Minister’s message

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

As Minister responsible for Parks Canada, I am pleased to present the 2016-17 Departmental Results Report outlining the Agency’s many achievements in advancing its mandate. 

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Government of Canada announced free admission for all visitors to national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas, as well as lockage on canals operated by Parks Canada in 2017. To ensure the best possible visitor experience for Canadians, significant advance planning and preparations were required and many new measures were introduced.

The free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass was launched in December 2016 and by the end of March, close to 5.4 million Discovery Passes had been ordered by Canadians and international visitors, while initial expectations were for one million passes. This incredible popularity led to an early increase in visitation, which was up seven percent from January to the end of March, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from Canada and around the world throughout 2017 to experience the outdoors and learn about our heritage.

While it is important to continue to make our national parks more accessible to Canadians and build connections to nature, I have been clear in our government’s commitment to the ecological integrity of these treasured places. Parks Canada is recognized as a leader in conservation and has one of the best ecological monitoring systems in the world. It is the only national parks system that has implemented a system-wide ecological monitoring and reporting program that informs park-specific conservation priorities, guides investments in conservation, and enables us to report to Canadians and Parliamentarians on the state of our parks and sites. In 2016, amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act were also tabled, which will protect the Rouge’s important ecosystems and ensure that ecological integrity is the first priority when managing the park.

Our commitment to expanding the system of protected places remained a top priority. Budget 2016 provided $42.4 million over five years to Parks Canada to continue work on creating new national parks and marine conservation areas, including a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound in Nunavut and Thaidene Nëné national park reserve in the Northwest Territories. In fact, on August 14, 2017, I had the honour of joining the President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and Minister of Environment for the Government of Nunavut in announcing the final boundary for Lancaster Sound, which will be Canada’s largest protected area.

Through a network of parks, protected and conserved areas, and other conservation measures, Canada is committed to conserve at least 17 percent of land and inland waters, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020. Parks Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks are co-leading a pan-Canadian land and freshwater conservation initiative. To help guide us, a National Advisory Panel and Indigenous Circle of Experts were established to provide governments with advice and recommendations, based on science and traditional knowledge, on how we can meet the target by 2020.

Parks Canada continued to invest in infrastructure work on heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national parks, historic sites, marine conservation areas and heritage canals across Canada. This included a $41 million project to conserve Prince Edward Island’s Province House National Historic Site, the Birthplace of Confederation. These continuing investments represent the largest federal infrastructure plan in the history of Parks Canada. Furthermore, to ensure that visitors are able to enjoy Canada’s national parks for years to come, Budget 2017 proposed to provide up to $364 million over two years to Parks Canada to continue its management of national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites. A medium- and long-term plan is under development to ensure ongoing support to these highly valued areas.

The 150th anniversary of Confederation marks an important milestone and provides a unique opportunity to help shape the best that Canada can be in the future. This includes building collaborative relationships with Indigenous governments, organizations and communities to advance reconciliation. Parks Canada is proudly committed to a network of national heritage places that celebrates the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous peoples have with the lands and waters. Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving, restoring, and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

In January 2017, the eighth Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!, was held. It was the largest and most inclusive round table ever conducted and I was delighted that more than 13,000 Canadians and organizations wanted to share their views and perspectives on the future of Parks Canada.

I am proud to be the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and look forward to many more accomplishments in the coming years.

Original signed by

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Chief Executive Officer’s message

Daniel Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada Agency"

It is my pleasure to submit the 2016-17 Departmental Results Report highlighting Parks Canada’s accomplishments over the past year. I am proud of our team members’ passion and dedication in managing the finest and most extensive system of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world.

Parks Canada places belong to all Canadians. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Parks Canada launched a very successful ‘Your Free Pass to Discovery’ promotional campaign to promote free admission to all national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas, as well as lockage on canals in 2017. By the end of March 2017, Discovery Passes had already been provided to 194 countries and places.

Parks Canada is a leader in conservation. We have one of the best ecological monitoring systems in the world, collaborating extensively with academic and scientific institutions on research projects and working with Indigenous communities across the country in conserving Canada’s natural heritage. We are proud of our efforts to maintain and restore the ecological integrity of Canada’s national parks. In his 2016 Fall Report, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development stated that Parks Canada provides a good example for other government departments and agencies to follow. The Agency will continue to maintain its world class standards as part of the commitment to preserve national parks and contribute to the recovery of species-at-risk, while making these places more accessible to Canadians.

A significant step towards the completion of Rouge National Urban Park was announced with the transfer of 21 km2 of Transport Canada lands to Parks Canada. With this transfer, Parks Canada now manages more than half of the 79.1 km2 of lands identified for the Rouge. The Agency is also committed to continue to work with partners on the Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area in Nunavut and Thaidene Nëné national park reserve in the Northwest Territories.

Parks Canada is working to develop a system of national heritage places that recognizes both the invaluable contributions of Indigenous peoples and the traditional use of these special places. The Agency has a long history of working with Indigenous peoples and recognizes that their participation in the planning and operations of national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas has contributed substantially to the management of these treasured places.

Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is one of the main themes of Canada 150. At many Parks Canada places, the Agency and Indigenous groups have been working successfully to offer Indigenous visitor experiences to help advance understanding and appreciation of Indigenous cultures and heritage, while providing economic opportunities for local Indigenous communities. During the first part of 2017, Parks Canada began building on these partnerships and developing new ones with funding from Budget 2016, so that more visitors to Parks Canada places can learn about Indigenous cultures, traditions and customs.

This year, I was proud to welcome Mistaken Point as Canada’s 18th UNESCO World Heritage site. The inscription of this site is the culmination of years of collaboration and partnership between the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the local community and academic institutions, with guidance from Parks Canada. In addition, following Parks Canada’s invitation to Canadians to put forward proposals to update Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites, 41 proposals were received.

In 2017, the Government of Canada invited Canadians to experience nature and learn more about our history. In support of the planning and preparations for Canada 150, Parks Canada invested in front-country facilities to ensure the best possible visitor experiences. This includes significant investments in infrastructure, particularly in campgrounds, day use areas, and trails, along with new oTENTik accommodations across the country. We also piloted innovative visitor experiences including new overnight accommodations such as the Cocoon Tree Bed in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Micro-Cube in Forillon National Park, and Tiny Homes in Waterton Lakes National Park.

In addition, Parks Canada’s National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places received $20 million over two years for the preservation of heritage lighthouses, heritage railway stations, and national historic sites which resulted in $6.3 million in assistance being delivered for 70 projects across the country. This funding will help ensure that these heritage places remain vibrant and support tourism and job creation in their communities for years to come.

National parks, heritage canals, historic sites, and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples. We look forward to continuing to welcome Canadians and visitors from around the world throughout Canada 150 and beyond.

Original signed by

Daniel Watson
Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada Agency

Results at a glance

“To celebrate our country's 150th birthday, the Government of Canada is offering the gift of free admission to all Parks Canada places to Canadians. It is fantastic that so many people are excited about free admission and my hope is that every Canadian family will visit a national park, historic site or marine conservation area in 2017.”

Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.
  • Between December 2016 and March 2017, nearly 5.4 million free Discovery Passes were ordered by Canadians and international visitors.
  • Minister McKenna hosted over 13,000 Canadians for the eighth Minister’s Round Table, “Let’s Talk Parks, Canada” — the largest and most inclusive opportunity for Canadians to share their views and perspectives on the future of Parks Canada places.
  • Parks Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada entered into an agreement with provincial and territorial governments to work in partnership with all Canadians, in particular Indigenous peoples, to develop the Pathway to Canada Target 1, with the objective of expanding Canada’s network of protected areas and protecting its biodiversity.
  • In support of Canada’s biodiversity targets, advanced work on creating the Lancaster Sound Marine Conservation Area in Nunavut and Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories.
  • 16 bison successfully reintroduced to Banff National Park after being missing from the wild for over a century — helping to restore ecosystems, renew cultural connections, and inspire discovery among visitors. 87 plains bison successfully trans-located from Elk Island National Park to the Blackfeet Nation Bison Reserve in Montana, also contributing to the global survival and well-being of this iconic animal.
  • 50 years of whooping crane conservation celebrated with partners at Wood Buffalo National Park — 45 new whooping crane chicks born in the park during the 2016 breeding season, the third highest number of chicks on record. Since its inception, this international partnership has witnessed the flock that migrates between Wood Buffalo National Park and Aransas, Texas grow from only 48 birds in 1966 to 329 in 2016.
  • The first management plans for Saoyú-Ɂehdacho National Historic Site and Sirmilik National Park were tabled in Parliament as a result of the important partnership with Indigenous peoples in the stewardship of these special places.
  • 74 commemorative plaques for designated persons, places and events unveiled helped to define Canada’s history and engaged Canadians in celebrating these moments.
  • Increased visitation to Parks Canada places by six percent to more than 24.7 million visits, which is the highest point in the last two decades.
  • Improved condition of over 250 Parks Canada assets through ongoing investments in infrastructure. Through these unprecedented infrastructure investments, Parks Canada is protecting and preserving Canada’s treasured places, while supporting local economies, contributing to growth in the tourism sector, and strengthening their appeal as destinations to celebrate and better understand our nation. 
 

2016-17 Actual Spending

$1.2 billion

2016-17 Human Resources

5,014 Full-time equivalents (FTEs)

 
 

For more information on the department’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the Results: what we achieved section of this report.

Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is responsible for the Parks Canada Agency. Parks Canada protects and presents nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations. Canada’s national urban park, national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas, of which Parks Canada is the proud steward, offer Canadians opportunities to visit, experience and personally connect with these heritage places. In carrying out its responsibilities, Parks Canada works in collaboration with many partners, including Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and neighbouring communities.

Mandate and Role

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.

Vision

Canada’s treasured natural and historic places will be a living legacy, connecting hearts and minds to a stronger, deeper understanding of the very essence of Canada.

Responsibilities

As the first national park service in the world, Parks Canada is responsible for protecting representative examples of Canada’s natural regions in a system of national parks. The system, which is 77 percent complete, represents the diversity of landscapes in Canada. Forty-six national parks represent 30 of Canada’s 39 terrestrial natural regions and protects 328,198 square kilometres of Canada’s terrestrial ecosystems. In managing national parks, Parks Canada is mandated to maintain or restore ecological integrity, and to provide Canadians with opportunities to discover, appreciate and enjoy their natural heritage.

Parks Canada is also responsible for representing Canada’s marine and Great Lakes environments in a system of national marine conservation areas. The system is 17 percent complete and protects approximately 15,740 square kilometres of Canada’s marine and Great Lakes ecosystems. The country’s four national marine conservation areas represent five of Canada’s 29 marine regions. The Agency works to ensure the ecological sustainability of national marine conservation areas which includes protecting its key features for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, visitors and coastal communities.

The Rouge National Urban Park —the only one of its kind in Canada—provides an exceptional opportunity to connect urban Canadians to the heritage of the park and its diverse landscapes. In managing this park, Parks Canada is mandated to protect and present the park’s natural and cultural heritage, promote a vibrant farming community and to encourage Canadians to discover and connect with their national protected heritage areas.

Through the National Program of Historical Commemoration, the Government of Canada has designated 981 national historic sites, of which 171 are administered by Parks Canada and 810 by other levels of government or private entities, as well as 696 persons of national historic significance and 480 events of national historic significance. These designations are essential to present our stories and significant places and they reflect who we are as Canadians. Parks Canada brings to life the key moments of Canada’s history at the national historic sites it administers through special programming that offers unique opportunities for visitors to personally connect with and experience these places.

