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Table of contents

Parks Canada 2019 Departmental Results Report

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parks Canada Agency, 2020.

  • Catalogue No. : R61-108E-PDF
  • ISSN 2561-1526

 

Minister’s message

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, P.C., M.P.
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 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, which outlines the Agency’s many achievements in the delivery of its mandate.

As the 2019–20 reporting period was coming to a close, the world faced the immense challenge of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As Canada responded, the tremendous health and wellness benefits that come from being outdoors and in nature were widely recognized. These unprecedented times have demonstrated more than ever the importance of Parks Canada’s role in protecting Canada's natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places with Canadians.

In addition to providing a wealth of incredible experiences, the network of protected areas in Canada plays an important role in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems, and contributing to the recovery of species at risk.

The Government of Canada is committed to conservation and to expanding the system of protected areas, which contributes to Canada’s target to protect 25% of land and inland waters and 25% of marine and coastal areas by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030.

During this reporting period, Parks Canada directly contributed to these goals by advancing work to create new national parks and national marine conservation areas. Highlights from this reporting period include the following achievements:

  • Establishment of Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve, an area of great cultural importance to Indigenous peoples who have lived along the shores of Great Slave Lake for hundreds of generations;
  • Signing of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area and interim protection of Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area;
  • Signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Government of British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation for the establishment of a proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen;
  • Signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Cree Nation Government to launch a feasibility assessment for a National Marine Conservation Area in Eastern James Bay;
  • Launching a joint feasibility study with the province of Quebec to evaluate the potential for a Marine Protected Area in the Îles de la Madeleine; and,
  • Launching a joint feasibility assessment with the PEI Mi’kmaq First Nations for a national marine conservation area in Pitaweikek (the Hog Island Sandhills).

In addition to these important achievements, Canada continued work to implement a multi jurisdictional action plan to ensure protection of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site. The plan, developed in consultation with 11 Indigenous organizations and with provincial and territorial partners, lays out more than 140 actions to ensure the World Heritage Site remains a treasured place with Outstanding Universal Value for generations to come. In 2019, the World Heritage Committee commended the actions that have been taken to strengthen the protection and management of the site, including the Government of Canada’s significant investment of $27.5 million through Budget 2018 to support the development and early implementation of the Action Plan.

The Government is committed to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, collaboration and partnership. Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving natural and cultural heritage. I am particularly proud of collaboration between Parks Canada and Indigenous communities and organizations in various on-the-ground conservation activities, such as species recovery and habitat restoration, as well as the following activities:

  • Signing a memorandum of understanding with the Inuit Heritage Trust to share ownership of artifacts that continue to be discovered from the wrecks of the historic Franklin expedition – HMS Erebus and HMS Terror;
  • Entering into an agreement with the Timiskaming First Nation to co-manage and share ownership of the Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site, agreeing to better reflect 6,500 years of Indigenous land use and occupation in Obadjiwan and the surrounding area of Lake Temiskaming; and,
  • Joining with the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Province of Alberta in celebrating the inscription of Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi, a sacred place for Blackfoot peoples and the greatest concentration of rock art on the Great Plains of North America, as the newest UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada.

I am honoured to be the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and look forward to many more accomplishments in the coming years. I encourage all Canadians to fully experience their magnificent national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas and learn more about our environment and rich histories.

Original signed by
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

President & Chief Executive Officer’s message

Ron Hallman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada Agency

I am pleased to submit the 2019–20 Departmental Results Report, which demonstrates Parks Canada's many accomplishments during this period.

In the delivery of its mandate, Parks Canada is proud to collaborate with Indigenous partners, local and regional residents and stakeholders, visitors past and present, and with interested people and parties from across the country. Together, we protect Canada's natural and cultural heritage and strengthen the connection that Canadians have to these special places.

We acknowledge that the lands and waters on which we all live, work and care for are the ancestral territories and homelands of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. We continue to honour Indigenous connections by working with Indigenous peoples to continue or renew practices on the lands and waters that Indigenous peoples have been stewarding since time immemorial. The work we do aims to honour Indigenous relationships, connections and histories with these places.

Investments of $15 million annually in Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) program are helping to strengthen our work with Indigenous peoples. Across the country, these conservation projects are weaving together Indigenous and scientific knowledge systems to conserve biodiversity, contribute to the recovery of species at risk, and build ecosystem resilience in response to climate change. Some projects include:

  • Bring Back the Boreal in collaboration with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia to restore forest health in Cape Breton Highlands National Park;
  • Tiny Tundra together with Inuit and the community of Resolute Bay to improve critical caribou habitat in Qausuittuq National Park;
  • Chiix̱uu Tll iinasdll – Nurturing Seafood to Grow to restore the kelp forests of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation and other partners; and,
  • This year Parks Canada celebrated the transfer of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority lands to Rouge National Urban Park. With this milestone, Parks Canada now directly manages almost 95% of lands identified for the Rouge, which officially makes officially makes it North America’s largest urban park.

We have also taken steps to protect and commemorate the rich heritage we share in Canada. We were proud to unveil a new Framework for History and Commemoration: National Historic Sites System Plan (2019), developed in consultation with numerous organizations and individuals within the heritage community, including Indigenous cultural experts, and Canadians across the country. The Framework represents a new way of sharing the stories of Canada – one where all perspectives are represented, including the difficult periods of our past and ensuring the history and voices of Indigenous peoples are incorporated at heritage places administered by Parks Canada.

With 171 national historic sites, 47 national parks, one national urban park, and 5 national marine conservation areas, the vast network of protected areas administered by Parks Canada is a gateway to nature, history, and 450 000 km² of memories from coast to coast to coast. Parks Canada provides nearly 25 million visitors a year with high-quality and meaningful experiences.

