Current version
 

Minister’s message

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

As the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, I am pleased to present the Agency’s 2017-18 Departmental Results Report.

This was a momentous year as Canada celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation. More Canadians than ever before took advantage of free admission and free lockage to visit Canada’s national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas and create memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime.

Free admission to Parks Canada places in 2017 provided a unique opportunity to create a stronger connection between Canadians and their natural and cultural heritage. Building on the success of Canada 150 and in celebration of families and the importance of protected areas, starting in 2018 and beyond, youth aged 17 and under can enjoy free admission to all Parks Canada places. I invite families to take advantage of free admission for their children to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment and history. Parks Canada will also continue to offer free admission for one year to new Canadian citizens through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass Program.

I was proud to host the largest consultation ever undertaken on the future of Parks Canada, through the Minister’s Round Table, Let’s Talk Parks, Canada! For the first time ever, views were solicited from all Canadians and over 13,000 people from across the country provided input. In response to this unprecedented level of public engagement, I have identified three priorities for Parks Canada and reaffirmed ecological integrity as the first priority in the management of national parks. I encourage you to read the full Report.

Budget 2018 announced $1.3 billion of funding for conservation—a historic investment in conserving Canada’s natural heritage. Parks Canada will receive $185 million over five years to conserve biodiversity, ecosystems and natural landscapes through a connected network of protected areas. This funding will also transform approaches to recovery of species at risk through multi-species and ecosystem-based strategies while advancing reconciliation by supporting Indigenous leadership and responsibilities in land and wildlife stewardship and related cultural activites. This investment will also help Canada to meet its international commitment to conserve at least 17 percent of its terrestrial areas and inland water.

The Government of Canada is committed to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. Through Budget 2018, the Government is investing $23.9 million to integrate Indigenous peoples’ views and histories and to reflect Indigenous cultures in Parks Canada heritage places and programming.

Canada’s national parks play a critical role in adapting to climate change, protecting wildlife and our natural spaces and supporting jobs and local economies across the country. These are just some of the reasons why the Government is committed to preserving and expanding Canada’s network of protected areas. Parks Canada made significant gains in 2017-18:

  • Through collaboration with Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, an agreement was reached on the final boundary and interim protection of the new Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound – the largest protected area ever established in Canada;
  • Progress was made on the completion of Rouge National Urban Park with the transfer of 6.5 square kilometres of land from the Government of Ontario;
  • Discussions moved forward with the Province of British Columbia, First Nations and stakeholders regarding the proposed national park reserve in South Okanagan; and
  • Parks Canada and the Bruce Trail Conservancy reached an agreement to acquire the 1325-hectare Driftwood Cove property at the tip of Bruce Peninsula National Park, resulting in the park being 90-percent complete.

The Government values and celebrates the Outstanding Universal Value of Canada’s 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is committed to their ongoing protection. Earlier this spring, I announced a new investment of $27.5 million over five years to support the development of an action plan to address World Heritage Committee recommendations to ensure the ongoing protection of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.

Canada’s national historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history. One story that continues to captivate Canadians and audiences around the world is that of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition and the recent discoveries of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Today, all yet-to-be discovered artifacts are now jointly owned by Canada and Inuit through Parks Canada and the Inuit Heritage Trust. This exceptional gift was a significant milestone in the Franklin story and is the culmination of over 20 years of collaboration between the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom. The Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with Inuit to share the story of the Franklin Expedition and the pivotal role of Inuit in the discovery and ongoing exploration and protection of the Franklin wrecks.

I am proud of the Agency’s accomplishments and the commitment and hard work of the Parks Canada team. Parks Canada played an extraordinary role in the success of the Canada 150 celebrations, enabling Canadians to discover nature and connect with history, whilst continuing to conserve and protect these treasured places.

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"

2017-18 was a year of extraordinary achievements for Parks Canada, marked by a record number of visitors, strong collaboration with partners, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples, and the delivery of world-class conservation projects and initiatives from coast to coast to coast.

National parks, national historic sites and national 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. The Agency played an instrumental role in the success of the Canada 150 celebrations with free admission for all Canadians to Parks Canada locations. Throughout the year, Parks Canada team members greeted an outstanding 27 million visitors, including many first-time visitors, facilitated high-quality visitor experiences and shared the history of the people and places that have shaped Canada. Last year marked another milestone: the centennial anniversary of national historic sites in Canada. This anniversary offered an opportunity to promote national historic sites as unique destinations in 2017 and, as a result, national historic sites across the country saw an unprecedented 22-percent increase in visitation. Our national historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and, in 2017, more Canadians than ever before visited these special places to learn about our diverse history.

I am proud to report that through our public surveys, we know that Parks Canada met visitors’ expectations and even surpassed our visitor satisfaction target, all while ensuring the protection and conservation of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage for generations to come.

As a leader in conservation, Parks Canada takes actions to preserve national parks and contribute to the recovery of species at risk. This past year, Canadians celebrated the return of an icon to Banff National Park. After an absence of over a century, bison now roam freely in the park’s backcountry; a true conservation success story. Likewise, thanks to an innovative partnership known as the Fundy Salmon Recovery, we also celebrated the successful release of a record number of wild, adult inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon in Fundy National Park. Through programs like these, Canadians have a variety of ways to build their awareness of species at risk and to connect to nature at Parks Canada places. Important ecological gains were also made possible through strategic investments in infrastructure in national historic sites across the country. For example, recent investments in Red Bay National Historic Site will see a reduction in the site’s environmental footprint and better present this UNESCO World Heritage Site to Canadians and visitors from around the world.

Working together with more than 300 Indigenous communities, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these protected places. We continued to work more closely than ever with Indigenous communities and have expanded our efforts to ensure Indigenous peoples have strong voices in the management of Parks Canada places. This includes facilitating Indigenous peoples’ reconnection with their traditional lands and waters and applying traditional knowledge together with science in the conservation of our natural heritage places. We also undertook initiatives to support Indigenous storytelling and Indigenous tourism at Parks Canada places. As part of this commitment, the Agency entered into a four-year contribution agreement with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, with the goal of enhancing and growing authentic Indigenous experiences in regions across the country.

Although Parks Canada was very busy preparing for and delivering the biggest celebration in its history, the team also rose to the challenge of managing natural events of unprecedented magnitude in many parts of the country. Floods and wildfires affected many regions of Canada and also had impacts on our national parks and waterways. Of particular significance was the Kenow Fire, described by some as one of the most significant environmental emergencies in our Agency’s history, which burned through 38 percent of Waterton Lakes National Park. I am more than proud of the professionalism, dedication and selflessness of the Parks Canada team members who risked their lives to protect the lives of residents and livestock of the town and surrounding ranches. I am in awe of the resiliency of that team as well, who promptly identified opportunities for research—creating an extraordinary laboratory for fire ecology and an opportunity to work with Blackfoot First Nations to document the cultural artifacts that were uncovered by the fire.

Finally, I am pleased to report that we continue to invest in Parks Canada’s infrastructure assets to ensure the quality and reliability of visitor facilities. Examples of these important infrastructure projects include campground improvements in Banff National Park, roadway rehabilitation work on the Parkway into La Mauricie National Park and the construction of new climbing and passing lanes on the Trans-Canada Highway within Terra Nova National Park. Through these unprecedented infrastructure investments, Parks Canada is protecting and preserving Canada’s treasured places, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector.

In 2017-18, we have overcome challenges and adversity to deliver our greatest operational season ever. My sincere thanks to the entire Parks Canada team for their tireless efforts to ensure public safety, maintain and restore ecological integrity and provide Canadians with opportunities to discover and enjoy our country’s natural and cultural treasures.

Original signed by

Daniel Watson
Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada Agency

Results at a glance

 
Results at a glance - Infographic
Results at a glance - Text Version
Section Indicator Description and Results
Visitation 27.2 million people visited Parks Canada places
Increase of 10 per cent over 2016
22 per cent increase in visitation to national historic sites over 2016
31 per cent increase in vessel passages on the Trent Severn Waterway over 2016 – busiest since 2003
Parks Canada surpassed performance targets : 94 per cent enjoyment and 95 per cent satisfaction
Discovery Pass   8.5 million passes distributed to 160 countries around the world
1 in 5 Canadian households had one
Mobile app 170,000 downloads
Top 150 downloaded Canadian apps on Apple’s App Store
Web 18.9 million sessions
8th place in the federal government
Google StreetView 1.34 billion views
Northernmost point captured Quttinirpaaq National Park
e-Newsletter 2 million+ subscribers
Ad campaign 190 million+ impressions
National call centre 107,000 calls, 50 per cent increase
Reservation system 399,000 reservations, 35 per cent increase
Learn to Camp 75,000 participants
500 events
Increase of 580 per cent over 2016
Social Media Twitter: 208,373 followers, 26 per cent increase over 2016
Facebook: 288,000 likes, 42 per cent increase over 2016
YouTube: 10,492 subscribers. Produced 105 in-house videos. 5,508,305 views compared to US National Parks which had 689,929 views.
Instagram: 115,536 followers. Launched in December 2016, 2nd place in the federal government.

Economic impact of 27.2 million visitors: generated $2.8 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product, supported 36,453 full-time equivalent jobs nationwide and generated $486 million dollars in taxes for federal, provincial and municipal governments to invest in programs.