Parks Canada’s nine heritage canalsEndnote i support commercial and recreational boating, and the Agency’s role includes water management as well as the management of bridge and dam infrastructure.

In 2016–17, Parks Canada welcomed more than 24.7 million people to the heritage places it administers with a focus on enabling visitors to enjoy these places and learn about Parks Canada’s unique mandate of conserving Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. 

Parks Canada manages an additional eight heritage designation and protection programs in support of other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous groups and Canadian communities. These programs reflect the Government of Canada’s commitment to the commemoration and conservation of heritage railway stations, heritage lighthouses, gravesites of Canadian Prime Ministers, federal heritage buildings, federal archaeology, Canadian heritage rivers, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Parks Canada National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places (formerly known as the National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program) is a contribution program to encourage and support the protection and presentation of non-federally-owned national historic sites, heritage railway stations and heritage lighthouses.

Internationally, the Agency represents Canada as State Party to UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and through participation in other international organizations, conventions and agreements.

For more general information about the Agency, see the “Supplementary information” section of this report. For more information on the Agency’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

More information on Parks Canada’s mandate and responsibilities is available on its website.

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

Parks Canada is the largest land steward in the country, managing over 350,000 km2 of lands and waters across Canada. It has operations across the entire country, in each province and territory. With responsibility for the management and administration of 46 national parks, four national marine conservation areas, Rouge National Urban Park, and 171 national historic sites, including nine heritage canals, Parks Canada employees are active in hundreds of communities and remote locations from coast to coast to coast. These places represent the very best of Canada, including the history, culture and living legacy of Indigenous peoples.

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on reconciliation, recognition of rights, respect and partnership. Parks Canada demonstrates leadership both nationally and internationally in its relations with Indigenous partners, working with over 300 Indigenous groups across the country in the establishment and management of Parks Canada’s heritage places. Twenty-nine heritage places are currently managed cooperatively with Indigenous groups. The Agency is committed to reconciliation and engaged Indigenous partners and organizations over the 2016-17 year on matters of mutual interest. For example, the Jasper Indigenous Forum meets bi-annually and engages over 20 Indigenous communities in an interests-based process of reconciliation and reconnection.

Parks Canada is committed to enabling rights to be exercised in heritage areas and will support Indigenous peoples’ reconnection to lands and waters within their traditional territories. Parks Canada also works collaboratively with Indigenous community leaders for the protection, presentation, and management of heritage areas, which is reflected in the cooperative management agreements in place. Cooperative management agreements establish formal advisory relationships between Aboriginal groups and Parks Canada, and in many cases involve equal representation and a consensus-based approach on matters of importance to the group(s) involved. These partnerships have facilitated the sharing of Indigenous traditional knowledge in land and wildlife management projects, and tourism initiatives, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and the development of an action plan with the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada.

Parks Canada delivers its mandate through collaboration at all levels of government and with a broad range of stakeholders, partners and volunteers. The support and collaboration of Indigenous communities and organizations, as well as provincial and territorial governments, are essential to Parks Canada’s ability to create or expand national parks and establish new national marine conservation areas. In addition, the requirement for national marine conservation areas to achieve ecological sustainability, calls for working with an even greater range of stakeholders and government departments.

Climate change and other environmental forces challenge the integrity of ecosystems and the condition of Parks Canada’s cultural resources and contemporary infrastructure. Shoreline erosion at national parks and historic sites, the arrival of invasive species in national parks, and changing species communities and vegetation patterns are all examples of the direct and indirect effects of climate change. The increasing severity and frequency of disturbances such as storms, floods and avalanches also impact Parks Canada infrastructure, such as highways and bridges.

Parks Canada must protect its natural and cultural heritage places while encouraging visitation to ensure that these special places remain relevant in the hearts and minds of Canadians. From 2003 to 2012, Parks Canada experienced nearly a decade of declining visitation. The Agency has invested significant effort in reversing this trend and encouraging Canadians to experience and engage with Parks Canada places.

Our country is changing. We are more diverse than ever before, and one in five Canadians was born outside of Canada. We are also more urban with 80 percent of Canadians now living in metropolitan areas. Our population is growing older and, for the first time in our history, seniors outnumber youth under the age of 15. Technology has proven to play an increasing role in our lives, often with the effect of keeping people inside rather than enjoying the outdoors. Globally, connecting people with nature has become an important movement. Health benefits from spending time in nature—mental and physical—is increasingly demonstrated around the world. While Parks Canada has a committed base of visitors who are over the age of 50 and live in rural areas, the generation following has less of a connection to our country’s heritage places. They also have different expectations for their vacation and recreational experiences, and they use media and telecommunications in different ways. In response to these changing demographics and other factors, Parks Canada has effectively used modern market analysis and social science to design and offer new and innovative visitor experiences and used new approaches to promotion to reach new audiences and inspire them to visit. These efforts are continuing to help establish a new generation of stewards for these special places while contributing to economic sustainability in communities across the country.

In January 2017, the eighth Minister’s Round Table, “Let’s Talk Parks, Canada”, was held. It was the largest and most inclusive round table ever conducted and empowered all Canadians interested in their national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas to share their views and perspectives on the future of the Agency through an online survey. More than 13,000 Canadians and Canadian organizations participated.

The 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 was a key focus for the Agency in 2016-17. From the launch of the free Discovery Pass to enhancing programs and services, Parks Canada prepared to welcome visitors to celebrate this momentous occasion and connect with our nation’s environment and history.

Parks Canada manages a complex portfolio of built assets valued at approximately $17.5 billion. Highways maintained by Parks Canada serve as critical socio-economic corridors enabling the flow of people and commercial goods. Along with heritage canals, highways through our national parks additionally serve as vital links connecting Canadian communities.

The Government of Canada is making significant investments between 2014-15 and 2019-20 in the recapitalization of Parks Canada’s assets, totalling almost $3.2 billion. Nevertheless, the Agency’s ability to maintain its built-asset portfolio in accordance with industry standards, enabling program and service delivery for the long-term, remains an issue.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada reviewed its organization and implemented a new Operations Directorate, led by a new Senior Vice-President supported by five regional Executive Directors. This structure aims to provide increased support to the field through operational and policy advice, promote horizontal coordination, and engage/advise senior management on initiatives having an impact on the field. As a result, Parks Canada is better positioned to deliver on government priorities and its mandate to protect Canada’s natural and cultural treasures and provide opportunities for visitors to experience and enjoy them.

Key risks

Risks Mitigating strategy and effectiveness Link to the department’s Programs Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities
Environmental Forces Adaptation and Response

There is a risk that Parks Canada will not plan or implement plans to respond or adapt to the impacts of natural threats to or at heritage places.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada:

  • Undertook monitoring and planning to identify potential threats to or at heritage places by conducting assessments, research and sharing knowledge and best practices;
  • Considered climate change effects and impacts in building- condition assessments and shared information, challenges and best practices to reduce impacts of natural threats to cultural resources at monthly discussion group meetings;
  • Conducted ecological restoration projects as part of the Conservation and Restoration Program and modified the selection criteria for funding decisions to systematically consider the long-term sustainability of projects under a changing climate.
  • Shared lessons learned and best practices related to climate change adaptation in Canada’s north through working groups on climate change;
  • Continued to update and exercise emergency and business continuity plans;
  • Provided emergency response staff with ongoing training and awareness to ensure a state of readiness in the event of a natural disaster; and
  • Implemented measures to safeguard its built assets against the impacts of natural disasters such as applying more sustainable and resilient designs and materials in replacing damaged assets.
1.2 Heritage Places Conservation

1.4 Visitor Experience

1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management

 
  • Government of Canada priority for a clean environment and sustainable economy (support)
  • Enhance protection of Canada’s endangered species by responding quickly to the advice of scientists and completing robust species-at-risk recovery plans in a timely way (support)
  • Help restore Canada’s reputation for environmental stewardship (support)
Infrastructure Project Delivery

There is a risk that Parks Canada does not have the capacity or governance to deliver its infrastructure investment program.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada:

  • Implemented an Agency project management office to strengthen project management practices, processes and controls;
  • Strengthened project management capacity in the field to deliver projects; and
  • Continued improvement of systems (e.g. national asset information system) that support effective project delivery.
1.2 Heritage Places Conservation

1.4 Visitor Experience

1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management

Internal Services
  • Develop Parks Canada programs and services so that more Canadians can experience our National Parks and learn more about our environment and heritage (lead)
Connecting With Canadians

There is a risk that Parks Canada does not take action that results in Canadians connecting with their nation’s natural and cultural heritage places.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada:

  • Developed and began implementing a plan for its participation in federal activities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation including the launch of the free 2017 Discovery Pass providing free admission to Parks Canada places in 2017;
  • Continued investing resources in renewing visitor infrastructure and programs;
  • Advanced the work towards a new framework for partnering and collaboration;
  • Continued to undertake outreach, engagement and promotional activities in urban centres to attract new audiences;
  • Enhanced and integrated systems and services to improve accessibility to visitor offers;
  • Continued targeting investments in visitor experience opportunities driven by market demand;
  • Introduced new social media channels, (e.g. Instagram) and aligned all social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) with advertising and promotion campaign messaging; and
  • Worked with Indigenous peoples to foster economic development and promote Indigenous culture.
1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support

1.4 Visitor Experience

Internal Services
  • Make admission for all visitors to National Parks free in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation (lead)
  • Through an expanded Learn to Camp Program, ensure that more low- and middle-income families have an opportunity to experience Canada’s outdoors (lead)
  • Develop Parks Canada programs and services so that more Canadians can experience our National Parks and learn more about our environment and heritage (lead)
  • Work with nearby communities to help grow local eco-tourism industries and create jobs (support)
External Development Pressures

There is a risk that development may negatively affect Parks Canada’s ability to deliver on its mandate.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada:

  • Implemented ecological restoration projects as part of the Conservation and Restoration Program, to build ecosystem resilience;
  • Assessed impacts of conservation, infrastructure and visitor experience projects to cultural resources and implemented corrective mitigation measures where possible;
  • Participated in 16 environmental assessment processes for major resource projects located near existing or proposed heritage places providing recommendations to reduce impacts (Cultural Resource Impact Assessments are included in the environmental assessment process); and
  • Developed and shared best management practices with partners related to the mitigation of development impacts on both natural and cultural resources.
1.1 Heritage Places Establishment

1.2 Heritage Places Conservation

1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support

1.4 Visitor Experience
  • Develop Canada’s National Parks system (lead)
  • Increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected (support)
Indigenous Relationships

There is a risk that Parks Canada, in moving to strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples in the context of reconciliation, will not have the skill sets or strategies to effectively engage all those involved.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada:

  • Promoted with staff and encouraged implementation of the principles contained within Promising Pathways: A resource guide for strengthening engagement and relationships with Indigenous peoples;
  • Initiated an internal review of all policies and directives to reflect a renewed nation-to-nation relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership;
  • Conducted a review of existing modern land claims and identified Parks Canada’s obligations to improve the Agency’s ability to coordinate and support the implementation of modern treaty obligations within Parks Canada’s protected heritage places; and 
  • Provided Indigenous consultation training to not only enhance awareness of Indigenous issues and the legal duty to consult, but as an opportunity to discuss reconciliation opportunities.
1.1 Heritage Places Establishment

1.2 Heritage Places Conservation

1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support

1.4 Visitor Experience

1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management

Internal Services
  • Commitment to a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership (support)

Risk Response Narrative

Environmental Forces Adaptation and Response

Parks Canada’s heritage places, distributed across the country, are vulnerable to environmental forces including changes to climate (e.g., temperature, precipitation, extreme weather), physical environment (e.g., sea level, air quality, water quality), biodiversity (e.g., ecosystem processes, species at risk, hyper abundant species, invasive species) and habitat loss. Environmental forces also impact the timing, intensity and frequency of naturally occurring phenomena such as wildfires, floods, avalanches, landslides, hurricanes, storm surges, blizzards and hail. Such events have the potential to affect natural and cultural heritage resources under Parks Canada’s responsibility, and the Agency’s operations. They may also affect Canadians in communities within and around protected heritage places, and cause serious harm to the safety, health, welfare, property or environment of people.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada expanded its ability to plan for the potential impacts of climate change through three initiatives. First, the Agency produced a series of regional reports summarizing the evolution of climate conditions at heritage places and the potential impacts that forecasted changes may cause. Second, Agency experts are co-leading two working groups (with Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories officials, respectively) to develop and share knowledge and best practices for heritage place stewardship in the context of climate change, which involve federal, provincial and territorial managers, as well as Indigenous, industry and academic partners. Thirdly, Parks Canada is co-leading a joint Canada—Mexico—United States research project to fill important gaps in our understanding of carbon storage and fluxes in coastal ecosystems (known as blue carbon).