Encouraging families and youth to connect with nature and learn about Canada’s history, Parks Canada offers free admission across its system of national heritage places to new Canadian citizens for one year and to all youth 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover and connect with incredible nature and fascinating history in Canada, we can inspire the next generation of stewards for these national treasures.

On the international stage, Parks Canada was proud to contribute to increasing Canada’s international engagement and assistance by sending fire personnel to assist Australia in battling their devastating wildfires. As the only federal organization with operational wildfire resources to contribute to a Canadian response for support, Parks Canada sent 13 wildland fire management specialists to Australia for 31 to 38-day deployments.

Closer to home, like all levels of government, Canadians across the country and people around the world, Parks Canada was faced with the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic during the last month of this reporting period. It was a period of rapid change and rapid action by the Parks Canada team to rise to the challenge of limiting the spread of COVID-19 and helping to flatten the curve. Together, we accomplished things that have never been done before. Beyond carrying on with the critical tasks performed by our organization each and every day, Parks Canada also made significant donations of PPE to support frontline workers and had several employees accept short term assignments to assist with the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 response. Parks Canada anticipates that the pandemic may have impacts on the achievement of its planned results for 2020–21 and will take the pandemic and other drivers into account as it reviews performance targets for 2021–22.

As the President & CEO of Parks Canada, I am extremely proud of the work of our team members every day.

Original signed by
Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer,
Parks Canada Agency

Results at a glance and operating context

 
Results at a glance - Infographic
Results at a glance - Text Version
Section Indicator Description and Results
Visitation 24.9 million people visited Parks Canada places
Learn-to Camp 110,000 Participants coast-to-coast-to-coast
Visitation management success: Hidden Gems campaign In 2019–20 visitation to national parks increased by…(compared to 2016–17)
4% increase overall
1% increase at Mountain Parks*
8% increase at all other national parks
*(including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier)
Reconciliation 34 Places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices
Cooperative Management Establishment of the 14,305 km2 Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve cooperatively managed by Parks Canada, the Government of the NWT and the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation
International Year of Indigenous Languages +160 Examples celebrating International Year of Indigenous Languages at Parks Canada places across the country!
Cultural Heritage 5% Increase in the number of cultural resources in Parks Canada’s care that are safeguarded (target 90% by 2021–22) 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
The 100th lighthouse was protected under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act
3,216 Designations of people, places, events of importance formally recognized
Natural Heritage Establishment 79% terrestrial regions represented in the national parks system (target 84% by 2019–20)
21% marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system (target 31% by 2019–20)
Established in 2019
Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve: Northwestern Boreal Uplands Natural Region
Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area: Northeastern region of Nunavut
Conservation 86% national park ecosystems where ecological integrity was maintained or improved (target 92% by 2022–23)
55 Conservation and Restoration Program (CoRe)projects
+60 Species at Risk Recovery Projects

  • Established one new national marine conservation area - Tallurutiup Imanga - and one new national park reserve - Thaidene Nene - and reached significant milestones in other establishment efforts.

  • Furthered positive relationships with Indigenous peoples in and around protected heritage areas:
    • Signed an agreement to establish a trust to co-own and co-manage the Obadjiwan Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site with Temiskaming First Nation;
    • Created new cooperative management structures for the newly established Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve and Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area;
    • Commemorated the International Year of Indigenous Languages with projects focused on increasing the presence and use of Indigenous languages in protected heritage areas;
    • Worked with the Indigenous Heritage Circle to organize and hold regional engagement sessions with experts and practitioners in the field of Indigenous cultural heritage to inform the review of the Agency’s cultural heritage policies; and,
    • Increased the number of Parks Canada places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices by four over 2018–19 and continued to make progress on agreements that will increase this number in the future.

  • Commemorated the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada with a national symposium in June 2019, using the celebration of the organisation's past as an opportunity to look to the future of commemoration, including the newly released Framework for History and Commemoration.

  • Expanded the Learn-to Camp program, reaching over 110,000 people (an increase of 30,000 over 2018–19) through 44 overnight events and more than 650 outreach events, including in key urban hubs.

  • Continued to deliver on the most significant infrastructure program in the Agency's 109 year history, delivering key improvements to heritage and contemporary infrastructure across the system in a way that supports conservation while promoting visitor experience and making our infrastructure safer and more appealing to visitors.
 

Total actual spending for 2019–20


$1,480,274,657

Total actual full-time equivalents for 2019–20

5,591 Full-Time Equivalents

 
 

Operating context

An overview of Parks Canada’s network

  • 47 national parks
  • 5 national marine conservation areas
  • 1 national urban park
  • 171 national historic sites
  • 7 townsite communities in national parks

Parks Canada has operations across Canada. With responsibility for the management and administration of 47 national parks, Rouge National Urban Park, five national marine conservation areas and 171 national historic sites, including nine historic canals, Parks Canada employees and resources are active in hundreds of communities and remote locations from coast to coast to coast.

National parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas represent the very best of Canada, including the history, culture and living legacy of Indigenous peoples. 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 hundreds of Indigenous communities across the country in the management of Parks Canada’s heritage places. There are currently over 30 formal collaborative arrangements between Parks Canada and Indigenous partners. Of those places, 20 have cooperative management structures where Indigenous peoples influence decision-making. 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 have a decision-making role in the management of heritage places.

A Nature Legacy for Canada

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada made an historic investment of $1.3 billion in nature conservation, known as A Nature Legacy for Canada.

Through this significant investment Parks Canada received $221 million over 5 years to support the implementation of Nature Legacy. Allocated funds are being used to accelerate the modernization of Parks Canada’s approach to conservation.

