Part A: The state of Parks Canada protected heritage systems

National Parks System


Since 1911, Parks Canada has been entrusted to protect an ever-increasing number of outstanding wilderness areas within a system of national parks. The area of land in the system currently stands at 301,000 square kilometres, covering representative samples of the great diversity of natural landscapes that characterize Canada.

Parks Canada continues to work to expand the system, with the objective of representing each of Canada's 39 natural regions with at least one national park. National parks protect the ecological integrity of a natural area while providing opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of present and future generations. They make an important Canadian contribution to the implementation of international conventions and agreements, including the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The need to protect a representative collection of Canadian landscapes was acknowledged by Parliament when it passed the Parks Canada Agency Act in 1998. Parliament directed Parks Canada to ensure that there is a long-term plan in place to establish the National Parks System, and indicated that the Agency is responsible for negotiating and recommending to the Minister of the Environment the establishment of new protected places.

The establishment of a national park includes a series of steps starting with the identification and selection of a potential park, followed by a feasibility assessment that includes public consultations. If governments agree to proceed, national park establishment agreements are negotiated with the relevant governments and concerned Aboriginal organizations. The final step is to formally protect the new park under the Canada National Parks Act.

State of National Parks System

To date, 28 of 39 Parks Canada natural regions are represented by 42 national parks and national park reserves, leaving 11 natural regions unrepresented (Figure 2). In total, about 3% of the Canadian landscape is safeguarded in national parks for future generations.

Land is currently reserved from future dispositions to industrial exploration and development for three proposed national parks: Bathurst Island (Nunavut); Thaidene Nene (East Arm of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories); and the proposed Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve (Northwest Territories) to protect the headwaters of the Greater Nahanni Ecosystem.

The trend towards further expanding the national parks system accelerated over the last two years. Negotiation of national park establishment agreements commenced for three proposed national parks in unrepresented regions (Bathurst Island, Nunavut; Mealy Mountains, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Thaidene Nene, Northwest Territories). Feasibility assessments continue in unrepresented regions for the South Okanagan - Lower Similkameen (British Columbia) and Thaidene Nene proposals.


In June 2009, Parliament passed legislation enabling a six-fold expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada, one of the planet's first World Heritage Sites. With 30,000 square kilometres now protected under the Canada National Parks Act, important habitat for grizzly bears is conserved, as is a significant portion of the South Nahanni River watershed, which includes waters also designated as part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. Among the most significant conservation actions in a generation, it was achieved with the active participation and support of the Dehcho First Nations.

During this period, both the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (British Columbia) and Wapusk National Park (Manitoba) received legal protection under the Canada National Parks Act. This measure enables Parks Canada to conserve one of Canada's most endangered ecosystems in the Gulf Islands, and one of the world's largest polar bear denning areas within Wapusk National Park.

Significant progress was also made on a number of national park proposals:

Mealy Mountains (Newfoundland and Labrador) - The governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2010 confirming the proposed boundary for a 10,700-square-kilometre national park reserve in the Mealy Mountains to represent the East Coast Boreal natural region of the national park system.

Bathurst Island (Nunavut) - In April 2010, Parks Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association launched negotiations to establish this national park, which contains important habitat for the Peary caribou, including calving areas and summer/winter habitat. The Nunavut Land Claim Agreement requires that an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement be concluded to establish a national park.

Thaidene Nene (East Arm of Great Slave Lake) - In April 2010, the Minister of the Environment signed a framework agreement with the Łutsel K'e Dene First Nation that commits the parties to negotiating a national park establishment agreement to protect the lands and waters in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. A similar agreement has been negotiated with the NWT Métis Nation, the other principal Aboriginal group in the area.

Nááts'ihch'oh (Northwest Territories) - A public consultation program in 2010 demonstrated overwhelming support for this initiative. In early 2010, Parks Canada and the Sahtu Dene and Métis concluded the impact and benefit plan required under the Sahtu Dene and Métis Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement to establish the park. Work with other federal departments and the Government of the NWT on determining the park boundary was a priority activity during this period.