Let's Talk Parks, Canada!
Minister's Round Table 2017

  • Largest consultation ever undertaken on the future of Parks Canada.
  • Over 13,000 people from across the country provided input.
  • Minister reaffirmed ecological integrity as the first priority and identified three priorities for Parks Canada including:
    • Protect and restore our national parks and historic sites;
    • Enable people to further discover and connect with our national parks and heritage; and
    • Sustain for generations to come, the incredible value – both ecological and economic of our national parks and historic sites.
  • The largest protected area ever established in Canada is one step closer with the announcement of the final boundaries of the 109,000 km2 Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area in Lancaster Sound.
  • Legislative amendment confirmed ecological integrity as the first priority in the management of Rouge National Urban Park, while recognizing its important cultural heritage and providing greater certainty for the continuation of agriculture within the park.
  • Parks Canada continued to play a lead role in the Pathway to Canada Target 1:
    • Declaration signed by Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers to use a common approach to conserve 17 percent of terrestrial lands and freshwater and to manage them effectively and equitably; and
    • The Indigenous Circle of Experts Report – We Rise Together, released in March 2018 explores the concept of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and their contribution to conservation outcomes.
  • Undertook 45 ecological restoration projects in 33 sites and completed 21 multi-species action plans – addressing 174 species at risk occurring across 42 Parks Canada places.
  • Hosted 21 citizenship ceremonies that welcomed over 1000 new Canadian citizens.
  • Improved condition of over 1,625 Parks Canada assets through ongoing investments in infrastructure.
  • Hired 2,552 students in support of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy.
 

2017-18 Actual Spending

$1.3 billion

2017-18 Human Resources

5,582 Full-time equivalents

 
 

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

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 the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples and stakeholders.

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 km2 of Canada’s terrestrial ecosystems. In managing national parks, Parks Canada is mandated to maintain or restore ecological integrity as a first priority, 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 km2 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 maintain or restore ecological integrity as a first priority, present the park’s natural and cultural heritage, promote a vibrant farming community, and encourage Canadians to discover and connect with their national protected heritage areas.

Parks Canada manages the National Program of Historical Commemoration, through which the Government of Canada has designated 981 national historic sites (171 of which are administered by Parks Canada), 696 persons of national historic significance and 482 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 providing unique opportunities for visitors to personally connect with and experience these places.

Parks Canada’s nine heritage canalsi support commercial and recreational boating, and the Agency’s role includes water management as well as the management of canal infrastructure.

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 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.

Nearly all of the heritage places administered by Parks Canada have been traditionally used by First Nations, Inuit or Métis. Parks Canada’s unique mandate and responsibility for administering over 90 percent of federally-owned lands positions the Agency well to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

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 lettervi.

Operating context and key risks

Operating context

National parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas represent the very best of Canada. 2017-18 was an extraordinary year for Parks Canada marked by Canada 150 celebrations and a record number of visitors, strong collaboration with partners, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples, and the delivery of world class conservation projects and initiatives.

The Government of Canada is committed to achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a renewed, nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Parks Canada demonstrates leadership both nationally and internationally in its relations with Indigenous partners, working with over 300 Indigenous communities across the country in the management of Parks Canada’s heritage places. The Agency is committed to supporting 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. Thirty-two heritage places are currently managed cooperatively with Indigenous groups and 20 of those places have cooperative management arrangements where Indigenous partners play a decision-making role. Cooperative management agreements establish formal advisory relationships between Indigenous 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. The Agency is committed to reconciliation and will continue to engage and consult with Indigenous partners to ensure a greater number of places have arrangements where Indigenous partners play a decision-making role.

Parks Canada has operations across Canada, in every province and territory. The Agency manages 350,000 km2 of lands and waters across Canada1 . With responsibility for the management and administration of 46 national parks, Rouge National Urban Park, four national marine conservation areas, 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. In addition, there are seven townsite communities in national parks, all located in western Canada. These townsites represent unique opportunities to demonstrate the overriding values of ecological integrity, environmental citizenship and sustainable development. They provide visitors with opportunities to learn and develop personal connections to natural and cultural heritage from the comfort of a community, and a launching pad for deeper ventures into national parks. They support ecological integrity by consolidating use and development to relatively small areas. National park townsite communities manage development in accordance with community plans and legislation, respecting their cultural and historical aspects and the ecological integrity of the surrounding park. In Banff and Jasper, commercial development limits are also used to manage growth along with eligible residency and fixed boundaries.

The support and collaboration of Indigenous governments, organizations and communities, 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 balance protection and ecologically sustainable use, brings in a greater range of stakeholders to consider and work with. Bringing all of these elements together and moving forward in a harmonious and positive way requires time and respectful discourse.

Kenow Fire - Waterton Lakes National Park

forest fire
  • 2017 was the park’s third-driest summer on record
  • 148 firefighters worked on this wildfire
  • burned 19,303 hectares of park land
  • FireSmart actions taken in and around the townsite helped to prevent greater losses

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 historic sites, the arrival of invasive species at national parks, impacts on biodiversity 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, wildfires, floods and avalanches also impact Parks Canada infrastructure, such as highways and bridges. In 2017-18, Parks Canada experienced 167 wildfires - higher than the 10-year average of 100 wildfires per year. One of these fires was the Kenow Fire, among the most significant environmental emergencies in the Agency’s history, which burned through Waterton Lakes National Park and onto surrounding lands. The park was severely impacted by the fire with over 38 percent of the park burned and significant assets heavily damaged or destroyed.

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. As a result, visitation has been steadily increasing in recent years and reached a record high of 27.2 million in 2017-18 during the Canada 150 celebrations and free admission. Parks Canada successfully managed the increased visitation, while continuing to ensure high quality visitor experiences. To lessen potential impacts on natural and cultural resources, visitors were encouraged to explore lesser-known parks and historic sites, and seek out experiences in the spring and fall.

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 seniors outnumber youth under the age of 15. While Parks Canada has a committed base of visitors, the generation following has a weaker connection or different experiences with 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. To engage this generation of Canadians with their natural and cultural heritage, Parks Canada must use modern market analysis and social science to design and offer new and innovative visitor experiences. As well, it must use new approaches for promotion to reach new audiences. These efforts will help to establish a new generation of stewards for these special places and contribute to tourism economies in communities across the country.

Parks Canada manages a complex portfolio of built assets consisting of more than 16,000 assets valued at approximately $24.8 billion. These updated figures reflect the most recent findings of a national asset review performed by Parks Canada in 2017, validated by an independent third-party and published through the Agency’s 2018 Asset Report Card. The overall condition of Parks Canada’s asset portfolio has been in decline for years. This deterioration has slowed since 2014 as a result of an infrastructure investment of approximately $3.6 billion, including $364 million announced in Budget 2017 by the Government of Canada, enabling Parks Canada to renew a significant portion of its built asset inventory. However, 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 a key risk.

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

The magnitude and rapid pace of environmental changes, including climate change may affect Parks Canada’s ability to maintain the integrity of its ecosystems, cultural resources and infrastructure.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada:

  • Undertook assessments, planning and monitoring to identify potential threats to heritage places by conducting 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;
  • Conducted ecological restoration projects focused on improving ecological integrity and advancing towards recovery targets for priority species at risk;
  • Shared lessons learned and best practices, and identified climate change adaptation options and opportunities at local and regional levels through working groups and workshops on climate change;
  • Continued to implement measures to protect contemporary and built heritage assets such as using resilient designs and construction materials; and
  • Reviewed emergency and business continuity plans and provided personnel with ongoing emergency management and response training.
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)
Built Asset Condition and Long-term Sustainability

There is a risk that the Agency will not be able to maintain the condition of its built asset portfolio to support the delivery of Parks Canada’s mandate.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada:

  • Made significant progress on the development of a long-term asset sustainability plan by:
    • Undertaking a National Asset Review to update the inventory of assets and portfolio valuation, and leverage government and industry standards/best practice data and models for investment targets;
    • Developing frameworks and tools to prioritize built assets while striking a balance between cultural and environmental value and financial realities;
    • Developing a risk framework for the Investment Program and adding a senior executive governance committee to oversee key projects; and
    • Engaging third-party experts to support and validate analysis on high-priority issues related to long-term sustainability (e.g., asset valuation, investment rates, alignment with current market rates, etc.).
  • Enhanced its national asset information system by:
    • Implementing a new set of applications to enable the planning, tracking and monitoring of mandatory legislated inspection, testing and maintenance activities;
    • Working to address the backlog of enhancements and modifications in order to improve data quality, data extraction capabilities and planning capacity; and
    • Initiating the development of training solutions to ensure consistent and timely training of system users.
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 failure by the Agency to adjust or respond to increased visitation in 2017 may result in negative visitor experience and impact Canadians’ ability to meaningfully connect with their natural and cultural heritage.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada:

  • Developed an Integrated Promotion and Load Management Program comprised of operational strategies to manage increased traffic, and use strategic messaging (both reactive and proactive) to encourage early trip planning and booking, to balance visitation to capacities and to help shape visitors’ behaviours after arrival;
  • Conducted extensive training in the areas of marketing, social media and media for partners, students and staff; and
  • Led 89 quality visitor experience training sessions reaching 1,400 Parks Canada staff with a focus on: welcoming new (first time) visitors; understanding Canada 150 activities and events; managing crowds and capacity issues; and free entry.
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

Development pressures may affect Parks Canada’s ability to maintain the integrity of its ecosystems and cultural resources.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada:

  • Undertook ecological restoration projects to build ecosystem resilience;
  • Participated in external development related processes, including environmental assessments; and
  • Engaged local and national authorities, and partner groups to reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of development projects on the ecological or commemorative integrity of existing heritage places, when development occurs nearby or is adjacent to heritage places.
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 Peoples’ Reconciliation

There is a risk that Parks Canada’s actions towards reconciliation may not fully satisfy both the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples and other Canadians.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada:

  • Continued to implement Indigenous rights in Parks Canada places and establish cooperative management structures with Indigenous groups at Parks Canada places;
  • Continued to work at heritage places across the system to reach mutually acceptable agreements with Indigenous peoples on the implementation of rights through processes such as comprehensive land claims and self-government negotiations;
  • Worked with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to promote and grow Indigenous experiences in regions across the country; and
  • Continued to expand and ensure the presentation and commemoration of Indigenous histories and cultures by integrating views, history and heritage into Parks Canada heritage places and programs.
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

Environmental Forces Adaptation and Response

Parks Canada’s heritage places may be vulnerable to environmental forces including changes to climate (global warming, increased sea levels), physical environment (air quality, water quality, ocean acidification and connectivity), biodiversity (ecosystem processes, increased number of species at risk, hyperabundant species and invasive species) and habitat loss. Environmental forces also impact the timing 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 their safety, health, welfare, property or environment.