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 establish or expand national parks and national marine conservation areas. The requirement to balance protection and ecologically sustainable use of national marine conservation areas involves a much broader stakeholder perspective to consider. Bringing all of these elements together and moving forward in a harmonious and positive way requires time and respectful discourse.

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 the shrinking populations of species unable to adapt to variations in the ecosystems are a few examples of the effects of climate change. The increasing severity and frequency of disturbances such as storms, floods and avalanches also impact Parks Canada infrastructure, such as highways and bridges.

Environmental forces

Parks Canada’s heritage places may be vulnerable to environmental forces including changes to:

  • climate (e.g., increasing temperatures, changing precipitations, extreme weather events);
  • physical environment (e.g., air quality, water quality, ocean acidification, sea level rise, glacier retreat, habitat loss and fragmentation);
  • biodiversity (e.g., ecosystem processes, increased number of species at risk, hyper abundant species and invasive species).

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. As a world leader in conservation and in preserving the ecological integrity and cultural resources of its places for future generations, Parks Canada works to better manage visitation at locations that experience higher visitation rates, while continuing to ensure high quality visitor experiences. To lessen impact, Parks Canada encourages visitors to seek out lesser-known parks and historic sites, enjoy little known hidden gems and explore shoulder season experiences in spring and fall.

Tourism is an important economic generator for Canada. Parks Canada is the guardian of some of Canada’s most iconic natural and cultural treasures and contributes to the country’s world-class tourism offer. With Indigenous partners, the Agency offers authentic Indigenous tourism experiences which enable visitors to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultural connection Indigenous peoples have to these places.

Since 2012, visitation to Parks Canada places has rebounded following a decade of decline. Leading up to and during this period of growth, the Agency made a significant investment to attract larger and more diverse audiences. With free admission offered during the Canada 150 celebrations, visitation reached a record high in 2017–18 with 27.2 million visitors. As a result, visitation continues to increase compared to its baseline level of 24.7 million visitors in 2016–17 and Parks Canada welcomed nearly 25 million in 2019–20. Since 2017, marketing and outreach initiatives have been leveraged through a variety of communication channels, including a hidden gems campaign, to influence visitation patterns, to promote less-frequented destinations and to help better distribute visitation across the Parks Canada network.

Using technology to improve visitor services

Parks Canada uses technology in a variety of ways to improve visitor services:

  • reaching Canadians where they live and work through digital channels (web, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, newsletters);
  • ensuring digital services for trip planning, purchasing admission and reserving accommodation; and,
  • influencing visitation patterns: sharing visitor safety information and trail maps, promoting Canada’s heritage and conservation at the right time and with the right message.

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 provide 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.

Canada’s population is evolving. It is expected to become more culturally diverse over the next two decades as Canada continues to rely increasingly on immigration to support population growth and to offset natural declines.

With demographic changes and the rise of digital communications, the ways in which we tell stories and absorb information are being transformed. In the coming years, Parks Canada’s service offer will continue to be influenced by an increasingly diverse population with varying needs and interests. As well, new national accessibility legislation, which aims to promote equality and participation for people of varying abilities, will also influence Parks Canada’s programs and services.

Demographic shifts

Demographic shifts have generated new audiences that require placing greater emphasis on:

  • reaching Canadians where they live and work;
  • integrating diverse cultures and histories into historical content; and,
  • ensuring the Parks Canada service offer is inclusive and accessible for all Canadians.

As the federal lead for cultural heritage places conservation, Parks Canada administers federal heritage designation and built heritage conservation programs on behalf of the Government of Canada. Federal custodian departments, Crown corporations, provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and the broader heritage community play a major role in preserving Canada’s heritage places. The protection of cultural heritage places by the federal government is a complex endeavour that requires a coherent and robust system for the identification and conservation of Canada’s nationally significant heritage places.

Both the November 2018 Auditor General’s report and the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s December 2017 report highlighted the need to better protect federal heritage properties and to strengthen heritage conservation and protection across Canada. The recommendations include the integration of Indigenous perspectives, better policy and legislative measures, and financial incentives. Parks Canada is working towards addressing the findings from these reports.

Tracking the portfolio of built assets

  • Parks Canada continues to make progress on improving its infrastructure. In 2019, its annual Asset Report Card indicated that by current replacement value 61% of the Agency’s built assets are in good to fair condition, compared to 60% the previous year.
  • Annual variations in the total built asset inventory are influenced by factors such as the establishment of new parks and sites (e.g., Rouge National Urban Park resulted in the addition of 375 assets).

Parks Canada manages a complex portfolio of assets valued at approximately $25.8 billion. Highways maintained by Parks Canada serve as critical socio-economic corridors enabling the flow of people and commercial goods. Along with heritage canals, highways additionally serve as vital links connecting Canadian communities. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of Parks Canada’s asset portfolio is essential to the delivery of the Agency’s mandate and to ensure that Parks Canada can meet its custodial responsibilities on behalf of the Government of Canada. Further to this, the November 2018 report by the Auditor General cited the need for Parks Canada to do more to conserve the physical condition and heritage value of federal heritage properties. The lack of sufficient ongoing funding to maintain its built heritage assets puts the Agency at risk of not being able to deliver its mandate and of losing significant and irreplaceable examples of Canada’s cultural and built heritage.

Parks Canada’s commitment to address government priorities for ensuring the accessibility and inclusiveness of its places for visitors, and for supporting the resiliency of its asset portfolio against the effects of climate change, places additional strain on existing resources and the Agency’s capacity to deliver and evolve Parks Canada’s programs and services. Efforts to make a long-term business case for on-going funding remain a central priority for the Agency.