Sable Island (Nova Scotia) - In May 2010, the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia announced their commitment to undertake public consultations and to negotiate the necessary agreement to formally designate Sable Island as a national park under the Canada National Parks Act. Public consultations completed in September 2010 demonstrated strong support for this designation. During this period, negotiations towards a national park establishment agreement between the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia were advanced.

Bowen Island - Expansion of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada (British Columbia) - During winter 2009-2010, at the request of the Bowen Island Municipality, Parks Canada undertook an initial assessment of Bowen Island lands to determine their potential for national park designation. In July 2010, on the basis of that assessment, Parks Canada launched a feasibility assessment, including public consultation, with the support of the British Columbia government.

Key Issues


In order to succeed in establishing the remaining national parks in the System Plan, Parks Canada requires the active support of provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal people, a range of stakeholders, and the Canadian public.

Limited Opportunity

As more wilderness areas are being developed, achieving the completion of the System Plan becomes more of a challenge. Park establishment processes are increasingly complex and time-consuming due to this development and the number of interests involved.

Figure 2: Status of National Parks System Plan
Figure 2: Status of National Parks System Plan Figure 2: Status of National Parks System Plan
© Parks Canada

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National Marine Conservation Areas System


Canada has the world's longest coastline at over 243,000 kilometres along the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans, with an area of more than 5.5 million square kilometres of ocean waters. Canada also shares jurisdiction over the Great Lakes, the world's largest freshwater system. These environments are fundamental to the social, cultural and economic well-being of Canadians.

Their importance was recognized when Parliament mandated Parks Canada to establish a system of national marine conservation areas (NMCAs) that are representative of the diversity of Canada's 29 oceanic and Great Lakes marine regions. Parks Canada's role is to ensure the protection and ecologically sustainable use of these national marine conservation areas, to facilitate unique visitor experiences and an appreciation of our marine heritage, and to engage Canadians in the management of NMCAs.

The establishment of an NMCA includes a series of steps starting with the identification and selection of a potential NMCA followed by a feasibility assessment and public consultations. If governments agree to proceed, an NMCA establishment agreement is negotiated. The final step includes the development of an interim management plan and formal establishment under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

State of NMCA System Plan

Up to March 31, 2011, Canada's national marine conservation area system includes four sites protecting 14,846 square kilometres and representing five of the 29 marine regions (Figure 3).

These areas include Parks Canada's first marine site at Fathom Five National Marine Park (Ontario); the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park in Quebec, which protects important habitat for beluga whales; Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (Ontario), which is the world's largest freshwater protected area; and Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site in British Columbia, which represents two marine regions and is the first area to be legally protected by Parliament under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

Over the last two years, the area protected within the NMCA system has increased by 30%, and the number of represented marine regions has increased from three to five, with the addition of Gwaii Haanas.


A significant achievement during this reporting period was that Parks Canada, in collaboration with the Haida Nation, formally established the 3,500-square-kilometre Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. With the adjacent national park reserve of the same name, Canada's “Galapagos Islands” becomes the world's first to be protected from mountain top to deep seabed. This builds on the 2007 decision by the governments of Canada and Ontario to establish the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, the largest fresh­water protected area in the world at more than 10,000 square kilometres.

Significant progress was also made on another national marine conservation area proposal:

Lancaster Sound (Nunavut) In December 2009, the governments of Canada and Nunavut, along with the Qikiqitani Inuit Association, signed a memorandum of understanding launching a feasibility assessment for a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, a globally significant ecological treasure often referred to as the “Serengeti of the Arctic.” One year later, the federal government announced its position on a potential future boundary for an NMCA in this area, identifying 44,300 square kilometres in Lancaster Sound to be discussed through consultation. With an area the size of lakes Erie and Ontario combined, this site is a critical habitat for narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales, walrus, polar bear, seals and several million breeding seabirds. The government also announced that no exploration or development of petroleum resources within the proposed area would occur during the feasibility study, nor within the final boundary.