Regarding the active management of ecological integrity in national parks, the Agency has modified the selection criteria for its funding of conservation and restoration projects to systematically consider the long-term sustainability of projects under a changing climate. 

In 2016-17, Parks Canada conducted 12 Commemorative Integrity Assessments at national historic sites as a monitoring measure. These assessments ensure that cultural resources are not under threat and if they are, identify mitigating measures. Building-condition assessments now include a review of issues and strategy, including climate change and resilience. Best practices on mitigating impacts from climate change are being shared within the Agency and a discussion group meets monthly. 

To mitigate the impact of disasters on its assets, operations and visitors, Parks Canada continued to analyze potential impacts of disasters to help identify areas of higher risk. This analysis was used to inform design and material use, area-specific mitigation strategies and emergency management plans. In addition, the Agency continued to integrate the pillars of emergency management (prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery) into its processes, protocols and strategies. Through its work with other levels of government, stakeholders and partners, the Agency undertook proactive measures to eliminate or reduce risks of potential impacts before disasters occur.

Infrastructure Project Delivery

As one of the largest federal custodians, Parks Canada manages assets that support 46 national parks, 171 national historic sites including nine heritage canals, one national urban park, four national marine conservation areas, and five townsites. A review of assets, performed by Parks Canada in 2012 and validated by an independent third-party, highlighted that over half of the Agency’s assets were in poor or very poor condition.

The infusion of approximately $3.2 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 of federal funding has enabled the Agency to begin addressing the backlog of deferred work and improve the overall condition of its built-asset portfolio, while contributing to its long-term sustainability. The plan to deliver this infrastructure funding, including the direction, capacity and commitments of the organization, is outlined in the Agency’s Investment Plan (2015-16 to 2019-20). There are hundreds of infrastructure projects planned and being implemented across the country. Parks Canada successfully managed more than 637 concurrent infrastructure projects of which 103 concluded in 2016-17.

To support the effective and prudent delivery of infrastructure projects, the Agency strengthened its project management function as it continued to build capacity to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its infrastructure-related work. As well, the Agency increased capacity to support project delivery across the country and to ensure field operations remained ongoing during periods of construction with little or no impact for visitors.

To further mitigate this risk, Parks Canada implemented a project management office aimed at strengthening national project management practices, processes and controls. Improvements continue to be made to the functionality of the new asset information system, further enhancing the quality of asset information and the application of consistent asset management practices across the Agency. These efforts add to an already robust governance structure that oversees infrastructure project delivery, a comprehensive decision-making framework that uses numerous variables to guide decision-making, and a strong team of technical experts that oversee project implementation.

Connecting with Canadians

Parks Canada is faced with the challenge of remaining relevant to Canadians, particularly in some of Canada’s largest cities. Changing demographics, which contribute to shifting leisure and tourism patterns, have had an impact on visitation to Parks Canada heritage places. One in five Canadians are foreign-born and most new immigrants settle in urban areas. Urban and new Canadians and youth are currently under-represented in Parks Canada’s visitor base. Concerns with visiting Canada’s protected areas have been identified through internal research and consultations with Canadians. These include a lack of knowledge of Parks Canada places, or of the array of activities available, the perceived distance or lack of transportation to easily access them, and the know-how or need for specialised equipment to fully enjoy them.

To maintain its relevance and appeal to Canadians, the Agency continued working to attract new audiences, address perceived barriers and encourage people to visit its places by undertaking outreach, engagement and promotional activities in urban centres. In doing so, Parks Canada continued to develop outreach and visitor experience programming which more inclusively reflect Canadian diversity including the roles of women, Indigenous peoples and minority groups in Canadian history. The Agency also advanced the work to foster increased partnering by completing a partnering review and associated research to design a new framework for partnering and collaboration with associated guidance and tools.

To further raise its profile more broadly and mitigate this risk, the Agency launched an integrated communications and marketing campaign “Your Free Pass to Discovery” in December 2016. This campaign promoted free admission to Parks Canada places in 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and reached millions of Canadians and potential visitors around the world.

Parks Canada also offered enhanced programming, special events and other promotions to encourage Canadians to visit and experience their heritage places. Targeted investments were made to diversify and renew visitor experience opportunities and related infrastructure to keep pace with new technologies and public expectations of new, innovative experiences. The Agency also endeavoured to connect with Canadians through volunteer opportunities as well as citizen science and bioblitz programs. In addition, partnerships with local communities and tourism associations also helped to connect Canadians to their heritage places.

As a result, Parks Canada welcomed more than 24.7 million people in 2016-17—an increase of six percent over the previous year. This has been an ongoing trend for several years now and suggests that the actions being taken by the Agency to address this risk are achieving the desired results. It has also enabled the Agency to continue fulfilling its role in the tourism industry and as an economic contributor to local communities.

External Development Pressures

Parks Canada’s efforts to establish new heritage places and fulfill its responsibilities related to the ecological integrity of national parks, the ecologically sustainable use of national marine conservation areas and the commemorative integrity of national historic sites, is influenced by external pressures such as increased urban and rural development, land conversion, resource extraction, and transportation and utilities corridors in proximity to existing or proposed heritage places. The impacts of these pressures include the potential loss of key features that contribute to the representativeness of Canada’s natural regions in future protected areas, loss of opportunities to designate national historic sites, loss or impairment of the ecological and cultural values of heritage places, and a diminished sense of connection to place.

As the most significant sources of these pressures originate from outside Parks Canada lands, collaboration is essential with other government departments, provinces and territories, Indigenous governments, industry, local communities, landowners and other stakeholders. Parks Canada participated in 16 environmental assessments of major projects outside its heritage places. Through these efforts, the Agency was able to highlight concerns, suggest mitigations and bring increased understanding.

In addition, Parks Canada has provided opportunities for the development, implementation and sharing of best practices for mitigating the impact of these pressures. For example, Point Pelee National Park and the adjacent community of Leamington, Ontario, with the common goal of recovering a species at risk, have an ongoing collaboration to enhance monarch butterfly habitat.

The Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative which Parks Canada leads with the Government of Alberta will result in longer-term solutions to help address the threats arising from external pressures, including the development and implementation of a pan-Canadian framework and guidance for enhancing ecological connectivity and representativity which will help avoid negative impacts and facilitate benefits to conservation.

Indigenous Relationships

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. In order to integrate reconciliation effectively into its ongoing operations and relations with Indigenous groups, the Agency is conducting an internal review of policies, programs and practices with the intention of informing an overarching vision of reconciliation and enabling a better understanding of Indigenous partners’ priorities, engage Parks Canada team members, and reinforce the benefits of collective and collaborative action.

The complexities involved in developing and maintaining relationships with over 300 separate Indigenous groups and communities is reflected by the volume of agreements, treaties, comprehensive land claims and specific claims, and assertions not tied to existing agreements and litigation, that touch all of the heritage areas administered by Parks Canada. As such, a comprehensive review of existing modern land claims was conducted to identify specific obligations that are the responsibility of Parks Canada and this information will be included in Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s Modern Treaty Management Environment. Parks Canada will have access to this platform, which is  a searchable database used to receive obligations, edit records, track notes, and mark records as “complete”. As a result, Parks Canada has improved its ability to coordinate and support the implementation of modern treaty obligations within its protected heritage places.

To increase awareness of Indigenous issues and concerns and capacity among its employees, the Agency has developed resources such as the guide Promising Pathways, and provided training opportunities on duty to consult with Indigenous peoples. The Agency has also facilitated conversations on park and site specific reconciliation opportunities. The increased cultural awareness, enhanced knowledge of the evolving jurisprudence and increased reconciliation-based conversations with Indigenous partners, have affected and informed the Agency’s day-to-day operations.

In addition, Parks Canada has committed investments to work in collaboration with Indigenous communities and organizations to help facilitate the development of Indigenous tourism opportunities and Indigenous story-telling. By the close of 2016-17, 34 projects were approved and underway. Examples include providing support to the Tseshaht Beach Keepers program and cultural interpretation training at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and a traditional Sweat Lodge at Kouchibouguac National Park.

Results: what we achieved

Programs

Program 1.1: Heritage Places Establishment

Description

This program aims to establish heritage places in order to conserve Canada’s natural and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, thus fostering a strong sense of connection to our natural and cultural heritage. This program also supports Canada’s involvement in the internationally shared objective of protecting and commemorating the best of the world’s natural and cultural heritage. By establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas in each of Canada’s natural terrestrial and marine regions, this program ensures the protection and presentation of representative examples of Canada’s natural diversity. Likewise, the designation and commemoration of historic places, persons and events in communities across Canada ensures our history remains a living legacy for all Canadians. Establishment or designation is achieved through feasibility assessments, public nominations, research, consultation with Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and the general public, negotiations with other governments and Indigenous organizations, recommendations from advisory bodies and fulfilment of legislative requirements. This process results in established national parks and national marine conservation areas and designated national historic sites, persons and events and other heritage places.

National Park and National Marine Conservation Area Establishment

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
The systems of national parks and national marine conservation areas are representative of Canada’s natural terrestrial and marine regions Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas. 4 By March 2017
Results

In 2016-17, the Agency made significant progress towards establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas in four unrepresented regions thereby advancing the Government of Canada’s priority to expand the national parks system and increase the protection of Canada’s marine and coastal areas.