 

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


Results: what we achieved

Core responsibility

Protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage

Description

Establish national parks and national marine conservation areas; designate places, persons and events of national historic significance; protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage guided by science and Indigenous knowledge; provide opportunities to visit, experience and enjoy Canada’s natural and cultural heritage; work with the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders to carry out these responsibilities.

Departmental results

In carrying out its core responsibility, Parks Canada will advance three Departmental Results:

  • Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations
  • Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations
  • People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them

Departmental result 1: Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 ‐ Terrestrial): percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national parks system 84% March 31, 2020 77%
Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 ‐ Marine): percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system 31% March 31, 2020 17%

Progress on new protected heritage areas

2019–20 was a busy year on several establishment files:

  • July 2019: Launched a feasibility study for a national marine conservation area-Indigenous protected area off the coast of northern Labrador in collaboration with the Nunatsiavut Government.
  • July 2019: Announced a memorandum of understanding between Parks Canada and the Cree Nation Government to launch a feasibility assessment for a national marine conservation area in James Bay.
  • July 2, 2019: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nations confirming a final boundary and committing all parties to formal negotiations resulting in an establishment agreement establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.
  • August 1, 2019: Ministers responsible for Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association signed the negotiated an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for the establishment of Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area and announced the launch of a feasibility assessment for a marine protected area in the high Arctic Basin in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Tuvaijuittuq.
  • August 14, 2019: the feasibility assessment for Hog Island – Sandhills PEI announced by the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island as well as the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations.
  • August 21, 2019: agreements signed between the Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories, the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, the Northwest Territory Metis Nation, Deninu K’e First Nation and the Yellowknives Dene First Nations announced the establishment of Canada’s 47th National Park – Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve and Indigenous Protected Area.

Parks Canada protects Canada’s natural heritage through the establishment of national parks and national marine conservation areas in regions representative of Canada’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

In 2019–20, Parks Canada signed an agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, the Northwest Territory Metis Nation, Deninu K’e First Nation and the Yellowknives Dene First Nations to establish Canada’s 47th national park, Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve and Indigenous Protected Area, at the East Arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. The national park reserve covers approximately 14,000 km2, and is part of a complex of protected areas that spans 26,376 km2 at the transition from the boreal forest of the Taiga Shield to above tree-line in the southern Arctic tundra. With this addition to the national park system, 31 of 39 natural regions were represented as of March 2020.

The process for establishing new national parks is a complex one that involves the cooperation and support of both provincial and Indigenous communities. While the target representation hasn’t yet been met, demonstrable progress has been achieved and strong foundational relationships have been built to support establishment of new protected areas in the future which, once established, would bring the percentage of terrestrial regions represented to 84.6%.

On August 1, 2019, the Government of Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association signed an agreement to establish the 108,000 square kilometre Tallurutiup Imanga NMCA in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut. Tallurutiup Imanga is an area rich in biodiversity and used by Inuit since time immemorial. The NMCA is a significant contribution towards Canada’s target of protecting 10 percent of its marine and coastal areas by 2020. With this addition to the national marine conservation area system, as of March 2020 6 of 29 marine regions have been represented. Demonstrable progress has been made toward establishing new national marine conservation areas in six additional regions. The establishment of 3 additional NMCAs would bring the percentage of marine regions represented to the target of 31%.

Through collaboration with Indigenous peoples and provincial and territorial governments, the Agency continues to work towards these targets. In launching and advancing negotiations, feasibility assessments, and public consultations, the Agency made demonstrable progress toward the establishment of national parks and national marine conservation areas.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved. 92% March 31, 2023 86%

Black ash (Wisqoq): The next generation

Black Ash (Wisqoq in Mi’kmaq), a species at risk listed as threatened in 2018, is Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site’s rarest tree, with only 50 black ash trees in the park and only 1000 in all of Nova Scotia.

Working collaboratively with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and their Wisqoq Recovery Team, 200 Black Ash seedlings were planted.

There is a deep, cultural connection between the Mi’kmaw and the Black Ash tree; Mi'kmaw have used Wisqoq for centuries in basket weaving, snowshoe frames and canoe ribs.

During a planting celebration in the fall, the seedlings and planting sites were given a special blessing by a Mi’kmaw elder.

Mi’kmaw youth from Bear River First Nation had the opportunity to join elders, experts and park staff to learn of the cultural importance of the Wisqoq, listen to traditional stories and plant Wisqoq seedlings in Kejimkujik.

An ecosystem has ecological integrity when:

  • it has the living and non-living pieces expected in its natural region; and,
  • its processes (the engines that make an ecosystem work; e.g. fire, flooding, predation) occur with the frequency and intensity expected in its natural region.

By the end of 2019–20, ecological integrity was maintained or improved in 86% of national park ecosystems – six percent shy of the Agency’s target of 92% and a four percent gain on 2018–19 results. Parks Canada is on track to meet this target by 2023. Parks Canada continues to prioritize investments in restoration projects based on the results of science based ecological integrity monitoring.

Parks Canada uses a site-based, multi-species approach to implement species conservation and recovery. Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration Program (CoRe) funds projects that restore ecological integrity, recover species at risk, and enhance the health of marine and Great Lakes environments. This year, Parks Canada implemented over 60 species at risk recovery projects prescribed in site-based action plans and invested $27.0M over 55 Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) projects for ecological integrity and species at risk in national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. In order to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and improve project efficacy, CoRe project selection criteria were refined during this year's cycle.

Parks Canada's wildfire response – In Australia!