During this period, Parks Canada continued to work towards establishing an NMCA reserve in the southern Strait of Georgia in British Columbia. It also worked with the Government of Quebec to develop an approach for a joint assessment of a marine protected area around the Îles-de-la-Madeleine in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In total, these three areas could add more than 50,000 square kilometres of marine waters to the NMCA system.

Consistent with the mandate to represent each of the 29 marine regions, Parks Canada has continued to work to identify the representative marine areas within each region that would lead to potential national marine conservation area candidates. By March 31, 2011, twenty-six marine regions had undergone a study to identify these representative marine areas. The last three marine regions will be addressed in the near future. Once all these studies are completed, the general plan for the NMCA system will emerge, allowing Parks Canada to better manage its future initiatives. In addition, discussions with various governments are underway to launch NMCA feasibility assessments in other marine regions.

The map on the next page provides an overview of the status of planning for the national marine conservation areas system.

Key Issues

Program Development

The NMCA program is Parks Canada's newest, and adapting to the jurisdictional complexities inherent to the marine environment and its activities has required some adjustments. Though the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act came into force in 2002, the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is the first site to be established under the Act. This achievement has enabled Parks Canada to gain valuable experience that will support the successful establishment of other NMCAs.

Awareness and Relevance

Many Canadians still have only a partial understanding of the purpose and benefits of NMCAs and other marine protected areas. Increasing public awareness of the importance of an NMCA system as a tool for conservation, education and discovery of Canada's marine and Great Lakes environments will help achieve our goals of accelerating the establishment of national marine conservation areas in Canada.

One of the best ways to increase public awareness of the need for marine conservation, and the role of national marine conservation areas in conserving our nation's diversity of marine and freshwater ecosystems, will be through the continued expansion of the system.

Figure 3: Status of National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan
Figure 3: Status of National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan Figure 3: Status of National Marine Conservation Areas System Plan
© Parks Canada

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National Historic Sites System


Created in 1919 and supported by Parks Canada, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) provides advice to the Minister of the Environment on the designation of places, persons and events that have marked and shaped Canada. Every year, new subjects of potential national historic significance are submitted to the HSMBC for consideration. The participation of the public in the identification of these subjects, and in their commemoration, is a key element of the program. In fact, approximately 95% of nominations for designation presented to the HSMBC are submitted by Canadian individuals and groups.

The National Historic Sites of Canada System Plan (2000) identifies a thematic framework that organizes Canadian history into five broad, interrelated themes (Figure 4). This framework is used by Parks Canada to assess the extent to which the diversity of the Canadian population and its history is reflected in our system of national historic sites, persons and events.

Designations of national historic significance are usually commemorated with a bronze plaque describing the historic significance of the subject, installed in a location that is closely related to the designated subject and accessible to the public.

Parks Canada provides professional and administrative services to support the Board's work, including historical and archaeological research needed for evaluating nominations. It also follows through on the ministerial decisions resulting from the HSMBC's recommendations by organizing plaque unveiling ceremonies and installing and maintaining the commemorative plaques.

Figure 4: National Historic Sites of Canada Thematic Framework
Figure 4: National Historic Sites of Canada Thematic Framework Figure 4: National Historic Sites of Canada Thematic Framework
© Parks Canada

[ Figure 6: National Historic Sites of Canada Administered by Parks Canada
© Parks Canada

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167 National Historic Sites of Canada - Administered by Parks Canada - March 2011

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 1. Cape Spear Lighthouse
  • 2. Signal Hill
  • 3. Hawthorne Cottage
  • 4. Castle Hill
  • 5. Ryan Premises
  • 6. L'Anse aux Meadows
  • 7. Port au Choix
  • 8. Red Bay
  • 9. Hopedale Mission