Due to the rapid change in climate experienced in many parts of the world, but particularly noticeable in the extreme northern regions of Canada, Parks Canada may not be able to ensure the conservation of all cultural resources under its responsibility. The commemorative integrity of certain national historic sites may be impacted as cultural resources and related heritage value are threatened by rapid and unpredictable environmental changes.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada continued its efforts to plan for the potential impacts of climate change through three initiatives. The Agency expanded on its series of regional scientific reports summarizing the evolution of climate conditions at heritage places and the potential impacts that forecasted changes may cause with the launch of a set of more detailed site-specific reports. Agency scientists continued to co-lead 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. Parks Canada also continued to co-lead tri-national Canada—Mexico—United States projects, including one to enhance understanding of carbon storage and fluxes in coastal ecosystems (known as blue carbon), and another working on tools to help marine protected areas adapt to climate change.

In addition, as part of its Conservation and Restoration Program, Parks Canada undertook 45 ecological restoration projects in 33 sites focused on improving ecological integrity and advancing towards recovery targets for priority species at risk.

The Agency also led a series of five Climate Change and Cultural Heritage Adaptation workshops in five heritage places. This work resulted in the development of best practices for monitoring cultural resources, which can be applied at heritage places experiencing or vulnerable to impacts of climate change.

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. In the fiscal year 2017-18, Waterton Lakes National Park activated their business continuity plan in response to the Kenow fire. The effective implementation of the plan is significantly attributed to the table exercise conducted in November 2016.

Built Asset Condition and Long-term Sustainability

The overall condition of Parks Canada’s asset portfolio valued at approximately $24.8 billion has been in decline for years. This deterioration has slowed since 2014 as a result of an unprecedented investment of approximately $3.6 billion by the Government of Canada. The Agency’s Investment Plan 2015-16 to 2019-20 summarizes these planned investments and the concrete actions taken to position and prepare the Agency to deliver this substantial infrastructure renewal program. Parks Canada’s 2018 Asset Report Card reports that 40 percent of the Agency’s built assets were in poor to very poor condition, an improvement over the previous year's report of 46 percent.

However, 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 a key risk for the Agency. The lack of funding required to maintain its more than 16,000 built assets puts the Agency at risk of not being able to fulfill its mandate. For example, this is inhibiting the Agency’s ability to maintain its built heritage portfolio thereby risking the loss of significant and irreplaceable examples of Canada’s cultural heritage. Similarly, Parks Canada’s limited means to invest in aging visitor facilities is limiting the Agency’s ability to deliver and evolve Parks Canada programs and services so that more Canadians are able to experience their national parks and learn more about the environment and their heritage, not only today, but into the future.

To mitigate this risk in 2017-18, Parks Canada continued to make progress on a sustainable asset plan to protect cultural heritage and support program delivery for the long term. Specifically, the Agency undertook a National Asset Review resulting in an updated inventory of assets and portfolio valuation. Frameworks and tools were developed to help in prioritizing built assets for recapitalization, and third-party experts were engaged to support and validate analysis required for development of the plan. The Agency also continued to make improvements to its national asset information system to ensure that comprehensive, accurate and timely information on assets is available to support decision making at all levels of the organization.

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. Other outdoor tourism organizations are adapting more quickly than the Agency to the changing needs and expectations of visitors (e.g., offering more diverse accommodations, amenities such as Wi-Fi and new activities, and integrating sales systems).

To maintain its relevance and appeal to Canadians, the Agency continued to attract new audiences and influence them to visit its places by undertaking outreach, engagement and promotional activities. To further raise its profile, the Agency leveraged key anniversaries, and offered enhanced programming, special events and other promotions this past year to encourage Canadians to visit and experience their heritage places. Targeted investments helped to diversify and renew visitor experience opportunities and related infrastructure to keep pace with new technologies and public expectations of new, innovative experiences. These ongoing efforts to connect Canadians with their natural and cultural heritage enable the Agency to continue fulfilling its role in the tourism industry and as an economic contributor to local communities.

With free admission, there was potential for increased visitation at popular Parks Canada locations across the country in 2017, as Canadians would be planning on marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation. To mitigate this risk and prepare for increased levels of visitation, Parks Canada developed an integrated promotion and load management program. This program helped to manage increased traffic, using strategic messaging in all communications, to encourage early trip planning and booking, to balance visitation to capacities and to shape visitors’ behaviours after arrival. As a result, Parks Canada was able to continue providing high quality visitor experiences, while at the same time protecting ecological and commemorative integrity. Visitation at high-traffic places such as Banff and Jasper national parks rose only three percent, while visitation at national historic sites, most of which had available capacity, rose 22 percent. Moreover, overall visitor satisfaction actually increased during Parks Canada’s busiest year ever.

Parks Canada also launched a new Incident Event Management system for human-wildlife conflict and hired additional staff to track and reduce human-wildlife conflict. This proactive approach helped prevent some of the anticipated risks associated with higher visitation levels during Canada 150 celebrations from materializing. This new system was used to assign and document operational responses to human-wildlife incidents and proactive management actions taken to prevent human-wildlife conflict.

External Development Pressures

Parks Canada’s efforts to fulfill its responsibilities related to the ecological integrity of national parks, ecological sustainability use of national marine conservation areas and the commemorative integrity of national historic sites are 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 loss or impairment of the ecological and cultural values of heritage places, impacts on species at risk and a diminished sense of connection to place.

As the most significant sources of these pressures originate from outside Parks Canada lands, collaboration with other federal departments, provinces and territories, Indigenous groups, industry, local communities, landowners and other stakeholders in the conservation of heritage places is essential to help the Agency fulfill its mandate.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada worked with a number of partners on more than 10 major project or regional assessment projects including: participating in land use planning initiatives with the Alberta and Nunavut governments to ensure that our protected heritage places are clearly identified and that broader ecosystem issues are considered; engaging in the Nunavut Impact Review Board's Strategic Environmental Assessment for Baffin Bay and Davis Straight which will assess the potential for offshore oil and gas activities in the area; and working with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador to develop a joint federal/provincial land use management committee to renew protocols for advising Parks Canada of resource extraction and development project proposals around Gros Morne National Park and to consider potential impacts to the World Heritage Site’s Outstanding Universal Value.

In response to the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations and to ensure that Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site remains a treasured place with Outstanding Universal Value for generations to come, the Agency began work on developing an action plan in collaboration with Indigenous partners, other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders.

Parks Canada continued to play a lead role in the Pathway to Canada Target 1 and established strong connections with provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations. In the past year, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers signed a Declaration to use a common approach to conserve 17 percent of terrestrial lands and freshwater and to manage them effectively and equitably.

Indigenous Peoples Reconciliation

Parks Canada’s actions towards reconciliation may not fully satisfy the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples and other Canadians. Identified actions must be implemented in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples and be respectful of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and specifically Call to Action 79. Furthermore, in anticipation of the significant efforts of the government to address reconciliation, Indigenous groups and communities may not possess sufficient resources to respond to the increase in requests for engagement and consultation. Parks Canada will be required to work with other federal departments to ensure that engagement and consultation is undertaken in a coordinated manner.

To mitigate this risk in 2017-18, Parks Canada continued to implement Indigenous rights in Parks Canada places and establish cooperative management structures with Indigenous groups at more than 30 Parks Canada places. The Agency continued to work at heritage places across the system to reach mutually acceptable agreements with Indigenous peoples on the implementation of rights through processes such as comprehensive land claims and self-government negotiations. In the context of Pathway to Canada Target 1, and through the work of the Indigenous Circle of Experts, the Agency explored the concept of Indigenous Protected Conservation Areas where Indigenous peoples lead in protecting and conserving ecosystems and culture through Indigenous laws, governance and knowledge systems. Parks Canada continued to expand and ensure the presentation and commemoration of Indigenous histories and cultures by integrating views, history and heritage into Parks Canada heritage places and programs. In 2017-18, twelve special National Indigenous Peoples’ Day events were held in Parks Canada places. The Agency also entered into a four-year contribution agreement with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to enhance and grow authentic Indigenous experiences in regions across the country.

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

2017-18 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 2018
Results

In 2017-18, Parks Canada continued to advance the Government of Canada’s priority to expand the national parks system and increase the protection of Canada’s marine and coastal areas. The Agency made demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks and national marine conservation areas in unrepresented regions.

National Park Establishment

Expanding the Systems

  • Bruce Peninsula National Park expanded by 1,325 hectares which includes dozens of ecologically, geologically and culturally significant cave systems and is home to at least 10 federally listed species at risk
  • The proposed Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area will be the largest protected area ever established in Canada and contributes to the achievement of Canada’s commitment to protect 5 percent of marine and coastal areas by 2017

In 2017-18, Parks Canada planned to advance national park proposals in two unrepresented regions:

  • Northwestern Boreal Uplands: The Agency made demonstrable progress towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the Thaidene Nëné area located in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake of the Northwest Territories. Negotiations with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Lutsël K’e Dene First Nation and Northwest Territory Métis Nation continued during 2017-18 and are close to completion.
  • Interior Dry Plateau: In 2017-18, Parks Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Syilx/Okanagan Nation announced re-engagement on a proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan.

In addition, Parks Canada engaged the Government of Manitoba in discussions on the idea of a national park in the Manitoba Lowlands natural region. These discussions included the work entailed in a feasibility assessment.

National Marine Conservation Area Establishment

In 2017-18, Parks Canada planned to advance national marine conservation area proposals in two unrepresented regions:

  • Lancaster Sound: In August 2017, the Governments of Canada and Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) together announced an agreement on the final boundary and interim protection of the new Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area. Negotiations for an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement with the QIA and development of an interim management plan have begun.
  • Strait of Georgia: Significant progress has been made in establishing relationships with the 19 First Nations and engaging stakeholders on the Southern Strait of Georgia national marine conservation area proposal.