On the international stage, Parks Canada is proud to have sent members of its fire management team to Australia during their devastating 2019–20 wildfire season. As the only federal organization with operational wildfire resources to contribute to a Canadian response for support, Parks Canada sent 13 wildland fire management specialists to New South Wales and Victoria State as a part of the Canadian response, supporting five separate requests for assistance for 31 to 38-day deployments.

This deployment, which included 242 fire management specialists from Canada over a total of 118 days beginning in December 2019, was Canada’s largest and longest overseas deployment of firefighting resources and the first time Parks Canada has sent firefighters to Australia to provide assistance.

In Budget 2018, $1.3 billion in funding was announced for nature conservation, known as A Nature Legacy for Canada. Through this unprecedented investment, Parks Canada received $221 million over 5 years to support the implementation of Canada’s Nature Legacy, which will change the way conservation is implemented in Canada by improving the integration of national parks with the broader landscape and the use of science and knowledge to inform conservation decision-making. This funding will also contribute to the conservation of species at risk by using multi-species and ecosystem-based strategies. In 2019–20, progress was made towards modernizing conservation programs, including enhancing our approach to climate-smart conservation, enhancing our ability to work with partners on landscape scale conservation initiatives, and enhancing the way that science and Indigenous Knowledge systems work together to conserve Canada’s natural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations.

Collaborating with Indigenous Partners

Parks Canada held a precedent-setting collaborative workshop with Indigenous partners which resulted in an agreed on methodology to determine whether Indigenous knowledge was incorporated into conservation projects.

This year, the Agency consulted with Canadians and key stakeholders on the development of policy and regulations for National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCA). This was an important step towards an updated policy framework that will promote and support Indigenous involvement in NMCAs, maximize conservation outcomes, and build community support and participation. Parks Canada is continuing to consult with Indigenous organizations on the proposed policy changes.

Parks Canada continued to co-lead #NatureForAll with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), expanding this global network to more than 375 partner organizations and co creating toolkits and other products to help individuals and organizations everywhere scale up their efforts to connect people with nature. This year saw a particular focus on youth engagement and empowerment to help set the stage for youth to play a leadership role in advancing the nature conservation agenda in Canada and internationally.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Number of heritage places managed in a way consistent with the Government’s commitment to nation to‐nation, Inuit-Crown and government to government relationships. 23-25 March 31, 2020 20

Cooperative management

Cooperative management structures facilitate collaboration between the Agency and local Indigenous communities and facilitate the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in decision making.

The establishment of Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve in August 2019 was accompanied by the creation of a new cooperative management structure. Through the agreement signed by Parks Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, the three parties committed to a consensus decision-making cooperative management model that will take guidance from Indigenous Law as well as federal and territorial legislation.

Parks Canada recognizes the historic and ongoing responsibilities of Indigenous peoples in the stewardship of natural and cultural heritage of their traditional territories. To this end, the Agency has been working to advance cooperative management with Indigenous peoples at heritage places it administers. As of March 31, 2020, the number of natural heritage places with cooperative management structures where Indigenous peoples participated in decision-making was increased by one for a total of 20, following the establishment of Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve in August 2019.

Throughout 2019–20, Parks Canada and Indigenous partners continued to worked together to negotiate agreements, such as in Atlantic Canada and as part of national park and marine conservation area establishment discussions, which will create new or enhance existing cooperative management structures at Parks Canada places. The results of these ongoing negotiations are anticipated for the 2020–21 reporting year and beyond.




Departmental result 2: Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Number of places, people and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized. 3778 March 31, 2021 3826

Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi World Heritage Site

In 2019, Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi, was inscribed as Canada's newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A joint submission between Canada, the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Province of Alberta and featuring an exceptional combination of culturally significant landforms, rock art, archaeological heritage, and dramatic views, Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi (“it is pictured/written”) is a sacred place to and exceptional testimony to the living cultural traditions of the Blackfoot people and is the greatest concentration of rock art on the Great Plains of North America.

100 Years of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada

The year 2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), the organisation whose mandate is to advise the Government of Canada on the commemoration of nationally significant aspects of Canada's history, with the support of Parks Canada.

A national symposium took place in Ottawa in June 2019, bringing together influential thinkers from across the country, who were invited to reflect upon the legacy of 100 years of historical commemoration – the remarkable achievements as well as the difficult challenges.

Participants also cast their minds towards the future and imagined what commemoration in the 21st century will look like – what stories will be told and how to tell them.

Parks Canada supports the designation and commemoration of cultural heritage through formal recognition programs at the national level, including designations of people, places and events of national historic significance, heritage railway stations, heritage lighthouses, Prime Minister’s Gravesites, Canadian World Heritage Sites, Federal Heritage Buildings and Canadian Heritage Rivers. The participation of Canadians in the identification of places, persons and events of national historic significance and in their commemoration is a key element of these programs.

Parks Canada continues to exceed this target. In 2019–20, one new world heritage site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2019 as Canada’s 20th World Heritage site. This World Heritage nomination was developed over a number of years in close partnership with the Government of Alberta and Blackfoot Confederacy. Three new heritage lighthouses were added to the Canada's list of heritage lighthouses, bringing the total number of designated heritage lighthouses in Canada to 100. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) also recognized seven additional sites, five events and eight persons of national historic significance.