National Park Establishment

Highlights

  • Pathway to Canada Target 1 aims to conserve at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water by 2020
  • Made demonstrable progress towards the establishment of one national park reserve and three marine areas

In February 2017, the federal government in partnership with provincial and territorial governments committed to work with all Canadians through an initiative called the Pathway to Canada Target 1, which aims to conserve terrestrial areas and inland waters through a coordinated network of protected areas and conservation measures. Co-led by Parks Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta, this process will serve as the cornerstone for the conservation of biodiversity for generations to come.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada planned to advance national park proposals in two unrepresented terrestrial regions. The Agency made demonstrable progress towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the Northwestern Boreal Uplands region of the Northwest Territories (Thaidene Nëné proposal). The Agency initiated negotiations on a land transfer agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories in December 2016 and is on track to confirm a final boundary, conclude negotiations and recommend signature of the agreement within the 2017-18 fiscal year. The necessary Establishment Agreement with the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, and an Impact and Benefit Agreement with the Northwest Territories Métis Nation have been initialled and final drafting and financial details are being concluded leading to the establishment, development and operation of a national park reserve in the Thaidene Nëné area located in the East Arm of the Great Slave Lake of the Northwest Territories. Public consultations were concluded in October of 2016 and a report will be forthcoming in the summer of 2017. Indigenous consultations are on-going.

Work planned for 2016-17 on advancing the Manitoba Lowlands proposal was deferred to 2017-18. Budget 2017 confirmed Parks Canada will renew efforts to advance work to establish a national park in the Manitoba Lowlands natural region. Discussions with provincial officials for the purpose of re-launching a feasibility study are ongoing.

Parks Canada also concluded negotiation of a Park Impact and Benefit Agreement with the Nunatsiavut Government for Akami-Uapishkᵁ-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve. Work continues to operationalize the park reserve through staffing and implementation of establishment agreements.

National Marine Conservation Area Establishment

The Agency continued collaborative work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to achieve the Government’s commitment of protecting five percent of Canada’s oceans and coastal areas by 2017 and 10 percent by 2020.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada planned to advance national marine conservation area proposals in two unrepresented marine regions. The Agency made demonstrable progress in three regions: Lancaster Sound, Strait of Georgia and James Bay. 

The feasibility assessment on the proposed national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, commenced in 2009, was completed and the feasibility report was submitted to the Ministers of Environment for Canada and Nunavut and the President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

Progress on the Southern Strait of Georgia national marine conservation area reserve proposal in the Strait of Georgia marine region focused on ongoing work to engage with the 19 First Nations in the area, as well as engaging stakeholders and reinvigorating the Canada / British Columbia Steering Committee which oversees the project.

Parks Canada and the Cree Nation Government met and discussed a draft Memorandum of Understanding respecting a study to examine the feasibility of establishing a national marine conservation area to represent the James Bay marine region.

Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Government of Quebec finalized an agreement defining the terms and conditions of collaboration between the governments for the establishment of a network of marine protected areas in the waters adjacent to Quebec. Once signed, the agreement will support Canada’s efforts in achieving Canada Target 1 to protect 10 percent of its marine territory by 2020.

Designation and Commemoration of Heritage Places, Persons and Events

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Heritage places, persons and events are considered for national or international designation. Percentage of eligible heritage places, persons, and events reviewed annually for designation. 95% Annually

Results

Parks Canada’s work in support of the designation of nationally significant historic places, persons and events in communities across Canada, exceeded its planned target of 95 percent by reviewing 100 percent of applications received in 2016-17 and presented all eligible subjects to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) for consideration.

Highlights

  • Centennial of Canada’s first national historic sites celebrated in January 2017 #NHS100 
  • The Stanley Cup—North America’s most prestigious trophy in team sports, and symbol of professional hockey, designated a national historic event
  • Celebrated the historic significance of Chief Kw’eh, the Dreamer of Salmon, with the Nak’azdli Whut’en community at Fort St. James National Historic Site

Commemorating the significant people, places and events that helped shape Canada into the nation that it is today is important and an opportunity to engage Canadians in celebrating our achievements.

In 2016-17, the Agency’s National Program of Historical Commemoration reviewed 19 submissions to the HSMBC from Canadian individuals and groups across the country. The participation of Canadians in the identification of places, persons and events of national historic significance, and in their commemoration, is a key element of the program. The review of submissions requires thorough historical research and analysis in order to make recommendations to the HSMBC.

The Government of Canada is committed to connecting Canadians to the significant people, places and events that contributed to our country’s rich history and heritage. 2016-17 saw many announcements and the unveiling of 74 commemorative plaques for designated persons, places and events that help to define Canada’s history. As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Parks Canada’s goal is to unveil 150 HSMBC plaques. The Agency is using an innovative approach with “virtual unveilings” of certain HSMBC plaques on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Based on social media analytics, these “virtual unveilings” have achieved good reach.

Highlights of Other Designation and Protection Programs

World Heritage:

In July 2016, the Government of Canada launched a new process to update Canada’s list of potential cultural and natural world heritage sites. Canadians were invited to submit applications for the country’s next candidate World Heritage sites. This new collaborative approach was aimed at engaging Canadians, including Indigenous communities, non-government organizations, all levels of government, academia and private citizens, in an open and transparent process. At the same time, Parks Canada also launched a public merit-based process seeking candidates for an advisory committee to act as an independent committee of heritage experts, to review the world heritage site nominations and make recommendations on new properties to add to Canada’s Tentative List.

Highlights

  • Mistaken Point (Newfoundland), designated Canada’s 18th UNESCO World Heritage site, contains the oldest assemblages of large fossils bearing traces of life on Earth
  • For the first time in over 10 years, Canadians were asked to bring forward nominations for Canada’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites—41 applications were submitted

In January 2017, Canada submitted two nominations to the World Heritage Committee for consideration as new World Heritage sites. Led by four Anishinaabe First Nations and the Governments of Manitoba and Ontario, the nomination for Pimachiowin Aki was submitted to the World Heritage Committee as an Indigenous cultural landscape that constitutes the largest network of continuous protected areas in the North American Boreal Shield. The nomination for Tr’ondëk Klondike, centred on the Yukon and Klondike rivers, was submitted to the World Heritage Committee as exceptional living cultural landscape that reflects the enduring coexistence of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and newcomer populations, bound together by the impact of the iconic nineteenth-century Klondike gold rush. The nominations will be considered at the July 2018 meeting of the World Heritage Committee after an 18-month period of evaluation by international experts.

Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

Parks Canada continued to support the Government of Canada in the conservation of federal built heritage through the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO). In 2016-17, the FHBRO received requests to evaluate the heritage value of approximately 200 federal buildings; 85 percent were evaluated within six months of their application. Performance has improved from last year and, in response to a Program Evaluation conducted in 2015, the program has implemented data integrity protocols to ensure that there are checks and balances in place for consistent and accurate data in the FHBRO.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 Actual  results 2014–15 Actual  results
The systems of national parks and national marine conservation areas are representative of Canada’s natural terrestrial and marine regions Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas. 4 By March 2017 4 6

(Target: 4 by March 2016)
5

(Target: 3 by March 2015)
Heritage places, persons and events are considered for national or international designation. Percentage of eligible heritage places, persons, and events reviewed annually for designation. 95% Annually 100% 100%

(Target: 95%)
n/aResults achieved table note *
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
18,281,238 18,281,238 23,327,712 13,888,477 (4,392,761)

Actual spending for the Heritage Places Establishment Program is $4.4 million or 24 percent lower than the 2016-17 planned spending. This variance is primarily due to delays in completion of feasibility studies and in negotiations of land transfers as well as lower than planned expenditures for the grant to the Trans Canada Trail Foundation.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17  Planned 2016–17  Actual 2016–17
Difference  (actual minus planned)
33 49 16

Actual Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) for the Heritage Places Establishment program are 16 FTEs or 48.5 percent higher than what was planned in 2016-17. This variance is primarily due to increased personnel dedicated to establishing new marine conservation areas, as well as an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received in 2016-17 dedicated to the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Program 1.2: Heritage Places Conservation

Description

This program aims to protect and conserve the natural and cultural resources of all heritage places managed by Parks Canada, as well as the agricultural resources in the national urban park; and to fulfill responsibilities assigned to Parks Canada or mandated through federal legislation. Protection and conservation activities in a national urban park, national parks, national marine conservation areas, heritage canals and Parks Canada-administered national historic sites ensure that these heritage places are maintained and used in ways that leave them unimpaired for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

National Park and National Marine Area Conservation

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
National park and national marine area conservation is maintained or improved. Percentage of indicators in national park monitoring plans for which condition is maintained or improved. 90% Annually
Results

In 2016-17, Parks Canada’s Heritage Conservation Program came very close to meeting its performance target by maintaining or improving 88 percent of its ecological integrity indicators monitored throughout 42 national parks. Four national parks were not in a position to report since they are in the process of developing monitoring programs and will be able to report once that work is completed.

National Park Conservation - Improving Ecological Integrity

Parks Canada has established a system-wide integrated ecological monitoring and reporting system to provide information regarding the state of ecological integrity. This program helps inform decision making in our national parks, and ensure that resources are directed to priority conservation initiatives. Parks Canada is also working to ensure that both Indigenous knowledge and contemporary science contribute to this program. 

PCA Science at Work
  • 16 bison successfully reintroduced at Banff National Park after being missing from the wild for over a century
  • Indigenous knowledge on climate change vulnerability incorporated in management of arctic parks
  • Ecological integrity promoted through 24 prescribed fires
  • Developed 11 best management practices related to the mitigation of development impacts
  • 11 of 16 action plans completed for national parks with three or more species at risk
  • Park wardens issued 3261 warnings and 1151 charges related to the protection of natural resources in protected heritage areas

Each ecological indicator is an index of the most important aspects of ecological integrity in a park’s ecosystem (e.g. forest, freshwater). A variety of factors affect ecological integrity beyond those that can be controlled through regulation and restoration. Over the last assessment period, a number of indicators demonstrated an improvement in integrity in areas such as moose in Fundy, kelp forests in Pacific Rim and willows in Gros Morne. In these cases, an increase in moose numbers brought the park up to a healthy population size, while perennial kelp increased marginally to bring the measure from poor to fair. Willows sensitive to climate change were assessed for the first time as being in good shape. In contrast, declining indicators resulted from fewer salmon and trout in the Gulf Islands, muskoxen in Aulavik, river otter in Kouchibouguac and dragonflies in Prince Edward Island. Medium-term declines in these species were only uncovered this year.

Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration Program (CoRe) seeks to restore ecological integrity, recover species at risk, and enhance the health of marine and Great Lakes environments. By achieving 62 percent of the CoRe active management targets in 2016-17, Parks Canada exceeded its target by two percent. These targets allow Parks Canada to evaluate success in achieving conservation gains and to learn from activities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of restoration activities.

The Agency continued to undertake restoration projects as part of the CoRe program in 2016-17 with a total of 34 projects active in 27 sites. For example, pink sand-verbena, an endangered plant species, was planted along the beach of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The savannahs of Point Pelee National Park were also restored to improve the habitat of many other endangered or threatened species, such as the prickly pear cactus, the five-lined skink and the Eastern foxsnake. Other examples of CoRe projects include: the management of hyper abundant moose in an effort to allow forests a chance to regenerate from intense browsing pressure in Terra Nova and Gros Morne national parks; prescribed fire in the grasslands of Waterton Lakes National Park; the control of weeds in Kootenay National Park; and the restoration of shorelines to their natural structure in Forillon National Park.