Additional work was undertaken to complete an accord between the Governments of Canada and Quebec for a marine protected area network, including Magdalen Islands. Parks Canada and the Cree Nation Government have developed a draft memorandum of understanding for a feasibility assessment for a national marine conservation area in Eastern James Bay.

Rouge National Urban Park

  • 19 times larger than Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and 23 times bigger than New York’s Central Park
  • Within one hour’s drive of seven million people and accessible by public transit and a free shuttle service

National Urban Park Establishment

In October 2017, the Government of Ontario transferred 6.5 square kilometres of land to Parks Canada for inclusion in the park. Once fully established, Rouge National Urban Park will span 79.1 square kilometres in the heart of Canada's largest and most diverse metropolitan area, overlapping the cities of Toronto, Markham and Pickering and the Township of Uxbridge.

Designation and Commemoration of Heritage Places, Persons and Events

2017-18 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

Plaques Unveiled

Examples include:

National Historic Sites:

  • Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site (Gjoa Haven, Nunavut)
  • Moose Factory Building National Historic Site (Moose Factory, Ontario)

National Historic Events:

  • National Hockey League National Historic Event (Montreal, Quebec)
  • Second Battle of Ypres National Historic Event (Ypres, Belgium)

National Historic Persons:

  • Wong Foon Sien National Historic Person (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Norman Bethune National Historic Person (Shijiazhuang, China)

Results

Parks Canada exceeded its planned target of 95 percent by reviewing 100 percent of applications received in 2017-18 for eligibility for heritage designation. All eligible subjects were presented to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) for consideration.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada unveiled 121 national historic designation plaques demonstrating significant progress in fulfilling the Government's ambitious goal of unveiling approximately 400 plaques over a period of several years.

Commemorating Indigenous Peoples

In 2017-18, Parks Canada laid the groundwork to implement the Government’s response to Call to Action 79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Call to Action 79 calls for historical commemoration activities, and recognition and acknowledgement of the contributions that Indigenous peoples have made to Canada’s history. Budget 2018 announced $23.9 million over five years to Parks Canada to integrate Indigenous views, history and heritage into the national parks, marine conservation areas and historic sites managed by the Agency.

Parks Canada held two workshops on the commemorative integrity statement (CIS) for the Wrecks of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site in Gjoa Haven in December 2017. One was attended by youth, the other attended by hamlet council members, elders and other invited community members. It was concluded that the CIS should reflect the fundamental role of Inuit in the search for and discoveries of the Franklin wrecks, the interactions between Inuit and the Franklin expedition itself, and the oral histories related to the Franklin expeditions.

Stories of Canada Initiative

Stories of Canada

Aims to encompass best practices in communicating compelling stories to modernize the way Canadians connect with their past.

As part of the Stories of Canada initiative, two stories, the Story of Confederation and the Story of Conservation, were released in 2017 as part of Canada 150 celebrations. Through onsite programming at five pilot places and outreach initiatives in most provinces and territories, this program reached thousands of Canadians during Canada 150. In addition, Parks Canada initiated external consultation on a new framework that will replace the National Historic Sites of Canada System Plan (2000) in fall 2018.

Highlights of Other Designation and Protection Programs

World Heritage:

  • Canada’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites: In December 2017, for the first time since 2004, Canada’s Tentative List was updated to include eight new places for consideration as UNESCO World Heritage sites. As the coordinator of this process, Parks Canada received 42 applications from all levels of government, Indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations, academia and private citizens. A Ministerial Advisory Committee, composed of seven Canadian experts in natural and cultural heritage, conservation and commemoration, reviewed the merit of all applications against World Heritage standards and made recommendations to the Minister.
  • Gros Morne National Park: Parks Canada submitted a State of Conservation report to the World Heritage Committee for Gros Morne National Park World Heritage Site before the December 1, 2017 deadline. The Committee commended the creation of a land use advisory committee with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and requested that Canada follow up concerning the creation of a buffer zone, any potential resource extraction in the vicinity of the park, and future strategic environmental assessment processes.
  • Wood Buffalo National Park: In February 2018, Parks Canada submitted a progress report on the State of Conservation for Wood Buffalo National Park—a milestone in responding to the World Heritage Committee request to take action to ensure the on-going protection of the World Heritage Site’s Outstanding Universal Value.

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 2017-18, the FHBRO received requests to evaluate the heritage value of approximately 163 federal buildings. Seventy-two percent were evaluated within six months of their application. Performance fell short of the Agency's planned target of 95 percent due to the need to allocate resources within the FHBRO in-year to provide support on multiple large scale rehabilitation projects planned within Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct. To improve performance moving forward, FHBRO is taking steps to expedite the evaluation process, including: developing a streamlined approach for benchmark evaluations, and providing training resources to custodian representatives to support the evaluation process.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 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 2018 4 4

(Target: 4 by March 2017)
6

(Target: 4 by March 2016)
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%)
100%

(Target: 95%)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual minus planned)
12,574,855 12,574,855 28,241,647 11,748,501 (826,354)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference (actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
39 62 23

Actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the Heritage Places Establishment Program were 23 FTEs or 59 percent higher than the 2017-18 planned FTEs. This variance was primarily due to a Canada 150 initiative to unveil and install plaques commemorating persons, places, and events of national historic significance, and an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for 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

2017-18 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
Improving Ecological Integrity
  • The maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity is the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of national parks.
  • Parks Canada has established a system-wide integrated ecological monitoring and reporting system, consisting of more than 700 independent scientific measures, to provide information regarding the state of ecological integrity. This program helps informs decision making in national parks, and ensures that resources are directed to priority conservation initiatives. Parks Canada works to ensure that both Indigenous knowledge and contemporary science contribute to this program.
Results

In 2017-18, Parks Canada mostly met its performance target by maintaining or improving 88 percent of its ecological integrity indicators monitored throughout 42 of 46 national parks. Four recently established national parks were not in a position to report as they are in the process of developing monitoring programs and will only be able to report once this work is completed. Given the unpredictable response of ecosystems to management interventions, this is still a significant achievement. Parks Canada is working on refining active management targets for improving ecological integrity and on increasing the impact of these projects. Increased resources for nature conservation in Budget 2018 will also facilitate Parks Canada reaching its 90 percent target. Parks Canada’s national marine conservation areas are not yet in a position to report.

 
Percentage of national park ecosystems with improving, stable or declining ecological integrity in comparison to the results from five years previous
Percentage of national park ecosystems with improving, stable or declining ecological integrity in comparison to the results from five years previous - Text Version
Comparison years Improving Stable Declining
2018 compared to 2013 19% 69% 12%
2017 compared to 2012 13% 75% 12%

Conservation and Restoration Program

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. This year, CoRe projects achieved 64 percent of active management targets, an increase of two percent from 2016-17, and exceeding the CoRe’s planned target of 60 percent. Active management 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. In 2017-18, the Agency undertook 45 restoration projects in 33 sites as part of the CoRe program. Examples include:

  • Thirty-eight percent of eelgrass beds have been recovered by removing over two million invasive European green crabs from Kejimkujik National Park Seaside;
  • Thirteen species at risk were propagated at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. One of those endangered species, deltoid balsam root, increased from only three individuals to 200;
  • Invasive deer were eradicated from target islands in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site so that important cultural plants such as cedar could grow again;
  • The threatened Gulf of St. Lawrence aster was restored to Kouchibouguac National Park;
  • Wildlife ecopassages for turtles, snakes, salamanders and frogs were installed in Bruce Peninsula National Park; and
  • The fishway at Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site was improved to protect endangered copperhorse fish during migration.

For more information please consult A Natural Priority: a Report on Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration Program.

Other Conservation Actions
  • Launched a new Incident Event Management system for human-wildlife conflict and hired additional staff to track and reduce human-wildlife conflict. This proactive approach helped prevent some of the anticipated risks associated with higher visitation levels during Canada 150 celebrations from materializing. This new system was used to assign and document operational responses to human-wildlife incidents and proactive management actions taken to prevent human-wildlife conflict.
  • Managed 5,246 human-wildlife interactions involving 110 species across 35 Parks Canada places from January to October 2017
  • Park wardens issued 6,030 warnings and 1,414 charges related to resource protection, visitor experience, and administrative infractions in protected heritage areas
  • 21 multi-species action plans completed and posted, addressing 174 species at risk occurring across 42 Parks Canada places
  • Held 35 BioBlitz events at Parks Canada places including Kluane, Kejimkujik and the Rouge; providing Canadians a fun and educational way to engage in their natural heritage while helping to maintain the ecological integrity of our places
  • Atlantic Salmon populations in Fundy National Park are recovering thanks to strong partnerships with local groups, Indigenous communities and government agencies
  • 49 additional baby Blanding’s turtles were introduced into the Rouge by Parks Canada and the Toronto Zoo, bringing the total number reintroduced to more than 115 since 2014

Pathway to Canada Target 1

Parks Canada continued to play a lead role in the Pathway to Canada Target 1 and established strong connections with provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations. In the past year, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers signed a Declaration to use a common approach to conserve 17 percent of terrestrial lands and freshwater and to manage them effectively and equitably. The Indigenous Circle of Experts also released a report in March 2018 – We Rise Together – that explores the concept of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and their contribution to conservation outcomes.

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). NMCA managers continue to implement their monitoring programs by testing out measures, collecting data, developing protocols and creating and strengthening partnerships. For instance, Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, working with the Council of the Haida Nation, Fisheries and Ocean Canada, and the Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association, developed and have begun to implement a restoration project that will recover the kelp forest and associated species. This includes the development and implementation of a monitoring protocol to assess effectiveness of the project and report on the health of kelp forests.