The new Framework for History and Commemoration was released in June 2019, after extensive consultations and establishes a comprehensive approach to sharing Canada’s history through diverse, wide-ranging and sometimes complex perspectives. The Framework will support the work of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board by continuing to encourage diverse types of nominations that align with the new strategic priorities, including History of Indigenous peoples, Environmental History, Diversity, and Canada and the World. The Framework also outlines the HSMBC’s approach for the careful review of existing national historic designations and plaque texts in keeping with the Truth and Reconciliation commitments.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Percentage of cultural resources in Parks Canada's care that are safeguarded. 90% March 31, 2022 68%

Parks Canada increased the percentage of cultural resources in Parks Canada's care that are safeguarded by 5% in 2019–20, through the relocation of 10% of the national collection, previously located in an unstaffed facility with no environmental, security or monitoring programs in place, to a facility where greater safeguards exist and there is full access by professional and technical staff. Work toward this objective is also ongoing through several key transformative projects and realized significant milestones in 2019–20 and good progress is being made toward reaching the target in 2022.

This year, the Agency continued work on the project to consolidate the collection of historical and archaeological objects – one of the largest in North America – to a new purpose built collection facility in Gatineau, Quebec, which will contribute significantly to safeguarding the collection and the achievement of this indicator in the future. Subject to the construction schedule, it is anticipated that the collection will be moved by 2023–24.

In addition to the work on the collections consolidation project this year, the Agency completed preventive conservation risk assessments for 10 national historic sites, including Castle Hill, Ryan’s Premises, Laurier House, York Factory, Trent Severn, Lower Fort Garry, Riel House, Fisgard Lighthouse, Fort Langley and Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Sites of Canada, as well as for Wapusk National Park and for the national collection of historical and archaeological objects located in Winnipeg collections facility.

Parks Canada also met additional milestones on a significant software project, the Cultural Resource Management Information System, which will manage information about the cultural heritage resources in the Agency's care. In 2019–20, the installation of the software on Shared Services Canada's servers was completed after carrying out extensive testing. More testing will be required prior to moving into a production environment but the Agency has begun migration of data and will continue work on this project into 2021–22.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Percentage of heritage structures in poor condition that have improved. 60% March 31, 2020 45%

In 2019–20, 37 cultural heritage assets were improved from very poor or poor to fair or good, bringing the results to date to 45% (196) of the overall target of 60% (260 of 433 assets).

As reported in the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report, through the course of this and the previous reporting period, and through lessons learned in the delivery of the federal infrastructure program, Parks Canada adapted the program of work to reflect:

  • The need to redirect funding to address higher priority risks associated with assets not included in the original baseline;
  • Fewer projects advancing in order to offset cost increases incurred by other more critical projects; and,
  • The need to identify a more accurate target, based on what the Agency considered to be achievable by the end of March 2020 with current funding.

As a result, projects originally scheduled for completion prior to March 31, 2020 experienced delays resulting in completion dates being extended into future years. These outstanding projects are on track to improve the condition of their associated assets in subsequent years. Once these projects are all completed, Parks Canada anticipates exceeding the 60% target.

Examples of work completed include:

  • Rehabilitation of the Palace Grand Theatre, Dawson Historical Complex NHS to address structural foundation problems.
  • Stabilization of the Governor’s House, Palisades and Blacksmith Shop, Port-Royal NHS.
  • Masonry rehabilitation at Poonamalie Lock #32, Rideau Canal NHS.
  • Rehabilitation of Glen Ross Swing Bridge and Lock 7, Trent-Severn Waterway NHS.

Departmental Result 3: People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Maintain or increase the number of people that connect with nature at Parks Canada places. 24.7M or greater March 31, 2020 24.9M

Visiting a Parks Canada place is one of the most effective ways of connecting Canadians to their culture and heritage and ensuring support for Parks Canada’s mandate. In 2019–20, Parks Canada met its visitation target to maintain or increase visitation to Parks Canada places, with 24.9 million visitors. Overall, outside of the significant increase related to free admission in 2017 for Canada 150, visitation to Parks Canada’s network of protected heritage areas remains overall fairly static.

Compared to the 2016–17 baseline level, overall visitation to national parks has increased by 4% from 15.4 million visitors to 16.1 million visitors while visitation to national historic sites decreased by 6% from 9.3 million visitors to 8.7 million visitors.

Visitation to Parks Canada places over time

Visitation to Parks Canada places over time – Text version
National Parks (millions) National Historic Sites (millions) Visitation Total (millions)
2016-17 15.4 9.3 24.7
2017-18 16.8 10.4 27.3
2018-19 15.9 9.2 25.1
2019-20 16.1 8.7 24.9

Parks Canada’s strategy of featuring Hidden Gems to discover lesser-known places in its outreach and marketing campaigns has facilitated visitation management in more popular places, helping to ensure sustainability and high quality visitor experiences. The success of this marketing initiative is shown through visitation levels at a number of very popular destinations remaining constant in 2019–20, including at the seven Rocky Mountain National Parks (Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier); visitation levels were comparable to the 2016–17 fiscal year, with a total of 9.07 million visitors (+1%). Meanwhile, visitation to all other national parks increased by 8% from 6.5 million to 7.0 million visitors (compared to 2016–17).

In recent years, to encourage greater visitation to Parks Canada's network of protected heritage areas, including National Historic Sites where visitation has declined following free admission in 2017, the Agency has invested in national advertising campaigns to raise awareness about the Agency’s conservation mandate and to promote opportunities for visitors at Parks Canada places. The 2019–20 advertising campaign, targeting families and young adults, built on the success of past campaigns and more specifically encouraged Canadians to discover their heritage places, learn about Indigenous traditional knowledge, as well as to connect with nature and help in the protection of these places.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Percentage of visitors to Parks Canada places that are new Canadians and young adults. 14% March 31, 2020 N/A

Expanding Learn-to Camp

Parks Canada reaches Canadians across the country through its seven Learn-to Camp and outreach hubs – Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

This program seeks to help connect people with nature and make the enjoyment of the outdoors more accessible for all Canadians, targeting particularly urban Canadians and Canadians of colour as well as families with young children.