 
Percentage of national park ecosystems with improving, stable or declining ecological integrity in comparison to 2012
Percentage of national park ecosystems with improving, stable or declining ecological integrity in comparison to 2012 - Text Version
Improving Stable Declining
13% 75% 12%

National Marine Area Conservation

Parks Canada has recently developed a suite of indicators to monitor the state of the ecosystem and the ecologically sustainable use of marine resources in national marine conservation areas (NMCAs). In NMCAs, a variety of different measures are monitored, including species (e.g. whales), habitats (e.g. kelp forest), environmental quality (e.g. water quality), and marine use (e.g. coastal development). In 2016-17, improvements to the understanding and management of marine and Great Lake ecosystems occurred through data collection and the development of protocols and partnerships. For example, in collaboration with partners, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park continues to monitor the state of the Beluga and, since January 2017, has implemented and enforced amendments to the Marine Activities in the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park Regulations to further enhance the protection of marine mammals in the park. Fathom Five National Marine Park also monitored a number of ecological measures including coastal wetland fish communities and water quality, both assessed as healthy and stable. Finally, Gwaai Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage Site and Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area worked with Indigenous peoples, federal and provincial governments and academia to further the development of their monitoring programs.

Parks Canada also participated in a number of regional multi-departmental/stakeholder committees and working groups with the goal of protecting biodiversity, ensuring the health of ocean and Great Lakes ecosystems, and developing marine protected area networks across the country. For example, Parks Canada is party to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and has an active role in contributing to the agreement’s commitment of protecting and restoring the Great Lakes.

National Urban Park Conservation – The Rouge

The Rouge National Urban Park Act was amended to incorporate ecological integrity as the first priority in park management, thereby strengthening park protections and providing additional direction for the national urban park’s ecological monitoring program.

In addition, the amended Act provides greater certainty for the continuation of agriculture within the park with the inclusion of a clause which states that the provision to make ecological integrity the first management priority does not prevent the carrying out of agricultural activities as provided for in the Act. To that end, Parks Canada has been working with local farmers, farming associations and provincial agricultural officials to identify the components of a vibrant and sustainable farming community, one of the park’s main reasons for establishment as identified in the Act. These components will inform the development of measures that will be incorporated into a monitoring and reporting plan to track the park’s natural, cultural, and agricultural resources and visitor experience opportunities.

National Historic Sites and Other Heritage Places Conservation

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Cultural resources of national significance at targeted national historic sites are maintained. Number of targeted national historic sites where cultural resources of national significance are maintained. 60 By March 2018
Results

In 2016-17, the Agency maintained cultural resources at 88 national historic sites, and two heritage railway stations, ensuring that their heritage value is shared for the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of present and future generations. This surpassed the Agency’s planned target of maintaining cultural resources at 60 national historic sites by 2018.

At Parks Canada-administered sites, cultural resources are maintained through conservation work. At national historic sites administered by others, a contribution program provides support for conservation projects to mitigate or reduce threats. Cultural resources at national historic sites represent a significant inventory of the nation’s buildings and engineering works, archeological sites, historic objects and landscape features. In order to protect these cultural resources for Canadians, regular assessment and monitoring of their state are critical, particularly when natural processes or human actions could accelerate their deterioration.

Highlights

  • 262 impact assessments completed at national historic sites to protect cultural resources
  • $10 million approved to support 70 heritage projects through Parks Canada’s National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places
  • Historic Indigenous longhouses preserved at Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site
  • #OURVAULTS highlights 100 unique objects from Canada’s past via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Parks Canada assessed impacts through the commemorative integrity assessment process at 49 national historic sites. Threats such as the complete or partial loss or damage from development or maintenance activities were assessed and reduced by assessing the archaeological potential of work areas; assessing the impact of the proposed work; intervening on-site as required for testing; identifying mitigation measures; and as needed, monitoring the work at six archaeological sites. Additionally, the Agency made progress on the conservation of 66 percent of objects in its collection and is therefore on track to ensuring that 90 percent of objects in the collection requiring conservation are in stable condition by March 2020. Work was completed to conserve the HMS Erebus artifacts for display in an international exhibit led by the Canadian Museum of History. Support was also provided to Parks Canada’s national historic sites and parks, from paint chip analysis at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site to the ambitious task of refurbishing 60 HSMBC plaques related to the Fathers of Confederation in preparation for Canada 150 celebrations. This work, conducted across the country, supports Parks Canada’s role in sharing Canada’s deep and diverse history through interpretation and exhibits.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada supported the reduction of threats at national historic sites not administered by the federal government by awarding new funding for conservation work to 70 heritage places. A total of 38 projects had been fully implemented by March 31, 2017 through the Agency’s National Cost-Sharing Program for National Historic Sites. The program received additional funding as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to build stronger communities through investments in infrastructure. This funding allowed Parks Canada to expand the Program to include heritage lighthouses and heritage railway stations and, as such, it has been renamed the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places.

As a result of the increase in impact assessments and the funding received to support heritage places administered by others across the country, the Agency has amended its performance indicator and target in its 2017-18 Departmental Plan to maintain or improve cultural resources of national significance at 137 heritage places by March 2018.

Investment in Cultural Heritage Assets

In support of the Government of Canada’s priority to develop Park Canada’s programs and services, the Agency is investing almost $3.2 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to improve the condition of its contemporary assets, heritage buildings and structures. Investments related to this program will help to address the loss of irreplaceable built heritage of national historic significance.

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Condition of heritage assets in poor or very poor condition is improved to fair or good Percentage of assets assessed to be in poor or very poor condition that have improved to fair or good. 100% By March 2020
Results

Highlights

  • Parks Canada recognizes the significance of national historic sites to Canadians and their importance to communities. Conservation projects on historic buildings at heritage places present the unique challenge of rehabilitating the structure while respecting the heritage character of these iconic places

In 2016-17, with total capital expenditures of $52.4 million, Parks Canada is on track to meeting its target to improve the condition of heritage assets. Following the second year’s program of work, 24 percent (80) of the overall target of 328 assets have improved to fair or good.

In 2016-17, conservation and stabilization work was undertaken at various national historic sites administered by Parks Canada, with a focus on resources of national historic significance. For example, a major exterior wall system rehabilitation was completed at Ryan Premises National Historic Site in Newfoundland, as well as a major project to stabilize and reconstruct the historic perimeter wall at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site in Manitoba. A multi-year multi-phase conservation project continued at Province House National Historic Site, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with shoring and structural work platforms erected. 

Parks Canada’s leadership role in conservation at heritage places across the country will help ensure that these places remain vibrant and support tourism and job creation in their communities, as well as ensuring that Canadians have access to cultural heritage places for future generations.

Highlights of Other Heritage Conservation Programs

The Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO) continued to foster a culture of heritage conservation by working with the community of federal real property custodians to ensure the heritage character of federal buildings is respected, conserved and preserved as a testament to Canada’s built heritage legacy. In 2016-17, 138 projects were reviewed to mitigate their impact on federal heritage buildings, including complex projects within the nation’s Parliamentary Precinct.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 Actual  results 2014–15 Actual  results
National park and national marine area conservation is maintained or improved. Percentage of indicators in national park monitoring plans for which condition is maintained or improved. 90% Annually 88% 90%

(Target: 90%)
n/aResults achieved table note *
Cultural resources of national significance at targeted national historic sites are maintained. Number of targeted national historic sites where cultural resources of national significance are maintained. 60 By March 2018 90Results achieved table note ** 44

(Target: 60 by March 2018)

(On track)
55

(Target: 55 by March 2015)
Condition of heritage assets in poor or very poor condition is improved to fair or good Percentage of assets assessed to be in poor or very poor condition that have improved to fair or good. 100% By March 2020 24%

 80 out of 328Results achieved table note ***

(On track)
14%

45 out of 328

(On track)
n/aResults achieved table note *
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
185,944,344 185,944,344 189,348,761 177,801,510 (8,142,834)

Actual spending for the Heritage Places Conservation Program is $8.1 million or 4.4 percent lower than the 2016-17 planned spending. This variance is primarily due to fluctuations in the nature and timing of infrastructure projects to address the loss of irreplaceable built heritage of national significance.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17  Planned 2016–17  Actual 2016–17
Difference  (actual minus planned)
874 945 71

Actual FTEs for the Heritage Places Conservation Program are 71 FTEs or 8.1 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2016-17. This variance is primarily due to higher than planned FTEs for infrastructure projects to address the loss of irreplaceable built heritage of national significance and an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received in 2016-17 dedicated to the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Program 1.3: Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support

Description

This program aims to nurture a sense of pride in and support for Parks Canada-administered places by increasing Canadians’ awareness, appreciation of their value and the various ways to experience them. This is achieved through relevant and effective heritage places promotion initiatives delivered to Canadians, reaching them in their daily lives. Some of these promotion activities are done in collaboration with stakeholders and partners to reach and engage more Canadians.

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Canadians support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada. Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada. 80% March 2018
Results

Parks Canada will be conducting its next National Telephone Survey in early 2018 and will report on the results relating to the percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada, in its 2017-18 Departmental Results Report.

Highlights

  • 435,000 interactions with target audiences in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver
  • More than 13,000 Canadians participated in the Minister’s Round Table—the most ambitious in the history of the Agency
  • Over 170 million views of the “Your Free Pass to Discovery” ad campaign (television, cinema and internet)

Maximizing Reach to Key Audiences

Engaging Canadians to increase their awareness, appreciation and support of Parks Canada’s heritage places requires a proactive and constant presence involving a mix of platforms, content, venues, and partners. In 2016-17, Parks Canada continued to undertake targeted awareness, promotion and media initiatives in the key metropolitan areas of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa-Gatineau where large segments of young and new Canadians live. Some of the notable activities undertaken were participation at public events, festivals, partner venues and consumer trade shows in these key metropolitan areas to promote and increase awareness of recreation and learning opportunities available at Parks Canada places.

The eighth Minister’s Round Table (MRT), “Let’s Talk Parks, Canada”, was held in January 2017. It was the largest and most inclusive round table ever conducted and empowered all Canadians interested in their national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas to share their views and perspectives on the future of the Agency through a variety of means including in person, via e-mail and through online tools and social media platforms.

Highlights

  • Nearly 5.4 million Discovery Passes ordered online
  • 1.7 million subscribers to new e-newsletter
  • 72 percent (100,294) more followers on Facebook
  • 28 percent (37,644) more followers on Twitter
  • 50,825 followers on new Parks Canada Instagram account
  • 15 percent increase in volunteers

Parks Canada implemented an integrated communications and marketing campaign “Your Free Pass to Discovery”, reaching millions of Canadians and potential visitors around the world. This led to millions of Discovery Pass orders within the initial weeks following the campaign launch and to a significant rise in social media activity. As part of the campaign, the Agency also launched a national contest, “Win a trip to Gros Morne National Park”, and saw a tremendous increase in the number of Canadians subscribing to its e-newsletter.

The Agency continued to increase its social media presence with the launch of an Instagram account. Followers of Parks Canada’s Twitter accounts and Facebook pages continued to grow steadily throughout the year, demonstrating that the Agency is posting relevant and captivating information. Top posts in 2016-17 included #WildlifeWednesday, World Wildlife Day, International Day of Forests, our “#ShowUsYourPass” campaign for the distribution of Discovery Passes, new Google Streetview images and the Franklin Facebook Live “Meet the Experts” event. Enhancements were also made to the Parks Canada website to make it fully responsive to mobile devices and improve the user experience, through better navigation and layout, as well as enhanced content and images. 