National Urban Park Conservation

In June 2017, the Government of Canada passed amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act to make ecological integrity the first priority in park management, while recognizing its important cultural heritage and providing greater certainty for the continuation of agriculture within the park.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada made progress on the development of an ecological integrity monitoring and reporting plan for the Rouge National Urban Park. Parks Canada continued to work with its partners on important ecological restoration and farmland enhancement projects. Ten new restoration projects were initiated and completed in the Little Rouge and West Duffins watersheds. This work brings the total number of restoration projects initiated and completed in Canada’s first national urban park to 41 since 2015. These restoration projects included stream bank and upland forest restoration, water quality improvements through wetland construction, as well as wetland habitat improvement for birds, amphibians and other small mammals – all of which contribute to restoring habitat suitable for important cool and cold water fish species that historically existed in the park. As part of the work, more than 20 hectares of wetlands and riparian and forest habitat were restored, and in collaboration with our partners, more than 33,000 native trees, perennials, shrubs and aquatic plants were planted throughout the park.

National Historic Sites and Heritage Places Conservation

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, archaeological 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.

2017-18 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
Cultural resources of national significance at targeted heritage places are maintained or improved. Number of targeted heritage places where cultural resources of national significance are maintained or improved. 137 By March 2018
Results

In 2017-18, the Agency maintained or improved cultural resources (e.g. objects, archaeological sites) at 135 national historic sites, two heritage lighthouses and eight heritage railway stations, ensuring that their heritage value is protected for the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of present and future generations. This surpassed the Agency's planned target of maintaining or improving cultural resources at 137 heritage places by March 2018.

Cultural Heritage Conservation

In 2017-18, the Parks Canada cultural heritage professionals provided archaeological advice and were involved with over 375 requests to support the protection of cultural resources as well as the Agency’s infrastructure investment projects.

Parks Canada continued to carry out risk assessments which will help inform the development of a strategy for preventive conservation, a cost-effective, evidence-based and sustainable approach to identify and reduce potential hazards to cultural resources.

As a result of conservation work in 2017-18, 93 percent of objects requiring conservation in the Parks Canada collection are now in stable condition. This surpasses the planned target of conserving 90 percent by March 2020.

Parks Canada is in the final stages of developing the Cultural Resource Management Information System. This database will consolidate critical information from multiple sources related to cultural resources to facilitate evidence-based decision making, reporting and presentation. The system is anticipated for roll-out in fall of 2018.

Responding to Climate Change

Sirmilik National Park

  • Working in collaboration with Inuit from Pond Inlet, Parks Canada conducted an archaeological investigation of an Inuit winter sod house at Qaiqsut, an ancient Thule site subject to coastal erosion.
  • The sod house was digitally documented and archaeologically excavated to gain an understanding of how the house was built, why it was built at that location, seasonal consumption patterns and aspects of everyday life. Artifacts included a beautifully preserved ivory comb, a blue seed bead and bone fragments.

Waterton Lakes National Park

  • Following the Kenow Wildfire of September 2017, which burned 38,000 hectares, including 19,303 hectares in Waterton Lakes National Park, an emergency archaeological response was initiated by Terrestrial Archaeology to respond to the immediate asset-related repairs required to re-open the park and townsite.
  • Given many known and previously unknown archaeological sites were impacted, the post-fire archaeological monitoring surveys entailed inventory and condition updates of known archaeological sites, identification and recording of new sites recently exposed due to vegetative loss from fire as well as the documentation of fire effects on archaeological resources and impacts to site significance.

Investment in Parks Canada’s Cultural Heritage Assets

In support of the Government of Canada’s priority to develop Park Canada’s programs and services, the Agency is investing approximately $3.6 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to improve the condition of its contemporary assets, heritage buildings and structures. Investments related to this program are helping to address the loss of irreplaceable built heritage of national historic significance administered by Parks Canada.

2017-18 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

Preservation of Heritage Assets

  • 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
  • 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

With investments in heritage infrastructure of $72 million in 2017-18, 35 percent (151) of the overall target of 433 assets have improved to fair or good.

In 2017-18, 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, stabilization and exterior repairs were carried out on the Banff Park Museum in Alberta while roof and concrete restoration work was completed on several heritage buildings at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site in British Columbia. In Quebec, significant restoration work was undertaken at Maison Maillou National Historic Site to improve the exterior of the building, and at Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site to restore the wood siding on the outer walls of the old wash house.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 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% 88%

(Target: 90%)
90%

(Target: 90%)
Cultural resources of national significance at targeted national historic sites are maintained or improved. Number of targeted national historic sites where cultural resources of national significance are maintained or improved. 137 By March 2018 145 901
(Target: 60 by March 2018)
(On track)
44
(Target: 60 by March 2018)
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 35%

151 out of 4332, 3

(On track)
24%

80 out of 3283

(On track)
14%

45 out of 3283

(On track)
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(actual spending minus Planned spending)
219,566,624 219,566,624 251,588,666 235,372,314 15,805,690

Actual spending for the Heritage Places Conservation Program was $15.8 million or seven percent higher than the 2017-18 planned spending. This variance was primarily due to unplanned operational expenditures incurred for emergency responses to natural disasters and associated health and safety-related costs due to extreme weather and weather-related events.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18 Planned full-time equivalents 2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2017–18
Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
920 1,030 110

Actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the Heritage Places Conservation Program was 110 FTEs or 12 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2017-18. This variance was primarily due to higher than planned FTEs dedicated to emergency responses to natural disasters and associated health and safety-related costs due to extreme weather and weather-related events, and an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for 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.

Reaching Key Audiences: Engagement and Promotional Activities
2017-18 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
As part of Canada 150 Celebrations, Canadians will experience and connect with Parks Canada's administered places through outreach and multimedia initiatives. Increase the reach of Parks Canada’s administered places. 10% March 2018
Description

“Your Free Discovery” campaign

  • 193,000,000 impressions1
  • 568,145 interactions (Urban outreach)
  • 371,995 Facebook followers
  • 67,018 Parks Life Facebook followers
  • 208,373 Twitter followers
  • 115,536 Instagram accounts
1 Impression refers to the number of views – an individual could have viewed on multiple communication platforms (TV, internet, social media) and that would be counted as multiple impressions

The National Survey of Canadians was conducted in early 2018 following the successful Canada 150 celebrations held during 2017. The results of the survey showed that Parks Canada had a strong presence in the hearts and minds of Canadians. Nine in 10 Canadians (90 percent) support Parks Canada’s mandate. This is an 8 point increase compared to 2014. More than 8 in 10 (86 percent) of Canadians are aware of Parks Canada. Moreover, Canadians are developing deeper connections with nature and history with 9 in 10 agreeing with statements such as “parks/sites are meant to be enjoyed by future generations as much as people today” and “parks and sites invoke a sense of pride”.

Parks Canada increased its reach in 2017 by an astounding 1590 percent far surpassing its planned target of 10 percent. This is largely attributable to the “Your Free Discovery” campaign; an integrated communications and marketing campaign that reached millions of Canadians and international visitors. This marketing strategy included efforts to shape the destinations chosen by visitors as well as to promote lesser known / less-visited Parks Canada places (hidden gems) and off-peak visitation (mid-week and shoulder season). A multi-channel approach was used across the network of Parks Canada places to engage with target audiences at the right place and at the right time; enabling Canadians to interact with Parks Canada using their preferred platform.

Minister’s Roundtable Report

Spotlight on Canada 150

Promotional activities reached:
  • 8.5 million free Discovery Passes distributed in Canada and abroad
  • 20% of Canadian households ordered a pass
  • over 2.3 million e-newsletter subscribers
Website redesign:
  • increased user traffic by 54% over 2016 to 18.9 million sessions - making it the 8th most visited website of all Government of Canada websites
Mobile App downloaded:
  • 170,000 times
  • top downloaded Government of Canada app; top 150 downloaded Canadian apps on Apple’s App Store
Google Street View captured:
  • the northernmost Quttinirpaaq National Park with record reach:
    • 43 million views - Canadian Geographic article
    • 1.34 billion views - Google blog
National Call Centre answered:
  • over 107,000 calls in 12 months - a 50% increase
  • 49,000 emails - a 130% increase
Reservation System processed:
  • over 399,000 reservations - a 35% increase
National Geographic Guides sold:
  • 26,586 copies
National Merchandise Program:
  • first of its kind for Government of Canada, with over $1 million in sales -an increase of 64%
  • created new Protecting Wildlife official merchandise collection featuring four of Canada's species at risk: the bison, woodland caribou, beluga and monarch butterfly
  • portion of the proceeds from ParksCanadaShop.ca online sales are used to support conservation efforts

The eighth Minister’s Round Table, “Let’s Talk Parks, Canada!” report was issued in May 2018. The report is the culmination of Canadians’ views and perspectives on their national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas and the future of the Agency. Through online engagement tools, public outreach events, face-to-face meetings and social media, more than 13,000 Canadians and Canadian organizations participated making it the largest and most inclusive round table ever conducted.

The report reaffirms that ecological integrity is the Agency’s first priority in decision making in the management of national parks, underscores the importance of Parks Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, and emphasizes that commemorative integrity is a key part of maintaining and enjoying national historic sites.

Partnerships

Collaboration was key to the success of the 2017 Canada 150 celebrations. In partnership with Canadian Heritage, the lead department responsible for the Canada 150 celebrations, the Agency supported the delivery of Government of Canada programs at Parks Canada places. Parks Canada integrated the Canada 150 look and feel into Parks Canada's brand, while continuing to ensure recognition of its own brand in the Agency's programs, products and communications.

Parks Canada continued its partnership with CIBC and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) to distribute and promote the 2017 Discovery Pass in their branches and stores across Canada. CIBC and MEC, as well as Air Canada contributed to the “Discover Canada” contest.

Throughout the summer of 2017, Parks Canada conducted a virtual reality (VR) pilot using a technology called Google Expeditions, which offers an engaging way to take Canadians on a virtual journey to Parks Canada places. The pilot was possible due to Parks Canada's ongoing collaboration with Google and was conducted at Inspiration Village in Ottawa and at several outreach locations in Vancouver. The aim of this pilot was to both provide an innovative form of programming at a small number of Canada 150 urban outreach venues, as well as to assess the use of VR as part of Parks Canada's urban outreach programs. A total of 3,633 people participated across both pilot locations (1,540 for Inspiration Village, 2,093 for outreach venues in Vancouver).