This year over 110,000 people were reached through Learn-to Camp events, compared to 90,000 in 2018–19.

There were 44 overnight events and over 650 outreach events – 50 more than last year.

Young adults and new Canadians continue to be important audiences for Parks Canada. Admission for youth 17 and under is free at national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas since it was announced in 2018. Business intelligence Parks Canada collects is related to entry and is based on admission transactions. As admission for youth aged 17 and under is free, quantitative data for these visitors is no longer reliably available. This indicator could not be reported for 2019–20 and has been removed for future years.

Parks Canada continues to offer free admission for one year to new Canadian citizens through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Cultural Access Pass Program. The Cultural Access Pass was used 24,666 times in 2019–20, with 46% of those uses occurring in Banff National Park.

Building on previous years’ efforts to reach urban Canadians, in particular youth and families with young children, Parks Canada outreach teams continued to be present in several communities, partner venues and festivals in urban areas across the country. Focusing on one on-one interactions, these outreach programs connected with more than half a million Canadians in 2019, fostering a greater sense of belonging and making Parks Canada’s work more relevant to them.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places. 78% - 82% March 31, 2020 83%

Survey says!

The Agency’s ongoing work to reach Canadians through strategic outreach, promotion, engagement and advertising is showing success through the results of surveys of Canadians. According to survey results:

  • 90% of adult Canadians are aware that Parks Canada is the organization responsible for managing national parks and historic sites.
  • Awareness (total) reached 89% of respondents in 2019–20 in Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), its highest level in 4 years.
  • One-third of adult Canadians (31%) can recall Parks Canada’s corporate symbol (the beaver) unprompted, indicating brand connection.
  • 80% of youth aged 18 to 34 support Parks Canada’s mandate.

At 83% of Canadians, Parks Canada exceeded its target for the percentage of Canadians that support the protection, based on the average result from two survey waves in June 2019 and March 2020. Support levels in 2019–20 have shown a slight decline since 2018–19, the year after free admission and celebrations for Canada’s 150th, though higher than before 2017 (80% in 2016–17) showing that the general trend is actually increasing.

Parks Canada continues to design its external relations and visitor experience activities to raise awareness and connection to culture and nature in order to ensure that more Canadians can experience our National Parks and National Historic Sites and that our places dwell in their hearts and minds. Diversified experiences, including new and innovative camping options like the Agency's new Oasis, an accommodation option that resembles a water droplet, and renewed interpretive and outreach programming are encouraging exploration and learning, with a focus on fostering meaningful connections with nature and history. Indigenous experiences and family-friendly activities are just a few examples of many programs and activities that contribute to welcoming more Canadians.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices. 32-39 March 31, 2021 34

Inuit harvesting rights

On August 1, 2019, the Government of Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) announced an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for the establishment of Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area. Inuit rights, including those relating to wildlife harvesting, continue to apply, and are supported, at this newly designated National Marine Conservation Area.

Parks Canada recognizes the important and ongoing roles and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples as stewards of the heritage places it administers and is committed to facilitating their use of these lands and waters for traditional and modern cultural practices.

As of March 31, 2020, the number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern cultural practices increased to 34 following the establishment of two new protected heritage places and revisions in methodology to include longstanding agreements in Northern Ontario, bringing the Agency to within its target range for this indicator. Parks Canada and Indigenous partners continue to make progress towards finalizing agreements that will facilitate Indigenous peoples' use of land and waters at several protected heritage places across Canada.

Departmental result indicator Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results
Percentage of contemporary infrastructure that facilitates visitor access and/or use of Parks Canada places in poor condition that have improved. 60% March 31, 2020 53%

In 2019–20, 164 contemporary assets were improved from very poor or poor to fair or good, bringing the results to date to 53% (1,702) of the overall target of 60% (1,930 of 3,216 assets).

As reported in the 2018–19 Departmental Results Report, through the course of this and the previous reporting period, and through lessons learned in the delivery of the federal infrastructure program, Parks Canada adapted the program of work to reflect:

  • The need to redirect funding to address higher priority risks associated with assets not included in the original baseline;
  • Fewer projects advancing in order to offset cost increases incurred by other more critical projects; and
  • The need to identify a more accurate target, based on what the Agency considered to be achievable by the end of March 2020 with current funding.

Thechàl Dhâl' Visitor Centre

Kluane National Park and Reserve is celebrating a major upgrade to the Thechàl Dhâl' Visitor Centre, located in Kluane First Nation Traditional Territory.

Parks Canada collaborated with both Kluane First Nation and the nearby Champagne and Aishihik First Nations in this multi-year project, which encompasses building improvements, a new shared space and all new exhibits.

While visitors have long appreciated this small building as a place to view Dall’s sheep, now it is also a place for Dań (local First Nations citizens) to learn about their history, celebrate their culture, and hear their language, Dǎ Kwǎnje (Southern Tutchone).

Large and colourful, and sprinkled with Dǎ Kwǎnje words and local beadwork, the exhibits show how Dań have lived for millennia in this dynamic glaciated landscape, hunting sheep and gophers, gathering plants, and respectfully coexisting with Big Grandfather, grizzly bear.

As a result, projects originally scheduled for completion prior to March 31, 2020 experienced delays resulting in completion dates being extended into future years. These projects are on track to improve the condition of their associated assets will be reported on in subsequent years. Once these projects are all completed, Parks Canada anticipates exceeding the 60% target.