Parks Canada continued to play a leadership role in advancing the world movement #NatureForAll, launched in collaboration with more than a hundred national and international partners at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress. This global movement is growing and aims to inspire a love of nature and support for conservation.

Partnering and Participation

Highlights

  • Virtual reality tours of Parks Canada places using Google Expeditions mobile app piloted at public outreach events

Parks Canada continued to forge and leverage strategic partnering and collaborative arrangements to increase its reach through traditional media, social media, participation in key partnering events, tourism industry trade shows and events in major urban centres. New national partnerships were negotiated with Destination Canada and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada, both leading to increased and common understanding of opportunities to introduce new visitor experiences and reach out to the domestic and international tourism markets. The Agency collaborated with Mountain Equipment Co-op and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for the national contest included as part of the “Your Free Pass to Discovery” campaign. Through a partnership with Amazing Race Canada, more than 20 Parks Canada places were featured in the popular reality television series. Parks Canada places were also featured in the documentary series “Striking  Balance” showcasing eight of Canada’s Biosphere Reserves, and continued to be showcased in the outdoor adventure series “Canada plus grand que nature”. The Agency also continued to collaborate with Google by publishing virtual tour content for more Parks Canada places within Google Street View.

Highlights

  • Strong sales of National Geographic guide books – more than 10,000 copies sold in the first three months

In support of Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of national historic sites, Parks Canada collaborated with National Geographic to create the all-new National Geographic Guide to the National Historic Sites of Canada. A revised and expanded second edition of the best-selling guidebook to Canada’s national parks and marine conservation areas was published for 2017. These guide books went on sale in December 2016 and were officially launched as part of the centennial celebrations in late January in Montreal and Toronto.

In addition to these national partnering initiatives, significant efforts were undertaken at the local level. An example of this is the partnership with Boating Ontario in which free lockage was given to anyone purchasing a boat at the annual Toronto International Boat Show. In total, 971 lockage passes were distributed. This popular Toronto event promoted Parks Canada and its visitor offer to the thousands in attendance.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 Actual  results 2014–15 Actual  results
Canadians support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada. Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of places administered by Parks Canada. 80% March 2018 To be measured in March 2018 n/aResults achieved table note * n/aResults achieved table note *
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
45,187,665 45,187,665 47,893,264 44,968,472 (219,193)
 
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17  Planned 2016–17  Actual 2016–17
Difference  (actual minus planned)
367 370 3

Program 1.4: Visitor Experience

Description

This program fosters opportunities for Canadians and international visitors to discover, experience, enjoy and develop a sense of personal connection to Canada’s national urban park, national parks, national historic sites administered by Parks Canada, national marine conservation areas, and heritage canals. This program includes a range of activities, services and products associated with pre-visit planning, the on-site visit, and post-visit communications. It includes tourism marketing, trip planning information, reception, orientation, interpretation, recreational activities, special events, merchandise, compliance, visitor safety services, and visitor facilities. The program is supported by market and visitor analytics, trend analysis, and performance measurement.

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Canadians and international visitors visit Parks Canada’s administered places and visitors at surveyed locations feel a sense of connection to these places. Increase in the number of visits at Parks Canada administered places. 2% Annually
Average percentage of visitors that consider the place is meaningful to them. 85% Annually
Average percentage of visitors that are satisfied with their visit. 90% Annually

Highlights

  • Increases in visitation at: 
    • Bruce Peninsula – 29%
    • Fathom Five – 22%
    • L’Anse aux Meadows – 18%
    • Green Gables – 17%
    • Fort Anne – 19%
    • Lower Fort Garry – 18%
    • Fort Langley – 22%
  • 22 percent increase in campground reservations
Results

In 2016-17, Parks Canada continued to advance the Government of Canada’s priority to have more Canadians experience and learn about the environment and their heritage places. With over 1.4 million additional person visits in 2016-17, visitation to Parks Canada’s heritage places increased by six percent, to more than 24.7 million. This resulted in the Agency exceeding its visitation target by four percent. Parks Canada mostly met its target related to the percentage of visitors at surveyed locations who considered the place meaningful to them with a result of 78 percent. However, 96 percent of these visitors were satisfied with their visit. This resulted in the Agency exceeding its satisfaction target by six percent. Annual variations in survey results are normal and linked to changes in the mix of Parks Canada places that participate each year and their associated differences in visitor composition (e.g., Canadian versus international visitors, first versus repeat visitor).

 
Annual visitation at Parks Canada places between 2001-02 and 2016-17
Annual visitation at Parks Canada places between 2001-02 and 2016-17 - Text Version
Annual visitation at Parks Canada places between 2001-02 and 2016-17
2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Visitation (Million) 22.8 23.8 22.1 21.4 22.1 21.8 22.1 20.8 20.7 20.2 20.1 20.6 20.7 21.8 23.3 24.7

Note: Visitation experienced a decline for almost a decade before starting to rebound in 2012-13.

Enhancing the Visitor Experience Offer

Highlights

  • New and Innovative Programming
    • Your perfect picnic offer at Cape Breton Highlands National Park
    • One-of-a-kind artificial skating rink at Fort George National Historic Site
  • Innovative Accommodation Pilots
    • Cocoon Tree Bed in Cape Breton Highlands National Park
    • Micro-Cube in Forillon National Park
    • Tiny Homes in Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Alternative transportation and shuttle services explored to access Parks Canada places
  • 68 oTENTik installed in seven locations for a total of 366 across Canada
  • Sophie Grégoire Trudeau named Parks Canada’s Honourary Guide for Families
  • 675 new Canadian citizens at 13 Citizenship Ceremonies at Parks Canada places

In line with the Government of Canada’s priority to develop Parks Canada’s programs and services, the Agency continued to explore possibilities to expand and improve the range of programs and services available. The popular Learn to Camp program was expanded to include new components, which were piloted during the summer of 2016 and included new outreach events and other activities aimed at building awareness among millennial, new Canadians and young families. To advance efforts to attract new audiences, the Agency continued its partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, whereby new Canadian citizens are offered complimentary admission to Parks Canada’s places for one year through the Institute’s Cultural Access Pass.

Parks Canada also expanded its successful Xplorers and Club Parka programs, extending their reach to 105 locations with over 300,000 participants. The Club Parka Program was further enhanced in 2016-17 with the addition of a Canada150 Parka video and pin, new statuettes and inflatables and the expansion of the My Photo Missions app to 10 new locations (30 in total). To respond to increased visitor interest for culinary experiences, a toolkit was developed to assist Parks Canada places in planning and hosting a variety of food-related events.

At national historic sites, Parks Canada began implementing a new approach to history presentation by linking multiple heritage places that tell related stories and situating them in the broader context of Canadian history. This involved the development of exhibits at five anchor sites (Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Province House, Bellevue House, Fort Anne, and Cave and Basin national historic sites) and 12 outreach kits. 

The Agency received $4.7 million over five years from Budget 2016 to develop Indigenous story-telling and Indigenous tourism opportunities at Parks Canada places. By the close of 2016-17, 34 new projects were approved and underway to help facilitate the development of Indigenous tourism opportunities and Indigenous story-telling. Projects include special events, the creation of Indigenous story-telling and teaching experiences delivered by Elders and Indigenous interpreters, Indigenous art and multimedia platforms where Indigenous voices tell their story. In addition to field work, Parks Canada has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada to work on product development and marketing projects and on expanding the knowledge of joint and respective networks.

Investment in Visitor Experience Assets

In support of the Government of Canada’s priority to develop Park Canada’s programs and services, the Agency is investing almost $3.2 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to improve the condition of its contemporary assets, heritage buildings and structures. Investments related to this program will help to renew visitor facilities.

2016-17 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Condition of visitor experience assets in poor or very poor condition is improved to fair or good Percentage of assets assessed to be in poor or very poor condition that have improved to fair or good. 100% By March 2020
 

Highlights

  • Visitor access improvements - entry road, parking, sidewalks - Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site 
  • Walkways and boardwalks rehabilitated - Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site 
  • Interpretation and Observation Centre improvements - Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
  • Visitor facility improvements - stabilization of Johnston Canyon Rock Slope and trails, and paving of Highway 93 North - Banff National Park
  • Visitor facility improvements - marine wharves and entrance to the Newman Sound Campground - Terra Nova National Park
  • Campground improvements - Wasagaming campground - Riding Mountain National Park
Results

With total capital expenditures of $234.7 million in 2016-17, Parks Canada is on track to meet its target to improve the condition of visitor experience assets. Following the second year’s program of work, 26 percent (356) of the overall target of 1,322 visitor-related assets have improved to fair or good. The improved assets represent three percent of the overall visitor experience asset portfolio.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada continued implementing its plan of targeted infrastructure investments to improve visitor experience assets rated as being in poor or very poor condition to fair or good condition. The projects focused on the renewal of visitor facilities, such as visitor centres, campgrounds, multi-use trails, access roads and parking lots in national parks, national historic sites and heritage canals. These investments will ensure the quality and reliability of visitor offers and provide opportunities for Canadians and visitors to develop a sense of personal connection to these heritage places.

Canada 150

In 2016-17, Parks Canada developed and began implementing a plan for its participation in federal activities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. In December 2016, the Agency launched the promotion of the free 2017 Discovery Pass Program offering free admission to Parks Canada’s national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas, as well as lockage on canals. The foundation was also laid for further commemorations and celebrations in 2017, including the 100th anniversary of national historic sites, commemoration of World War events, including the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and the 100th anniversary of the Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.

Operations were readied for increased visitation in 2017 by reviewing staffing requirements and service plans for cleaning and maintenance, developing strategies to manage increased traffic and demand for parking, engaging with partners and communities, planning for local events, renewing and enhancing programming, and developing and implementing C150 branding at Parks Canada places.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 Actual  results 2014–15 Actual  results
Canadians and international visitors visit Parks Canada’s administered places and visitors at surveyed locations feel a sense of connection to these places. Increase in the number of visits at Parks Canada administered places. 2% Annually 6% 7%

(Target: 2%)
5%

(Target: 2%)
Average percentage of visitors that consider the place is meaningful to them. 85% Annually 78% 82%

(Target: 85%)
80%

(Target: 85%)
Average percentage of visitors that are satisfied with their visit. 90% Annually 96% 95%

(Target: 90%)
95%

(Target: 90%)
Condition of visitor experience assets in poor or very poor condition is improved to fair or good. Percentage of assets assessed to be in poor or very poor condition that have improved to fair or good. 100% By March 2020 26%

 356 out of 1,322

(On track)
11%

 146 out of 1,322

(On track)
n/aResults achieved table note *
 
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities
available for use
2016–17
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
479,851,370 479,851,370 613,216,315 490,888,796 11,037,426
 

Highlights

  • Canadians and people from 193 other places ordered nearly 5.4 million free 2017 Discovery Passes
  • New Canada 150 products added to National Merchandise Program
  • Commemorated World Wars—75th anniversary of Battle of Hong Kong and the 100th anniversary of Battles of Somme and Beaumont-Hamel
  • Marked anniversaries—100th of women’s suffrage, 150th of Fenian raids, 175th of Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s birth and 175th of the election of the leaders of responsible government
  • Hometown Heroes Program—continued to feature individuals who made unique contributions to the war effort
  • New Home Port Heroes Program—shares stories of the merchant navy and marks the 75th anniversary of Canada’s emergency shipbuilding program

Authorities available for use for the Visitor Experience program are $133.4 million or 27.8 percent higher than the 2016-17 planned spending. This variance is primarily due to unspent funds from 2015-16 available for use in 2016-17 as well as additional funding received in 2016-17 for investing in trails in national parks, developing programs and connecting Canadians to Canada’s heritage places in celebration of Canada 150, and  expanding the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy to support the creation of new student positions.