Nova Scotia

  • 10. Marconi
  • 11. Fortress of Louisbourg
  • 12. Wolfe's Landing
  • 13. Royal Battery
  • 14. Alexander Graham Bell
  • 15. St. Peters Canal
  • 16. St. Peters
  • 17. Grassy Island Fort
  • 18. Canso Islands
  • 19. Fort McNab
  • 20. Georges Island
  • 21. Halifax Citadel
  • 22. Prince of Wales Tower
  • 23. York Redoubt
  • 24. D'Anville's Encampment
  • 25. Fort Sainte Marie de Grace
  • 26. Fort Edward
  • 27. Grand-Pré
  • 28. Kejimkujik
  • 29. Fort Anne
  • 30. Charles Fort
  • 31. Port-Royal
  • 32. Melanson Settlement
  • 33. Bloody Creek
  • 34. Fort Lawrence
  • 35. Beaubassin

Prince Edward Island

  • 36. Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst
  • 37. Ardgowan
  • 38. Province House
  • 39. Dalvay-by-the-Sea
  • 40. L.M. Montgomery's Cavendish

New Brunswick

  • 41. Fort Gaspareaux
  • 42. Fort Beauséjour - Fort Cumberland
  • 43. La Coupe Dry Dock
  • 44. Monument-Lefebvre
  • 45. Boishébert
  • 46. Beaubears Island Shipbuilding
  • 47. Carleton Martello Tower
  • 48. St. Andrews Blockhouse


  • 49. Battle of the Restigouche
  • 50. Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse
  • 51. Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial
  • 52. Lévis Forts
  • 53. 57-63 St. Louis Street
  • 54. Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux
  • 55. Cartier-Brébeuf
  • 56. Fortifications of Québec
  • 57. Maillou House
  • 58. Québec Garrison Club
  • 59. Montmorency Park
  • 60. Louis S. St. Laurent
  • 61. Forges du Saint-Maurice
  • 62. Saint-Ours Canal
  • 63. Chambly Canal
  • 64. Fort Chambly
  • 65. Fort Ste. Thérèse
  • 66. Fort Lennox
  • 67. The Fur Trade at Lachine
  • 68. Lachine Canal
  • 69. Louis-Joseph Papineau
  • 70. Sir George-étienne Cartier
  • 71. Battle of the Châteauguay
  • 72. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal
  • 73. Sir Wilfrid Laurier
  • 74. Coteau-du-Lac
  • 75. Carillon Barracks
  • 76. Carillon Canal
  • 77. Manoir Papineau
  • 78. Fort Témiscamingue


  • 79. Glengarry Cairn
  • 80. Sir John Johnson House
  • 81. Inverarden House
  • 82. Battle of the Windmill
  • 83. Fort Wellington
  • 84. Laurier House
  • 85. Rideau Canal
  • 86. Merrickville Blockhouse
  • 87. Bellevue House
  • 88. Murney Tower
  • 89. Kingston Fortifications
  • 90. Shoal Tower
  • 91. Fort Henry
  • 92. Trent-Severn Waterway
  • 93. Carrying Place of the Bay of Quinte
  • 94. Peterborough Lift Lock
  • 95. Mnjikaning Fish Weirs
  • 96. HMCS Haida
  • 97. Navy Island
  • 98. Queenston Heights
  • 99. Butler's Barracks
  • 100. Fort George
  • 101. Fort Mississauga
  • 102. Mississauga Point Lighthouse
  • 103. Battlefield of Fort George
  • 104. Battle of Cook's Mills
  • 105. Ridgeway Battlefield
  • 106. Bethune Memorial House
  • 107. Saint-Louis Mission
  • 108. Woodside
  • 109. Battle Hill
  • 110. Southwold Earthworks
  • 111. Point Clark Lighthouse
  • 112. Fort Malden
  • 113. Bois Blanc Island Lighthouse and Blockhouse
  • 114. Fort St. Joseph
  • 115. Sault Ste. Marie Canal