In February 2018, Parks Canada entered into a four-year contribution agreement with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada with the goal of enhancing and growing authentic Indigenous experiences at Parks Canada places.

Outreach

For Canada 150 celebrations, urban outreach teams in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa-Gatineau targeted young adults, youth and young families to visit Parks Canada places. These teams provided a taste of what it’s like to visit Parks Canada places through public events, festivals, partner venues and consumer trade shows in these key metropolitan areas.

Throughout 2017, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau in her role as Honourary Guide for Families, encouraged families to get out into nature and appreciate the country’s natural and cultural treasures; examples of her work include participating at a Learn-to Camp event on Parliament Hill and launching Canada’s Coolest School Trip which expanded in 2018 to include more grades—grades 7, 8, and 9.

National Campaigns

Connecting Canadians to our places continues to be key in creating the next generation of stewards and enthusiasts of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage. A multi-year national awareness and pride campaign with the tagline “450 000 km2 of memories” was launched in January 2018. It is comprised of ads on the Internet and various social and traditional media platforms, including television, billboards and public transit ads; targeting families and millennials in urban markets. The ad campaign continues to encourage visitation to Parks Canada places, promotes our conservation mandate and fosters pride in Canada's heritage places.

With over 325 million impressions by March 2018 alone, the campaign is contributing to significant increased levels of awareness. The campaign will contribute to maintaining Canadians’ high levels of support for the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places. This campaign will continue through 2019-20.

Digital Engagement

Social Media Campaigns

  • 200 places profiled
  • #ShowUsYourPass - followers were encouraged to post a selfie with their 2017 Discovery Pass
  • #ParksChallenge - followers were challenged to complete a specific activity and post a photo of their accomplishment
  • Rêvez un pays / Dream A Nation - invited Canadians to share their vision for a dream country

Parks Canada continues to grow its social media and digital following across the country and around the world. Reaching new audiences such as urban Canadians, new Canadians and millennials, Parks Canada experienced a surge in use of its digital media in 2017-18, assisting visitors with planning and enjoying their visits. Parks Canada’s social media following across channels now exceeds one million. Visits to digital channels such as the Agency’s website and YouTube channels exceeded a combined 20 million in 2017-18.

Using all digital mediums, Parks Canada promoted “hidden gems”ii (less visited or lesser known places) to help influence visitor behaviour and avoid congestion due to increased visitation during Canada 150, and encouraged visitors to plan ahead with timely digital trip planning information. This promotion resulted in an overall 12 percent increase in visitation at these “hidden gems”.

At the outset of 2017-18, the renewed Parks Canada website was launched to improve the visitor experience and inspire Canadians to better connect and appreciate their national heritage places during Canada 150 and beyond. Highlights of the new website include a new science section and a new visitor safety section. Images were added throughout the site to better reflect the brand, and navigation, and information architectures were updated to provide a more intuitive user experience and greater accessibility, including being fully mobile friendly. These improved services will allow more Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to better access information on Parks Canada places and services.

 
Parks Canada National Mobile App

A new national mobile app was launched in May 2017 providing detailed information on Parks Canada places, events and activities, maps to help plan a trip, as well as interactive features to allow visitors to share their experiences on social media. The app enables the Agency to reach audiences with current information on local offerings and special events in its places.

Parks Canada’s national e-newsletter expanded its subscriber database. The Agency sent subscribers targeted communications to promote less-frequented places, tips to plan ahead and proposed itineraries to appeal to target market segments.

 

Events and celebrations

Events and celebrations

  • Canada 150!
  • Vimy centennial commemoration – events at the Vimy Memorial in France and across Canada, including a hike up Vimy Ridge in Waterton Lakes National Park
  • 100th anniversary of national historic sites
  • Second World War - Battle of Atlantic and Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid
  • Anniversary of the Stanley Cup

Canada 150 programming offered by Parks Canada included the expanded National Indigenous Peoples Day and Canada Day celebrations, as well as being the venue for 17 Canada 150 signature projects, including the Tall Ships Regatta, ParticipACTION, Explore 150, Sesqui and LandMarks2017.

Several other events were held throughout the year including celebrating the 100th anniversary of national historic sites. Each Parks Canada place with a visitor offer delivered a national historic site-branded event to celebrate the centenary. Parks Canada also worked with provincial/territorial governments, historic place owners and administrators and non-governmental organizations to launch the first Canada Historic Places Day. More than 200 national historic sites participated in the inaugural year.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual results 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 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% By March 2018 90% n/a1 n/a1
As part of Canada 150 Celebrations, Canadians will experience and connect with Parks Canada's administered places through outreach and multimedia initiatives. Increase the reach of Parks Canada’s administered places. 10% By March 2018 1590% n/a2 n/a2
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
42,921,405 42,921,405 52,387,825 47,525,588 4,604,183

Actual spending for the Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support Program was $4.6 million or 11 percent higher than the 2017-18 planned spending. This variance was primarily due to additional funding for the development of a national awareness and pride campaign to promote free admission for children under 18 and new Canadian citizens, and to promote visitation.

 
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full time equivalents
2017–18
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
349 402 53

Actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support Program was 53 FTEs or 15 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2017-18. This variance was primarily due to an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for the expansion of the Agency's Youth Employment Strategy.

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.

2017-18 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
As part of Canada 150 celebrations, Canadians and international visitors visit and experience Parks Canada 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
Average percentage of visitors that enjoyed their visit. 90% Annually
Average percentage of visitors that consider that they learned about the natural heritage of the heritage place. 60% Annually
Average percentage of visitors that consider that they learned about the cultural heritage of the national historic site. 85% Annually
Results

2017-18 Visitation Highlights

  • 1 in 5 of all Canadian households own a Discovery Pass
  • Visitation:
    • 22% increase at national historic sites
    • 9% increase at national parks and marine conservation areas
  • Lockage at Heritage Canals increased 25%

In 2017-18, Parks Canada far exceeded its visitation target, welcoming 27.2 million visitors to celebrate Canada 150 and connect with Canada’s environment and history. This was an increase of 10 percent over 2016 and the highest level of visitation Parks Canada has experienced in almost two decades.

All regions of the country saw growth in visitation. Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia welcomed the largest increases in visits. Modest growth overall occurred in Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. An integrated load management program was developed to manage visitation at Parks Canada’s more iconic places which experiences on average higher visitation than other places. As a result, relatively stable visitation was experienced at Banff and Jasper national parks increasing by three percent each.

 
Annual visitation at Parks Canada places between 2001-02 and 2017-18
Visitation 2001-02 to 2017-18
Annual visitation at Parks Canada places between 2001-02 and 2017-18 - Text Version
Annual visitation at Parks Canada places between 2001-02 and 2017-18
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 2017-18
Visitation (Million) 22.4 22.9 23.6 21.9 21.6 22.1 21.8 20.8 20.7 20.2 20.1 20.6 20.7 21.8 23.3 24.7 27.2

About eight in 10 (85 percent) of Canadian visitors felt the place they had visited was meaningful to them, which was right on target. Repeat visitors were more likely to cite feeling a connection to place than first time visitors at both national parks and national historic sites.

Enjoyment and Satisfaction graph

Parks Canada surpassed its performance targets related to enjoyment and satisfaction, despite it being the busiest year ever. More than 9 in 10 Canadian visitors to national parks and national historic sites enjoyed their visit (94 percent) and were satisfied (95 percent).

In 2017-18, the overall results for the learning indicators, far exceeded the targets. The percentage of first-time visitors that consider that they learned about the heritage of the national park was 74 percent and the percentage of first-time visitors that consider that they learned about the cultural heritage of the national historic site was 90 percent.

Visitor Experience – Canada 150

Canada 150 was a key focus for the Agency—from free admission to national parks, national marine conservation areas, and national historic sites as well as free lockage at heritage canals, to enhanced programs and services. The Discovery Pass helped to create an affinity and a sense of loyalty with Parks Canada. It also introduced millions of first-time visitors—engaging with them more deeply on conservation and citizen science and the role protected areas play in addressing climate change, deepening relationships with Indigenous peoples and establishing new partnerships. Inroads were made with new audiences including urban, new Canadians and youth. In addition to the numerous Canada 150 programs and events that were celebrated throughout the year, the Agency delivered an incredible number of programs and special events from BioBlitz activities to Indigenous tourism experiences to events and celebrations.

Enhancements in Visitor Facilities

  • Gender neutral washroom and 24 new oTENTik - Point Pelee National Park
  • Rustic cabins - Fundy National Park
  • Autism-friendly cabin - Berry Hill Campground in Gros Morne National Park

With the creation of hubs in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax in 2017-18, the expanded Learn to Camp Program increased participation 20-fold; from 3,500 participants in 2016 to approximately 75,000 at 500 events. In addition to Learn to Camp events at Parks Canada parks and sites, each hub delivered programming through various outreach activities, festivals and events. The aim of expanding the program is to offer a broader range of activities that help remove barriers so more people can enjoy the outdoors.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada hosted 21 Citizenship Ceremonies that welcomed over 1,000 new Canadian citizens. New citizens were provided with a Discovery Pass, with the aim of strengthening their connection to their new country’s natural and cultural heritage.

Ôasis
Ôasis

Parks Canada piloted two new accommodation products in 2017-18: Ôasis in Fundy National Park and MicrOcube in Riding Mountain and Forillon national parks. Diversifying the accommodation offer is a key means of attracting new market segments (young, urban and diverse), while also gaining segments of the aging population. By pursuing this approach, Parks Canada has created more extraordinary opportunities for visitors to connect with their parks and sites in a positive and sustainable way, for years to come. Other installations are planned for 2018.

