 Protecting Cultural Resources
2.3 Protecting Natural Resources
2.4 Presentation


2.1 Planning for Resource Management and Use

2.1.1
Management plans for each historic canal will treat the canal and its cultural and natural resources as an entity and will provide for present and future sustainable uses.

2.1.2
Public consultation is an inherent part of the planning for the management of historic canals, and opportunities will be provided for public contribution to the planning process.

2.1.3
Land acquisition will be made on the basis of approved plans or agreements and will be by mutual agreement with the owner. It is not the intention of Parks Canada to acquire additional lands, except where essential to the proper management of a canal.

2.1.4
Lands identified through a planning process as surplus to canal requirements may be disposed of, subject, where necessary, to the application of reservations such as flooding rights.

2.1.5
Parks Canada will encourage local governments and other agencies to contribute, by means of plans, zoning bylaws and public education, to the protection of the heritage character of corridors formed by the canals and adjacent lands.


2.2 Protecting Cultural Resources

2.2.1
Cultural resources will be protected according to the Cultural Resource Management Policy.

2.2.2
Manually operated devices on locks, bridges and dams will be retained when they form part of the historical character and heritage experience of a canal.

2.2.3
Because of the heritage character of these canals, there may be an element of risk associated with their use. Parks Canada will take reasonable precautions, but will not significantly alter historic fabric or intrude on the heritage character of a canal. Before any physical modification is contemplated, other non-intrusive options will be considered.

2.2.4
Parks Canada has been given stewardship responsibility for the historic canals because of their heritage value. Modification of a cultural resource to meet significant operational or safety purposes will be considered only after thorough review, taking into account the maintenance of this stewardship responsibility. Any proposed modification or action (human or natural) affecting a level I cultural resource (as defined in the Cultural Resource Management Policy) that results in a change to the attributes upon which the level I designation was based will be reviewed in accordance with section 4.0 of the policy on National Historic Sites to ensure that the resource still merits being considered nationally significant.

2.2.5
Parks Canada will encourage others to protect cultural resources on lands not administered by Parks Canada that are adjacent to the canals.


2.3 Protecting Natural Resources

2.3.1
Natural resources will be protected in accordance with Parks Canada policies.

2.3.2
Canals will be operated and maintained in ways that seek an appropriate balance between use and environmental impacts, and comply with the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines.

2.3.3
Parks Canada will encourage others to protect ecologically related natural landscapes and habitats, including wetlands, on lands not administered by Parks Canada that are adjacent to the canals.

2.3.4
Parks Canada will manage dredge and fill activities to ensure that wetland environments, fish habitat and undisturbed shorelines are protected.


2.4 Presentation

2.4.1
Presentation programs will be developed to provide the public with an appreciation of the significant values of individual historic canals, in order to foster enjoyment of their cultural and natural resources and to encourage an understanding of how these canals have contributed to the development of Canada.

2.4.2
All presentation, including visitor activities, relating to cultural and natural resources will be conducted in accordance with Parks Canada policies.

2.4.3
The development and management of appropriate facilities, services and programs for visitor activities on the historic canals will be planned in a market-sensitive manner.

2.4.4
Presentation programs, including visitor activities, will not impair resources and will stress the principle that cultural and natural resource conservation contributes to the public benefit and is a responsibility of the public as well as of Parks Canada.