  • 116. York Factory
  • 117. Prince of Wales Fort
  • 118. Lower Fort Garry
  • 119. St. Andrew's Rectory
  • 120. The Forks
  • 121. Riel House
  • 122. Forts Rouge, Garry and Gibraltar
  • 123. Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex
  • 124. Linear Mounds


  • 125. Fort Espérance
  • 126. Fort Pelly
  • 127. Fort Livingstone
  • 128. Motherwell Homestead
  • 129. Batoche
  • 130. Battle of Tourond's Coulee/ Fish Creek
  • 131. Fort Battleford
  • 132. Frenchman Butte
  • 133. Fort Walsh
  • 134. Cypress Hills Massacre


  • 135. Frog Lake
  • 136. First Oil Well in Western Canada
  • 137. Bar U Ranch
  • 138. Rocky Mountain House
  • 139. Skoki Ski Lodge
  • 140. Cave and Basin
  • 141. Howse Pass
  • 142. Banff Park Museum
  • 143. Abbot Pass Refuge Cabin
  • 144. Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station
  • 145. Jasper Park Information Centre
  • 146. Athabasca Pass
  • 147. Yellowhead Pass
  • 148. Jasper House

British Columbia

  • 149. Twin Falls Tea House
  • 150. Kicking Horse Pass
  • 151. Kootenae House
  • 152. Rogers Pass
  • 153. Fort Langley
  • 154. Stanley Park
  • 155. Gulf of Georgia Cannery
  • 156. Fisgard Lighthouse
  • 157. Fort Rodd Hill
  • 158. Fort St. James
  • 159. Gitwangak Battle Hill
  • 160. Nan Sdins
  • 161. Chilkoot Trail

Yukon Territory

  • 162. S.S. Klondike
  • 163. Dredge Nº. 4
  • 164. Dawson Historical Complex
  • 165. S.S. Keno
  • 166. Former Territorial Court House

Northwest Territories

  • 167. Saoyú-ʔehdacho

Figure 7: Status of Representation of Under-represented Themes in the NHS System (April 1, 2009-March 31, 2011)

Under-represented themes
as a % of new designations
% of Total New Designations
Women 11%
Aboriginal 3%
Ethnocultural communities 31%
Ethnocultural and women 3%
Aboriginal and women 3%
Total 51%


The plaque unveiling ceremony is the culmination of the designation process and an opportunity for Canadians to celebrate their history. The plaques for several high-profile new designations were unveiled over the last two years, drawing record crowds. These included the Alouette I Satellite Programme National Historic Event, (Ottawa, ON); the Montreal Canadiens National Historic Event, (Montreal, QC); the Abolition Movement in British North America National Historic Event, (Chatham, ON); and the Lions Gate Bridge National Historic Site of Canada, (Vancouver, BC). In collaboration with Veterans Affairs Canada, a moving commemoration ceremony was also held for The Battle of the Scheldt National Historic Event in the Netherlands in May 2010. In addition, three successful plaque unveiling ceremonies were held across the country (St. John's, NL, Thunder Bay, ON, and Port Coquitlam, BC) to commemorate the determination and achievements of Terry Fox National Historic Person, an enduring Canadian icon.

Over the last two years, Parks Canada continued to hold community consultations across the country through the New Commemorations Initiative (NCI). This successful outreach activity proactively engaged Canadians in generating new nominations for designations related to the under-represented history of Canada's Aboriginal peoples, women, and ethnocultural communities.

Key Issues

New Designations of Under-Represented Themes

Over the last decade, Parks Canada has made a significant investment in resources to work with communities across the country in generating new nominations for designations related to the under-represented themes. As this targeted investment recently came to completion, the Agency will evaluate the impact of these consultations by tracking future new nominations in support of these priority areas.


There are a significant number of designations that have yet to be commemorated by means of a bronze plaque.