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. As a result, the Indigenous Tourism, Experiences, and Storytelling Initiative continues to develop tourism experiences and events in collaboration with, and delivered by Indigenous partners. Over 30 Indigenous experiences and story-telling initiatives have been supported in various parks and sites—creating new opportunities for Indigenous peoples to tell their own stories in their own ways.

Indigenous Experiences

  • “Mawiomi” events celebrating Mi’kmaq culture - Forillon and Kouchibouguac national parks
  • Collaboration with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq on a new exhibit at Fort Anne National Historic Site - better reflects and respects Mi’kmaw perspectives, portrays strong Mi’kmaw characters, and offers visitors a richer appreciation of the importance of the Mi’kmaw story
  • The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Celebration - Forillon National Park
  • Dedicated Indigenous Interpretation space - Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site

Parks Canada continues to explore how best to support Canada’s New Tourism Vision through strategic activities which complement those of other participating departments and agencies. One pillar of that vision is to distinguish Canada as a premier tourism destination through Canada’s national parks. One initiative starting in 2018 was the announcement to provide free admission to youth 17 and under to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. In addition, the enhancements to the Agency’s programs and services initiated during Canada 150 will continue to attract visitation to Parks Canada places.

Parks Canada began development of short-term activities to mark the Canada-China Year of Tourism 2018 through celebrations, and longer-term strategies for receiving increasing numbers of Chinese visitors. For Parks Canada, China is a key foreign market and young urban Chinese-Canadians are a key domestic market.

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 approximately $3.6 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to improve the condition of its contemporary assets, heritage buildings and structures. Investments related to this program are helping to renew visitor facilities.

2017-18 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
 
Results

Visitor Infrastructure Improvements

  • Campground improvements – Prince Edward Island, Riding Mountain and La Mauricie national parks
  • Trail improvements – Signal Hill National Historic Site
  • Day Use Area improvements – Thousands Islands National Park
  • Recapitalization of Ecoscience Building – Terra Nova National Park
  • Visitor access improvements – Cypress Lake and Emmett Lake Roads – Bruce Peninsula National Park
  • Visitor Reception Centre Recapitalization – Port au Choix National Historic Site
  • Improvements to outlying campground roads – Jasper National Park

With investments in visitor infrastructure of $243.2 million in 2017-18, 46 percent (1,233) of the overall target of 2,666 visitor-related assets have improved to fair or good.

In 2017-18, 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.

 
Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual  results 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 Actual  results
As part of Canada 150 celebrations. Canadians and international visitors visit and experience 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 10%
(27,253,380)
6%

(Target: 2%)
7%

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

(Target: 85%)
82%

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

(Target: 90%)
95%

(Target: 90%)
Average percentage of visitors that enjoyed their visit. 90% Annually 94% n/a1 n/a1
Average percentage of visitors that consider that they learned about the natural heritage of the heritage place. 60% Annually 74%2 n/a3 n/a3
Average percentage of visitors that consider that they learned about the cultural heritage of the national historic site. 85% Annually 90%2 n/a3 n/a3
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 46%
1,233 out of 2,6664
(On track)
26%
356 out of 1,322
(On track)
11%
146 out of 1,322
(On track)
 
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities
available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
526,736,042 526,736,042 711,237,476 498,710,716 (28,025,326)

Actual spending for the Visitor Experience Program was $28 million or five percent lower than the 2017-18 planned spending. This variance was primarily due to decreased spending for the Agency’s infrastructure initiatives related to visitor experience assets, partly offset by increased resources dedicated to the maintenance of visitor services and safety due to increased visitation during Canada 150 celebrations.

 
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18
Planned full-time equivalents
2017–18
Actual full-time equivalents
2017–18
Difference
(Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
2,210 2,529 319

Actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the Visitor Experience Program were 319 FTEs or 14 percent higher than planned FTEs in 2017-18. This variance was primarily due to incremental staffing dedicated to the maintenance of visitor services and safety due to increased visitation during Canada 150 celebrations and an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for 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 highwaysiii 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 townsitesiv.

Investment in Heritage Canal, Highway and Townsite Assets

In support of the Government of Canada’s priority to develop Park Canada’s programs and services, the Agency is investing approximately $3.6 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20 to improve the condition of its contemporary assets, heritage buildings and structures. Investments related to this program 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.

2017-18 Plans at a glance
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target
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
 
Results

With capital expenditures of $302.5 million in 2017-18, 44 percent (241) of the overall target of 550 heritage canal, highway and townsite assets have improved to fair or good.

In 2017-18, Parks Canada continued implementing infrastructure investments to improve townsite, highway and canal infrastructure. For example, wastewater facilities were rehabilitated in Elk Island National Park, upgrades were made to water and wastewater systems in Prince Edward Island National Park, improvements were made to Route 132 in Forillon National Park, and Deer Arm Bridge was replaced on Highway 430 in Gros Morne National Park. As well, 64 kilometres of Highway 10 in Wood Buffalo National Park was improved with Budget 2016 funding. Several significant assets were improved on heritage canals including the rehabilitation of the Narrows Lock masonry on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site, the replacement of the Mississauga Lake Dam on the Trent-Severn Waterway, and the rehabilitation of the Kingston Mills Swing Bridge on the Rideau Canal National Historic Site.

 
Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2017–18 Actual  results 2016–17  Actual results 2015–16 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 44%
241 out of 550Results achieved table note 1
(On track)
33%
91 out of 272
(On track)
28%
77 out of 272
(On track)
 
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
436,520,130 436,520,130 549,645,661 351,372,446 (85,147,684)

Actual spending for the Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsite Management Program was $85 million or 20 percent lower than 2017-18 planned spending. This was primarily due to fluctuations in the nature and timing of infrastructure initiatives related to highway and waterway assets.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18 Planned full-time equivalents 2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2017–18
Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
318 333 15

Actual full-time equivalents (FTEs) for the Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsite Management Program were 15 FTEs or five percent higher than planned FTEs in 2017-18. This variance was primarily due to fluctuations in the nature and timing of infrastructure initiatives related to highway and waterway assets.

Information on the Parks Canada Agency’s lower-level programs is available on GC 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

Parks Canada continued to advance and improve the implementation of its 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. Specifically, the Agency undertook another National Asset Review that improved data quality, implemented a new series of applications to enable easy planning and monitoring of legislated asset activities, and developed training solutions to support system users. This enhances the Agency’s ability to utilize the available information to plan and prioritize investment, operational and maintenance activities.

Parks Canada officially implemented an enterprise project management office to serve as the centre of expertise on the policies, processes and governance associated with all aspects of project management, and to provide support and advice to its project management community. The Agency’s project management office has been engaged in the update of its project management framework to ensure compliance with the anticipated TBS directive on project management, and to further strengthen project management practices, processes and controls in the delivery of the Agency’s portfolio of projects.

In addition, year three of the five-year Investment Plan was implemented. The plan highlights priority investments that align to the priorities of Canadians, Parks Canada and the Government, outlines upcoming projects and considers the assessed capacity of the Agency to manage those projects.

Human Resources Management Services

Parks Canada continued the enhancement of its human resources service delivery model in support of public service renewal by introducing additional innovative staffing flexibilities which included student bridging and pre-retirement deployment policies. These flexibilities will provide the Agency the opportunity to retain top talent and ensure the transfer of corporate knowledge.

To help the Agency deliver on Canada 150, student hires and rehires as well as acting assignments were streamlined using automated capabilities (E-Services), which further incorporated more timely access to the tools and resources sought by hiring managers.

Student recruitment, in support of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, reached an all-time high for the Agency in 2017-18. Using a national campaign targeting new student hires, the Agency successfully hired an additional 1,484 new students under the Green Jobs and Young Canada Works initiatives, for a total of 2,552 students.

Recognizing the need to have the right talent in the right place at the right time, the Agency advanced several initiatives including an integrated performance and talent management process for PCX using the public service’s Executive Talent Management System. A cross functional advisory group was established that validated core and management competencies for the Agency. In addition, competency profiles were developed for park and site managers and will be piloted in 2018-19. Learning strategies were expanded upon to include an internal Community of Practice for Learning, a mandatory training placemat tied to the Agency’s Orientation Portal on ParksNet, and a system to efficiently track the completion of mandatory training.

While government-wide modernization initiatives in support of public service renewal, such as MYGCHR, remain suspended, the Agency made significant strides in supporting pay transformation. In partnership with Public Service and Procurement Canada, the Agency established a Compensation Collaboration Team that was responsible for administering pay for seasonal staff, temporary staff and students during the Canada 150 operational season in order to meet business needs and support employees.

In support of the Clerk’s commitment to the mental health and well-being of our workforce, the Agency continued to foster workplace health by providing its employees with complimentary online training and resources as part of the Wellness Hub on ParksNet. Monthly communications quickly evolved into a monthly Wellness Newsletter that has been shared through e-mail, print, and on ParksNet.

Financial Management Services

In 2017-18, Parks Canada continued to develop financial standards, tools and processes to foster an enterprise approach to financial management. Financial systems continued to be automated and streamlined to increase consistency, reporting and standardization. Internal communications and leadership were key to implementing these changes and fostering support within the finance community on all aspects of the Agency’s financial matters.

Information Management (IM) Services

Parks Canada began deploying an enterprise collaboration tool to help team members create, share, save, and access information. The Agency’s IM Team continued to promote sound information management practices to help ensure that information resources of business value can be retrieved and used as needed.

At the same time, Parks Canada continued its project to include its paper-based information resources of business value on GCDOCS.

The Agency continued to expand its commitment to the Action Plan on Open Government. Moving forward, Parks Canada plans to share more digital data records than ever before.

Information Technology Services

Parks Canada completed its data centre move with Shared Services Canada (SSC).

The Agency began implementing its strategic upgrade of network infrastructure with SSC. This will support migration to the Government of Canada email platform (canada.ca) and help ensure connectivity for business-critical applications.

The Agency began deploying enterprise tools to help team members collaborate, track their work, and reduce the time needed to report on progress.