Actual spending for the Visitor Experience program is $11 million or 2.3 percent higher than the 2016-17 planned spending. This variance is primarily due to a settlement associated with a long standing dispute over the amount of payment in lieu of taxes paid by the Federal Crown for Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, expenditures related to additional funding received in 2016-17 for investing in trails in national parks and to expand the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy to support the creation of new student positions. These higher than planned expenditures were offset by lower than planned expenditures in Rouge National Urban Park due to delays in the planning, design and construction of visitor experience infrastructure caused by land transfer agreements taking longer than expected.

 
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17  Planned 2016–17  Actual 2016–17
Difference (actual minus planned)
1,927 2,219 292

Actual FTEs for the Visitor Experience program are 292 FTEs or 15.1 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2016-17. This variance is primarily due to higher than planned FTEs for the infrastructure initiative to address the backlog of deferred work on visitor experience assets, as well as an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received in 2016-17 dedicated to the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Program 1.5: Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management

Description

This program involves the management of infrastructure for Canadians and provides opportunities for socio-economic benefits to adjacent communities. It is related to the operation, maintenance and improvement of the Trans-Canada and provincially numbered highwaysEndnote ii within national parks and a national historic site, the water management of certain heritage canals, and the provision of municipal services to certain national park townsites.Endnote iii

Investment in Heritage Canal, Highway and Townsite Assets

Highlights

  • Poonamalie Dam - Rideau Canal National Historic Site
  • Kennesis Dam and Hastings Swing Bridge - Trent-Severn Waterway
  • Highway 263 - Prince Albert National Park
  • Route 301 - Terra Nova National Park
  • Townsite waste transfer station - Jasper National Park
  • Wastewater treatment infrastructure - Prince Albert and Riding Mountain national parks

In support of the Government of Canada’s priority to develop Park Canada’s programs and services, the Agency is investing almost $3.2 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to improve the condition of its contemporary assets, heritage buildings and structures. Investments related to this program will help to improve canal and townsite infrastructure and ensure highways that pass through heritage places are safe and accessible for travellers.

Results

With total capital expenditures of $259.6 million, Parks Canada is on track to meet its target to improve the condition of heritage canal, highway and townsite assets. Following the second year’s program of work, 33 percent (91) of the overall target of 272 assets have improved to fair or good.

In 2016-17, Parks Canada continued implementing its five-year plan of targeted infrastructure investments to improve assets rated as being in poor or very poor condition to fair or good condition. These investments were dedicated to improving townsite infrastructure, ensuring highways that pass through heritage places remain safe and accessible for travellers, and improving the contemporary assets in heritage canals.

The Government of Canada also provided significant funding through Budget 2016 to improve highway assets in Yoho and Wood Buffalo national parks. Work on these projects commenced in 2016-17 and included conducting an environmental impact assessment and awarding of construction contracts for Highway 5 in Wood Buffalo National Park, and the initiation of construction to twin a six-kilometre segment of the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 Actual  results 2014–15 Actual  results
Condition of heritage canal, highway and townsite assets in poor or very poor condition is improved to fair or good. Percentage of assets assessed to be in poor or very poor condition that have improved to fair or good. 100% By March 2020 33%

 91 out of 272

(On track)
28%

 77 out of 272

(On track)
n/aResults achieved table note *
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
306,781,950 306,781,950 438,838,642 310,375,764 3,593,814

Authorities available for use for the Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management program are $132.1 million or 43 percent higher than the 2016-17 planned spending. This increase is primarily due to unspent funds from 2015-16 available for use in 2016-17 as well as to additional funding received in 2016-17 for investing in highways in national parks.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17  Planned 2016–17  Actual 2016–17
Difference  (actual minus planned)
300 324 24

Actual FTEs for the Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management program are 24 FTEs or 8 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2016-17. This variance is primarily due to higher than planned FTEs for the infrastructure initiative to address the backlog of deferred work on highway and waterway assets as well as an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received in 2016-17 dedicated to the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Information on results, financial and human resources relating to Parks Canada’s lower-level programs is available on TBS InfoBase.

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal Services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support Program delivery in the organization, regardless of the Internal Services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Results

Management and Oversight Services

In 2016-17, Parks Canada implemented a project management office aimed at strengthening national project management practices, processes and controls, and supporting the delivery of investment projects on time, on budget and with prudence and probity. The Agency also continued to invest towards the implementation of an improved asset management information system to further enhance the quality of asset information, reporting capabilities and ensure the application of consistent asset management practices across the Agency. This new system actively maintains information for the entire built asset inventory and further improves the ability to plan and prioritize capital work as well as corresponding operational and maintenance activities. In addition, year two of a five-year Investment Plan was implemented. The plan highlights priority investments that reflect the areas of greatest risk for the Agency and best supports the Government of Canada’s objectives, and outlines upcoming projects and considers the assessed capacity of the Agency to manage those projects. 

Over the past year, Parks Canada made significant improvements to its Access to Information function. As a result, the Agency eliminated its backlog of access to information requests and met all the legislative timelines for access to information requests in 2016-17.

Human Resources Management Services

In April 2016, Parks Canada on-boarded the Phoenix Pay System. Like many organizations, the Agency is facing challenges associated with the administration of pay and is working on an on-going basis with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) through committees or working groups to find ways of resolving the issues.

While the Agency has a limited scope of action to resolve issues, it implemented many concrete actions to support its team members, such as: creating a dedicated project management team; adding dedicated compensation resources to manage pay issues; obtaining more view access to Phoenix to help with resolution of cases; identifying and providing training on critical business processes affecting pay, including timely and accurate documentation; putting in place Timekeepers (i.e. data entry staff) across the organization; monitoring the pay issues affecting employees and reporting back, and increasing and improving its communication with its team members, notably via its intranet site.

While the MyGCHR transformation initiative is postponed to an unknown date, the Agency was successful in implementing an automated student hiring process.

Parks Canada has supported the Government of Canada direction to attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce by renewing the job opportunities section on its public website; creating a Welcome Aboard Portal; conducting a talent management exercise for nearly 400 managers; establishing a new performance management framework for executives, and hiring approximately 1,700 students. As part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES) Parks Canada successfully achieved its summer student hiring targets and spent $1.9M to hire 228 students for Young Canada Works and $3.6M to hire 494 students for Green Jobs.

The Agency has also undertaken initiatives to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to build a healthy and respectful workplace. A Wellness Champion has been appointed and monthly communications with Parks Canada staff has been initiated. In addition, a Wellness Hub has been launched on Parks Canada’s intranet (ParksNet), with new resources being made available to staff, including Not Myself Today Campaign and LifeSpeak, and a virtual library for total wellness including training and tools. A promotional campaign of the Employee and Family Assistance Program and services was held and posted on the updated ParksNet Page. A Wellness Steering Committee has been established and will be working on the development of an Agency wide Wellness Strategy in 2017-18.

Financial Management Services

In line with the Government of Canada’s direction on financial management transformation, Parks Canada achieved efficiencies and enhanced productivity in operations by completing the centralization of accounts payable and the development of related standardized business processes.

Parks Canada also commenced the implementation of a new electronic delegation-of-authority application which will automate the creation and maintenance of electronic signature cards and financial signing authorities. 

Information Management (IM) Services

Parks Canada made significant progress identifying and documenting the information resources and associated repositories that support and inform the Agency’s core decision‐making processes and management of programs. This work will enable the effective management, sharing and use of information both within Parks Canada as well as with our partners and the public. A revised approach to the implementation of IM controls has eliminated the need to develop the business unit record-keeping action plans that were planned for this year.

Parks Canada developed an alternative, activity-based approach to the planning and implementation of IM tools such as an Electronic Document and Records Management System. This approach is now being used to implement the required controls and tools for IM on an activity-by-activity basis.

Real Property Services

In 2016-17, Parks Canada advanced the modernization of its Real Property Framework, including the development of a national approach for the administration of business licences, special event permitting and staff housing. A multi-year work plan was developed including deliverables such as reviewing processes to execute real property transactions within Parks Canada places, a strategic review of approaches to rent-setting with options for moving to market rates, and drafting of the Agency Real Property Policy Suite to be complete by 2018-19.

In addition, the Agency continued implementation of the National Integrated Realty System by migrating over 4,300 realty transaction records from legacy databases, successfully deploying the Geographical Information System components for the project, and completing on-site training of the realty personnel from various field units and townsites.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2016–17
Total authorities available for use
2016–17
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2016–17
Difference
(actual minus planned)
137,491,734 137,491,734 157,112,289 153,770,032 16,278,298

Actual spending for the Internal Services program is $16.3 million or 11.8 percent higher than the 2016-17 planned spending. This variance is primarily due to increased spending for communications services, legal services, financial management, information technology and acquisitions to deliver on the Agency’s mandate and priorities.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17  Planned 2016–17  Actual 2016–17
Difference  (actual minus planned)
958 1,107 149

Actual FTEs for the Internal Services program are 149 FTEs or 15.5 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2016-17. This variance is primarily due to increased FTEs for communications services, financial management, information technology and acquisitions to deliver on the Agency’s mandate and priorities.

Analysis of trends in spending and human resources

Actual expenditures

Departmental spending trend graph

The following graph depicts the Agency’s spending trend over a six-year period. For the period from 2014-15 to 2016-17, spending represents expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts. For the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20, the planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the Agency’s Strategic Outcome. Sun-setting programs are subject to government decisions to extend, reduce or enhance funding. Outcomes of such decisions would be reflected in the Agency’s future budget exercises and Estimates documents.

Agency Spending Trend Graph
Agency Spending Trend Graph (thousands of dollars) - Text Version
Agency Spending Trend Graph (thousands of dollars)
  2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Sunset Programs - Anticipated - - - 1,872 1,872 1,825
Statutory 165,239 197,744 198,981 130,313 183,520 183,312
Voted 556,561 838,386 992,712 1,256,718 1,071,847 1,126,898
Total 721,800 1,036,130 1,191,693 1,386,903 1,257,239 1,312,035

The increase in expenditures and planned spending over six years (2014-15 to 2019-20) is primarily due to infrastructure investments of almost $3.2 billion in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. This work is helping to address the backlog of deferred work for heritage, tourism, highway and waterway built assets to mitigate risks to public health and safety, halt the irreversible loss of iconic sites and create economic opportunities. This funding ends in 2019-20.

Planned spending is at its highest level in 2017-18 at close to $1.4 billion. This spike is primarily attributable to new infrastructure funding to invest in trails and highways in national parks as well as new funding received to develop programs and connect Canadians to Canada’s heritage places in celebration of Canada 150.

There is a significant reduction in planned statutory expenditures in 2017-18 that is due to the decrease in the Agency’s planned revenues. This reduction is the result of free entry to all visitors to national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites in celebration of Canada 150. This reduction is offset by a corresponding increase in voted authorities in 2017-18.

Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2016–17
Main Estimates
2016–17
Planned spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2016–17  Total authorities available for use 2016–17
Actual  spending (authorities used)
2015–16  Actual  spending (authorities used) 2014–15
Actual  spending (authorities used)
1.1 Heritage Places Establishment 18,281,238 18,281,238 12,574,855 10,910,165 23,327,712 13,888,477 17,719,496 21,199,396
1.2 Heritage Places Conservation 185,944,344 185,944,344 219,566,624 202,358,026 189,348,761 177,801,510 163,462,332 137,267,951
1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support 45,187,665 45,187,665 42,921,405 41,272,778 47,893,264 44,968,472 40,743,143 42,872,689
1.4 Visitor Experience  479,851,370 479,851,370 526,736,042 487,697,643 613,216,315 490,888,796 400,413,772 291,314,470
1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management  306,781,950 306,781,950 436,520,130 368,145,135 438,838,642 310,375,764 272,412,103 136,302,253
Subtotal  1,036,046,567 1,036,046,567 1,238,319,056 1,110,383,747 1,312,624,694 1,037,923,019 894,750,846 628,956,759
Internal Services  137,491,734 137,491,734 150,584,014 146,855,208 157,112,289 153,770,032 141,379,561 92,843,101
Total 1,173,538,301 1,173,538,301 1,388,903,070 1,257,238,955 1,469,736,983 1,191,693,051 1,036,130,407 721,799,860

The Agency’s planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the Agency’s programs. The increase in authorities available for use is primarily due to unspent funds from 2015-16 available for use in 2016-17 and additional in-year funding received in 2016-17 for investing in trails and highways in national parks, for developing programs and connecting Canadians to Canada’s heritage places in celebration of Canada 150, and to expand the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy to support the creation of new student positions. The actual spending of $1.2 billion (81 percent of total authorities) reflects the Agency’s expenditures as reported in the 2016-17 Public Accounts, and is $18.2 million more than planned due to the additional funding received in-year. 

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full-time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services 2014–15
Actual
2015–16
Actual
2016–17
Forecast
2016–17 
Actual
2017–18 
Planned
2018–19
Planned
1.1 Heritage Places Establishment 60 50 33 49 39 39
1.2 Heritage Places Conservation 875 873 874 945 920 913
1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support 355 335 367 370 349 348
1.4 Visitor Experience 2,070 2,064 1,927 2,219 2,210 2,151
1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management 293 291 300 324 318 317
Subtotal 3,653 3,613 3,501 3,907 3,836 3,768
Internal Services 571 1,030 958 1,107 1,073 1,072
Total 4,224 4,643 4,459 5,014 4,909 4,840

The Agency’s planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) reflects approved funding by the Treasury Board to support the Agency’s programs. In 2016-17, the Agency utilised 5,014 FTEs, which is 555 FTEs or 12.4 percent higher than what was planned. The difference in FTEs is primarily due to additional in-year funding received in 2016-17 to expand the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy to support the creation of new student positions and to higher than planned FTEs being utilised under the infrastructure initiative to address the backlog of deferred work for heritage, tourism, highway and waterway built assets.

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Parks Canada Agency organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017.

Alignment of spending with the whole-of-government framework

Alignment of 2016-17 actual spending with the whole-of-government framework (dollars)
Program Spending area Government of Canada activity 2016–17  Actual spending
Heritage Places Establishment Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 13,888,477
Heritage Places Conservation Economic Affairs A clean and healthy environment 177,801,510
Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 44,968,472
Visitor Experience Social Affairs A vibrant Canadian culture and heritage 490,888,796
Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management Social Affairs A safe and secure Canada 310,375,764
 
Total spending by spending area (dollars)
Spending area Total planned spending Total actual spending
Economic affairs 185,944,344 177,801,510
Social affairs 850,102,223 860,121,509
International affairs 0 0
Government affairs 0 0

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Parks Canada Agency financial statements unaudited for the year ended March 31, 2017, are available on the Agency’s website.

Financial statements highlights

Parks Canada Agency’s unaudited financial statements are prepared in accordance with Government’s accounting policies, that are based on Canadian public sector accounting standards (accrual accounting principles) rather than appropriation-based reporting (modified cash basis). Expenditures presented in other sections of this document are presented on a modified cash basis rather than an accrual basis. A reconciliation between the parliamentary appropriations used (modified cash basis) and the net cost of operations (accrual basis) is set out in Note 3 of the financial statements.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2017 (dollars)
Financial information 2016–17
Planned
results
2016–17
Actual
2015–16
Actual
Difference (2016–17 actual minus 2016–17 planned) Difference (2016–17 actual minus 2015–16 actual)
Total expenses 682,129,000 799,899,380 726,736,296 117,770,380 73,163,084
Total revenues 123,000,000 144,582,241 139,391,856 21,582,241 5,190,385
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 559,129,000 655,317,139 587,344,440 96,188,139 67,972,699
Expenses

Actual over planned: Expenses were $117.8M higher than planned (planned: $682.1M; actual: $799.9M). This is primarily due to a settlement associated with a long standing dispute over the amount of payment in lieu of taxes paid by the Federal Crown for Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, additional funding received for developing programs and connecting Canadians to Canada’s heritage places in celebration of Canada 150, and for the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy to support the creation of new student positions.

Actual year over year: Expenses increased by $73.2M ($799.9M in 2016-17; $726.7M in 2015-16). This is primarily due to a settlement associated with a long standing dispute over the amount of payment in lieu of taxes paid by the Federal Crown for Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, developing programs and connecting Canadians to Canada’s heritage places in celebration of Canada 150, additional salary costs related to the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy to support the creation of new student positions, and increased amortization due to the completion of targeted infrastructure investments.

Revenues

Actual over planned: Revenues were $21.6M higher than planned (planned: $123.0M; actual: $144.6M) primarily due to an increase in visitation to Parks Canada’s heritage places and increased revenues related to camping and land rentals.

Actual year over year: Revenues increased year-over-year by $5.2M ($144.6M in 2016-17; $139.4M in 2015-16) primarily due to an increase in revenues related to camping and land rentals.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2017 (dollars)
Financial Information 2016–17 2015–16 Difference
(2016–17 minus
2015–16)
Total net liabilities 262,884,871 232,630,731 30,254,140
Total net financial assets 194,475,490 177,857,780 16,617,710
Departmental net debt 68,409,381 54,772,951 13,636,430
Total non-financial assets 2,772,111,244 2,324,146,835 447,964,409
Departmental net financial position 2,703,701,863 2,269,373,884 434,327,979

The net debt is calculated as the difference between total net liabilities and total net financial assets, and it represents liabilities for which the Agency will require future appropriations. Parks Canada Agency’s net debt increased by $13.6 million, mainly due to increases in environmental liabilities of $13.4 million ($50.6 million in 2016-17; $37.2 million in 2015-16) due to new information that resulted in a reassessment of the liability.

The net financial position is calculated as the difference between net debt and total non-financial assets, and it consists mainly of tangible capital assets. The increase of $434.3 million ($2,703.7 million in 2016-17; $2,269.4 million in 2015-16) is mainly due to an investment in tangible capital assets.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Appropriate Minister: The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.

Institutional Head: Daniel Watson, Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial Portfolio: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Enabling Instruments: 

Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 1998

Reporting framework

The Parks Canada Agency Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2016–17 are shown below.

Strategic Outcome: Canadians have a strong sense of connection to their national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas and these protected places are experienced in ways that leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of present and future generations.

  • 1.1 Program: Heritage Places Establishment
    • 1.1.1 Sub-Program: National Park Establishment
    • 1.1.2 Sub-Program: National Marine Conservation Area Establishment
    • 1.1.3 Sub-Program: National Historic Site Designations
    • 1.1.4 Sub-Program: Other Heritage Places Designations 
  • 1.2 Program: Heritage Places Conservation
    • 1.2.1 Sub-Program: National Park Conservation
    • 1.2.2 Sub-Program: National Urban Park Conservation
    • 1.2.3 Sub-Program: National Marine Area Conservation
    • 1.2.4 Sub-Program: National Historic Site Conservation
    • 1.2.5 Sub-Program: Other Heritage Places Conservation
  • 1.3 Program: Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support
    • 1.3.1 Sub-Program: Heritage Places Promotion
    • 1.3.2 Sub-Program: Partnering and Participation
  • 1.4 Program: Visitor Experience
    • 1.4.1 Sub-Program: National Park Visitor Experience
    • 1.4.2 Sub-Program: National Urban Park Visitor Experience
    • 1.4.3 Sub-Program: National Marine Conservation Area Visitor Experience
    • 1.4.4 Sub-Program: National Historic Site Visitor Experience
    • 1.4.5 Sub-Program: Heritage Canal Visitor Experience
  • 1.5 Program: Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management
    • 1.5.1 Sub-Program: Townsite Management
    • 1.5.2 Sub-Program: Highway Management
    • 1.5.3 Sub-Program: Heritage Canal Management
  • Internal Services

Supporting information on lower-level programs

Supporting information on results, financial and human resources related to Parks Canada’s lower-level programs is available on TBS Infobase.

Supplementary information tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Parks Canada Agency’s website.

Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational contact information

Parks Canada National Office

30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
Canada
J8X 0B3

General Inquiries

888-773-8888

General Inquiries (International)

819-420-9486

Teletypewriter (TTY)

866-787-6221

Website: www.parkscanada.gc.ca

Email: information@pc.gc.ca

Appendix: definitions

Appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires)
Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.
Core Responsibility (responsabilité essentielle)
An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a Core Responsibility are reflected in one or more related Departmental Results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.
Departmental Plan (Plan ministériel)
Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated departments over a three-year period. Departmental Plans are tabled in Parliament each spring.
Departmental Result (résultat ministériel)
A Departmental Result represents the change or changes that the department seeks to influence. A Departmental Result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.
Departmental Result Indicator (indicateur de résultat ministériel)
A factor or variable that provides a valid and reliable means to measure or describe progress on a Departmental Result.
Departmental Results Framework (cadre ministériel des résultats)
Consists of the department’s Core Responsibilities, Departmental Results and Departmental Result Indicators.
Departmental Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
Provides information on the actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.
Evaluation (évaluation)
In the Government of Canada, the systematic and neutral collection and analysis of evidence to judge merit, worth or value. Evaluation informs decision making, improvements, innovation and accountability. Evaluations typically focus on programs, policies and priorities and examine questions related to relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Depending on user needs, however, evaluations can also examine other units, themes and issues, including alternatives to existing interventions. Evaluations generally employ social science research methods.
full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein)
A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.
government-wide priorities (priorités pangouvernementales)
For the purpose of the 2017–18 Departmental Plan, government-wide priorities refers to those high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the 2015 Speech from the Throne, namely: Growth for the Middle Class; Open and Transparent Government; A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy; Diversity is Canada’s Strength; and Security and Opportunity.
horizontal initiatives (initiative horizontale)
An initiative where two or more federal organizations, through an approved funding agreement, work toward achieving clearly defined shared outcomes, and which has been designated (for example, by Cabinet or a central agency) as a horizontal initiative for managing and reporting purposes.
Management, Resources and Results Structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats)
A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.
non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires)
Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.
performance (rendement)
What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.
performance indicator (indicateur de rendement)
A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.
performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement)
The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.
planned spending (dépenses prévues)
For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.
plans (plans)
The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.
priorities (priorité)
Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).
program (programme)
A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.
Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes)
A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.
results (résultat)
An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.
statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives)
Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.
Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique)
A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.
sunset program (programme temporisé)
A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.
target (cible)
A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.
voted expenditures (dépenses votées)
Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.