Other Heritage Programs


In addition to the system of national historic sites, national parks and NMCAs, Parks Canada is responsible for a number of other heritage protection programs. These programs support and enhance the protection of a range of important historical and natural heritage resources.

State of Other Heritage Programs

Canadian Heritage Rivers

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) is Canada's national river conservation program - a cooperative federal-provincial-territorial program led by Parks Canada to recognize, protect and manage rivers having outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values. Parks Canada's leadership for this program is identified in the Parks Canada Agency Act.

The CHRS is the world's largest river conservation program. Forty-one rivers have been nominated to the program, totalling almost 11,000 kilometres. Thirty-seven of these have been designated, meaning that management plans have been completed that detail how their heritage values will be conserved and presented.

Over the past two years, the Minister of the Environment has approved the nominations of the Ottawa River (Ontario) and the Saint John River (New Brunswick) as candidate Canadian Heritage Rivers. During this time, Parks Canada completed ten-year monitoring reports for three designated Canadian Heritage Rivers: the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park, the North Saskatchewan River in Banff National Park, and the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. In all three cases, it was determined that the heritage values for which these rivers were originally nominated have been maintained.

A national CHRS systems study was completed in 2010. This study defines the gaps to complete a comprehensive and representative system of heritage rivers by 2018; one of the major goals outlined in the CHRS Strategic Plan, approved by federal, provincial and territorial parks ministers in September, 2007. The report identified 16 potential priority rivers for designation to complete the system.

Federal Heritage Buildings

In 1982, the Federal Heritage Buildings Policy came into force as a result of growing concern regarding the state of built heritage in Canada. The goal of the policy is to identify, protect and maintain the heritage character of federal buildings.

Federal heritage buildings are located in every province and territory of the country. They represent some of the most significant historic places in Canada, including the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, the Cabot Tower in St. John's, the Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, the Federal Building in Winnipeg and Hatley Castle in Victoria. Currently, 1,337 buildings have been designated by the Minister of the Environment, including 270 classified (highest level) and 1,067 recognized federal heritage buildings. These buildings are administered by 22 different departments.

Since 1982, Parks Canada has played the lead role in the implementation of the policy. The Agency maintains the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO), which provides heritage advice to departments. FHBRO manages the heritage evaluation process, reviews proposed interventions to classified federal heritage buildings, and reviews proposed disposals of designated buildings. The office also maintains a register of designated buildings and develops heritage character statements to assist custodians in the management of their heritage buildings.

In addition to providing FHBRO services to departments, Parks Canada is also the largest custodian of federal heritage buildings; it manages 130 classified and 384 recognized federal heritage buildings.

Heritage Lighthouses

The Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act came into force on May 29, 2010. The Act is designed to identify federally-owned heritage lighthouses and to protect and conserve their heritage character. Residents of Canada may nominate lighthouses for designation during a two-year nomination period, ending May 29, 2012, and the Minister responsible for Parks Canada must consider these nominations on or before May 29, 2015. The Act establishes conservation and maintenance standards for federal custodians of heritage lighthouses and requires that their heritage character be protected upon sale or transfer out of the federal portfolio.

As of March 31, 2011, Parks Canada had received 48 nominations. Most of the nominations are for lighthouses that are surplus to federal operational requirements. Under the Act, surplus lighthouses can only be designated if a person or body submits a written commitment to buy or otherwise acquire the lighthouse and to protect its heritage character. These commitments must be negotiated with the relevant federal custodian, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and in most cases will take the form of a signed purchase and sale agreement.

Heritage Railway Stations

The Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act (HRSPA) outlines the procedures by which stations are designated as heritage railway stations and provides a clear process through which a proposed sale or changes to designated stations must be reviewed and approved. On the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), the Minister of the Environment designates stations as heritage railway stations. Proposed sale of, and alteration to, designated stations must be recommended by the Minister to the Governor-in-Council for approval.