Parks Canada continued to renew its business applications. Parks Canada’s Application Portfolio Health Indicator (APHI) score is 46 percent more than double the TBS standard (20 percent). The Agency completed the Business Continuity Plan for one of its two mission-critical applications. The second is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Real Property Services

In 2017-18, Parks Canada continued to advance the renewal of its Real Property Framework to ensure a standardized approach to the management of real property, business licensing, special event permitting and staff housing. This review is intended to modernize many of its internal guiding documents and tools that date back to the 1990s or earlier.

In addition, the Agency continued implementation of the National Integrated Realty System with ongoing training of realty staff across country which is expected to be completed in 2018-19.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending
(authorities used)
2017–18
Difference
(Actual spending minus Planned spending)
150,584,014 150,584,014 176,099,728 172,303,245 21,719,231

Actual spending for the Internal Services Program was $21.7 million or 14 percent higher than planned spending. This variance was primarily due to increased resources for internal services to support the Agency’s infrastructure initiatives, to support increased visitation during Canada 150 celebrations, and to support and address issues related to the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative (Phoenix).

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2017–18 Planned full-time equivalents 2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2017–18
Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus Planned full-time equivalents)
1,073 1,226 153

Actual full-time equivalents (full-time equivalentss) for the Internal Services Program were 153 full-time equivalentss or 14 percent higher than planned full-time equivalentss in 2017-18. This variance was primarily due to higher than planned full-time equivalentss to support the Agency’s infrastructure initiatives, an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy, and an increase in personnel dedicated to support and address issues related to the Transformation of Pay Administration Initiative (Phoenix).

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 2015-16 to 2017-18, spending represents expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts. For the period from 2018-19 to 2020-21, the planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the Agency’s Strategic Outcome. Sunsetting 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 
Agency Spending Trend Graph (thousands of dollars) - Text Version
Agency Spending Trend Graph (thousands of dollars)
  2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
Sunset Programs - Anticipated - - - 2,631 3,388 3,618
Statutory 197,744 198,981 151,411 187,782 187,767 183,690
Voted 838,386 992,712 1,165,622 1,284,745 1,396,350 480,600
Total 1,036,130 1,191,693 1,317,033 1,475,158 1,587,505 667,908

The increase in expenditures and planned spending over six years (2015-16 to 2020-21) is primarily due to investments of approximately $3.6 billion in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas for infrastructure initiatives related to heritage, tourism, highway and waterway assets. This time-limited infrastructure funding ends in 2019-20, which explains the significant decrease in planned spending in 2020-21.

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

 
Budgetary performance summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)
Programs and Internal Services 2017–18
Main Estimates
2017–18
Planned spending
2018–19
Planned spending
2019–20
Planned spending
2017–18 Total authorities available for use 2017–18
Actual  spending (authorities used)
2016–17 Actual spending (authorities used) 2015–16
Actual  spending (authorities used)
1.1 Heritage Places Establishment 12,574,855 12,574,855 27,146,888 17,126,715 28,241,647 11,748,501 13,888,477 17,719,496
1.2 Heritage Places Conservation 219,566,624 219,566,624 217,349,087 236,176,106 251,588,666 235,372,314 177,801,510 163,462,332
1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support 42,921,405 42,921,405 47,847,685 44,118,721 52,387,825 47,525,588 44,968,472 40,743,143
1.4 Visitor Experience 526,736,042 526,736,042 587,849,852 559,499,056 711,237,476 498,710,716 490,888,796 400,413,772
1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management 436,520,130 436,520,130 437,624,536 575,000,651 549,645,661 351,372,446 310,375,764 272,412,103
Subtotal 1,238,319,056 1,238,319,056 1,317,818,048 1,431,921,249 1,593,101,275 1,144,729,565 1,037,923,019 894,750,846
Internal Services 150,584,014 150,584,014 154,709,044 152,195,566 176,099,728 172,303,245 153,770,032 141,379,561
Total 1,388,903,070 1,388,903,070 1,472,527,092 1,584,116,815 1,769,201,003 1,317,032,810 1,191,693,051 1,036,130,407

The planned spending of $1,388.9 million represents the Agency’s 2017-18 Main Estimates and reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the Agency’s programs. The actual spending of $1,317 million reflects the Agency’s expenditures as reported in the 2017-18 Public Accounts. Actual spending was $71.9 million (or five percent) lower than planned spending primarily due to fluctuations in the nature and timing of infrastructure initiatives related to heritage, tourism, visitor, highway and waterway assets.

The increase in authorities available for use was primarily due to unspent funds from 2016-17 available for use in 2017-18, and one-time funding received in-year to cover operational expenditures incurred for emergency responses to natural disasters and associated health and safety-related costs due to extreme weather and weather-related events.

Actual human resources

Human resources summary for Programs and Internal Services (full time equivalents)
Programs and Internal Services 2015–16 Actual full-time equivalents 2016–17 Actual full-time equivalents 2017–18 Planned full-time equivalents 2017–18 Actual full-time equivalents 2018–19 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents
1.1 Heritage Places Establishment 50 49 39 62 39 39
1.2 Heritage Places Conservation 873 945 920 1,030 913 913
1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support 335 370 349 402 348 348
1.4 Visitor Experience 2,064 2,219 2,210 2,529 2,151 2,147
1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management 291 324 318 333 317 318
Subtotal 3,613 3,907 3,836 4,356 3,768 3,765
Internal Services 1,030 1,107 1,073 1,226 1,072 1,072
Total 4,643 5,014 4,909 5,582 4,840 4,837
The Agency’s planned full-time equivalents (FTEs) reflects approved funding by the Treasury Board to support the Agency's programs. In 2017-18, the Agency used 5,582 FTEs, which were 673 FTEs or 14 percent higher than what was planned. The increase in FTEs was primarily due to higher than planned FTEs to support the Agency’s infrastructure initiatives, incremental staffing dedicated to ensuring visitor services and safety during Canada 150 celebrations, and an increase in the number of students as a result of additional funding received for the expansion of the Agency’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Expenditures by vote

For information on the Parks Canada Agency’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2017–18.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of the Parks Canada Agency’s spending with the Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in the GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

The Parks Canada Agency’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018, are available on the Agency’s website.

Financial statements highlights

The following condensed financial statements are prepared on an accrual basis of accounting which aligns the consumption of resources with services provided rather than reporting on the use of authorities. Note 3a of the financial statements provides a reconciliation between the two types of accounting.

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial information 2017–18
Planned
results
2017–18
Actual results
2016–17
Actual results
Difference (2017–18 Actual results minus 2017–18 Planned results) Difference (2017–18 Actual results minus 2016–17 Actual results)
Total expenses 715,295,000 878,413,000 799,899,000 163,118,000 78,514,000
Total revenues 81,000,000 100,787,000 144,583,000 19,787,000 (43,796,000)
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 634,295,000 777,626,000 655,316,000 143,331,000 122,310,000
Expenses

Actual over planned: Expenses were $163.1 million higher than planned (planned: $715.3 million; actual $878.4 million). This was primarily due to increased expenditures incurred for emergency responses to natural disasters and associated health and safety-related costs due to extreme weather and weather-related events. It was also due to increased expenditures for visitor services and safety related to increased visitation during Canada 150 celebrations, for the expansion of the Agency's Youth Employment Strategy, and for repair, maintenance and amortization of infrastructure.

Actual year over year: Expenses increased by $78.5 million ($878.4 million in 2017-18; $799.9 million in 2016-17). This was primarily due to increased expenditures incurred for emergency responses to natural disasters and associated health and safety-related costs due to extreme weather and weather-related events, for visitor services and safety due to increased visitation during Canada 150 celebrations, for the expansion of the Agency's Youth Employment Strategy and for increased infrastructure investments.

Revenues

Actual over planned: Revenues were $19.8 million higher than planned (planned: $81.0 million; actual $100.8 million) primarily due to increased revenues related to accommodation, and leases and licenses of occupation.

Actual year over year: Revenues decreased by $43.8 million ($100.8 million in 2017-18; $144.6 million in 2016-17) primarily due to the free admission for all visitors to Canada’s national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites in 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as at March 31, 2018 (dollars)
Financial Information 2017–18 2016–17 Difference
(2017–18 minus
2016–17)
Total net liabilities 283,274,000 262,885,000 20,389,000
Total net financial assets 210,053,000 194,475,000 15,578,000
Departmental net debt 73,221,000 68,410,000 4,811,000
Total non-financial assets 3,246,657,000 2,772,111,000 474,546,000
Departmental net financial position 3,173,436,000 2,703,701,000 469,735,000

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 $4.8 million, largely due to increased environmental liabilities.

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 $469.7 million ($3,173.4 million in 2017-18; $2,703.7 million in 2016-17) was largely due to investments in tangible capital assets.

Supplementary information

Corporate information

Organizational profile

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

Institutional Head: Daniel Watson, Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial Portfolio: Environment and Climate Change

Enabling Instruments: 

Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 1998

Reporting framework

The Parks Canada Agency Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture of record for 2017–18 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 lower level programs is available on the GC Infobase.

Supplementary information tables

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

  • Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
  • Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more
  • Evaluations
  • Fees
  • Internal audits
  • Response to parliamentary committees and external audits
  • Status report on projects operating with specific Treasury Board approval

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. 
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 Results Report (Rapport sur les résultats ministériels)
A report on an appropriated department’s 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.
experimentation (expérimentation)
Activities that seek to explore, test and compare the effects and impacts of policies, interventions and approaches, to inform evidence-based decision-making, by learning what works and what does not.
gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) (analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS+])
An analytical approach used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that the gender-based analysis goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability. Examples of GBA+ processes include using data disaggregated by sex, gender and other intersecting identity factors in performance analysis, and identifying any impacts of the program on diverse groups of people, with a view to adjusting these initiatives to make them more inclusive.
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 departments are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.
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.
plan (plan)
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.
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.
priority (priorité)
A plan or project 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) or Departmental Results.
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.
result (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.