One hundred and sixty-six heritage railway stations were initially designated following the establishment of the HRSPA in 1990; today there are 78 that remain under the protection of the Act, including such notable stations as the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) Station in Banff, the Via Rail Station in Ottawa, and the Via Rail Station in Halifax.

Over the last two years, four heritage railway stations have been sold - the Canadian National Railway (CN) station in Prescott, ON, and the CP stations in Owen Sound, ON, Nelson, BC, and Brandon, MB - and authorization was given to carry out alterations at the Vancouver VIA Rail station and the Fredericton Railway Company station. Moving forward, Parks Canada will continue to work closely with heritage railway station owners and communities to promote effective conservation and protection of these resources.

National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program

Launched in March 2009, Parks Canada's Cost-Sharing Program is a contribution program that provides financial assistance to ensure the commemorative integrity of non-federally owned or administered national historic sites. The program supports the Agency's mandate of protecting and presenting nationally significant examples of Canada's cultural and natural heritage. The terms and conditions of the program were approved by Treasury Board in 2008 for a five-year period.

The program's initial budget was $12 million, however this amount was augmented by $8 million through funds received from Canada's Economic Action Plan and has proven to be highly successful. Eligible recipients include other levels of government and not-for-profit organizations. Through financial contributions of up to $425,000, Parks Canada shares the costs of work needed to maintain the physical integrity of sites for the enjoyment and appreciation of Canadians.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, the program received 203 applications requesting over $54 million in funding assistance. A total of 81 cost-sharing projects were approved for a commitment of $14.3 million. As of March 31, 2011, sixty-nine projects have been completed and most of the remaining projects will be completed in 2011-12. The investment made by Parks Canada in these projects and the additional $79 million invested by the owners of the sites constitute the largest investment in heritage conservation in the non-profit sector in Canada over the last decade and contribute directly to the conservation of significant national treasures.

National Program for the Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers

This program was created in 1999 to ensure that the gravesites of prime ministers are conserved and recognized in a respectful and dignified manner. Objectives include the preparation of conservation plans for each of the gravesites, the installation of a Canadian flag, and an information panel on the life and accomplishments of the prime minister, as well as the organization of a commemoration ceremony in their honour.

To date, the gravesites of 15 prime ministers have been commemorated through the program. Over the last two years, a significant investment was made into necessary conservation work at The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie gravesite (Sarnia, ON), a commemoration ceremony was held for The Rt. Hon. Louis Stephen St. Laurent (Compton, QC), and a new brochure highlighting the program was published. The current priority of the program is to undertake a formal inspection of each gravesite by conservation specialists. The last formal inspection took place in 2005. The objective of the inspection is to evaluate the condition of each gravesite and identify priority interventions to conserve the site.

World Heritage Sites

Parks Canada plays the lead role in Canada's implementation of the World Heritage Convention, including representating Canada internationally regarding matters related to World Heritage. Parks Canada also provides support and guidance to World Heritage site managers within Canada and to project teams working on nominations for World Heritage inscription, and communicates with the Canadian public and interested stakeholders on world heritage issues.

As of 2011, there are 15 World Heritage sites in Canada, including most recently, the Rideau Canal (inscribed 2007) and Joggins Fossil Cliffs (2008). Future nominations are drawn from Canada's Tentative List, which was last revised in 2004. Of the original 11 sites on the 2004 Tentative List, the nomination of the Landscape of Grand Pré has been submitted to the World Heritage Committee for review in 2012. Additional nominations are currently in progress.

In the past two years, a great deal of focus has been on the development of the nominations mentioned above, each of which is the culmination of years of work by the project team with guidance from Parks Canada. The Agency has also laid the groundwork for a number of significant projects within Canada, including work on the Second Periodic Reporting cycle for North America's World Heritage and plans to revise Canada's Tentative List in the next few years. Internationally, Parks Canada has contributed to work in world heritage policy concerning the nomination process, branding and logo use, and committee decision-making processes.

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