Examples of work completed include:

  • Rehabilitation of trail networks including Marsh Boardwalk, Point Pelee National Park; Singing Sands trail, Bruce Peninsula National Park; Sweet Grass trail, Wood Buffalo National Park.
  • Rehabilitation of the Visitor Reception Centre, Red Bay NHS.
  • Rehabilitation of the Visitor Reception Centre, Administration Building and public washroom facilities, Pukaskwa National Park.
  • Rehabilitation of the administration and archaeology buildings, power, quay wall and grounds, Fortress of Louisbourg NHS.
  • Rehabilitation of roadways including Panoramic Route, La Mauricie National Park; Radar Hill Road, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; and Route 22, Fortress of Louisbourg NHS.
  • Rehabilitation of radio communication systems including those at Fortress of Louisbourg NHS and Wood Buffalo National Park.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

Parks Canada prides itself on fully respecting diversity and gender equality while serving nearly 25 million people each year through a large team working across the country. Parks Canada is therefore committed to the sustainable application of GBA+, as an evidence based decision-making tool, into the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies, programs, practices and initiatives to ensure that it is welcoming and inclusive for all.

Parks Canada is still in the implementation phase of GBA+ and is not currently collecting results data in a way that allows the Agency to do this analysis.


Experimentation

As a direct service provider to Canadians at national heritage places across the country and with activities that span a wide variety of disciplines ranging from forest management to the care of cultural and archaeological objects to ensuring the smooth running of parking lots and campgrounds, among innumerable others, the nature of Parks Canada’s operations mean that informal experimentation in regular business is a necessity. Continuing to build upon the unprecedented innovation that occurred to respond to free admission to national heritage places during Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, and looking to shift the innovative culture of the Agency’s operations to its corporate functions, Parks Canada has undertaken a number of pilot projects to find ways to address persistent problems and improve outcomes for Canadians both in its operations and in its supporting internal services and is working on building a culture of experimentation and innovation Agency-wide. Some of these pilot projects include:

Collections consolidation: Cornwall Pilot Project
Parks Canada currently manages and operates six collection storage facilities located in four cities – Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Dartmouth - with the Cornwall facility having been closed in the first quarter of 2020. Work is underway to move the objects from these four facilities to a new, purpose-built, collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec by 2023–24. There are approximately 31 million objects under Parks Canada’s care representing over 11,000 years of human history.

A Pilot Project was launched to plan and execute the move of the collections from the un-staffed Cornwall facility to a collections facility in Ottawa to gather experience, engage with Indigenous communities, validate estimate costs, and establish protocols to be used for future facility moves.

This Cornwall Pilot Project resulted in the move of over 17,000 historical objects and 2,400 boxes of archaeological objects and related documentation by the first quarter of 2020. It will also improve the environmental storage conditions for this part of the larger collection and ensure that it is safeguarded and accessible. This pilot project contributed to an overall increase of 5% in the percentage of cultural resources in the Agency’s care being safeguarded (please see results under the departmental result Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations, above, for more information).
Parking reservations
As a management strategy for congestion, Parks Canada experimented with parking reservations with a pilot project at one national park (Bruce Peninsula NP) in 2017. The pilot project was designed to determine if visitors were interested in this service as a means of improving the experience at an iconic destination in the park and reducing congestion by reducing multiple attempts by visitors attempting to access the parking lot. Based on the success of the pilot, online parking reservations were fully implemented at the most popular location in Bruce Peninsula for the 2018 season through Parks Canada’s Reservation System. The program was monitored throughout 2018 and troubleshooting occurred actively.

Further refinements, including changes to the reservation and check in processes to increase efficiency were made ahead of the 2019 season at the park. In the first year on the national reservation system in 2018 Bruce Peninsula had approximately 40,000 reservations. Now that the parking reservation model has been tested operationally (with digital systems and customers), Parks Canada is preparing to expand the offer to visitors at other national parks across the country with congestion-related issues.
Learn-to Camp
Parks Canada began experimenting with a new, overnight program called Learn-to Camp in 2011. The program was designed to provide an introduction to camping for those uninitiated to this activity. In Budget 2016, $5.1M was provided over five years to expand the program. In order to better reach urban audiences, a pilot program was developed and tested as daytime outreach activities, reaching 8250 participants in 2016. Over the winter, the program was adapted based on the results of the pilot and further expanded. As part of Canada 150, six urban hubs (Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver) employing between 6-12 students at each hub were established to provide the new Learn-to Camp program. That year, 70,000 people participated in the program. Since then, it has been further adapted and expanded and in 2019 the program reached 111,000 participants. With the Minister responsible for Parks Canada being mandated to expand the program even further, Parks Canada is actively seeking ways to maintain and grow this program into the future.

Results achieved

Departmental results Departmental result indicators Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results 2018–19 Actual results 2017–18 Actual results
Canada’s natural heritage is protected for future generations Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 ‐ Terrestrial): percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national parks system. 84% March 31, 2020 79% 77% 77%
Contribute to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada (Target 1 ‐ Marine): percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system. 31% March 31, 2020 21% 17% 17%
Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved. 92% March 31, 2023 86% 82% 88%
Number of heritage places managed in a way consistent with the Government’s commitment to nation to‐nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationships. 23-25 March 31, 2020 20 19 20
Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for future generations Number of places, people and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized. 3,778 March 31, 2021 3,826 3,816 3,812
Percentage of cultural resources in Parks Canada's care that are safeguarded. 90% March 31, 2022 68% 63% n/a2
Percentage of heritage structures in poor condition that have improved. 60% March 31, 2020 45%
196 out of 433
37%
159 out of 433
35%
151 out of 4331
People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them Maintain or increase the number of people that connect with nature at Parks Canada places. 24.7M or greater March 31, 2020 24.9M 25.1M 27.2M
Percentage of visitors to Parks Canada places that are new Canadians and young adults. 14% March 31, 2020 n/a 12% Not measured
(free admission)
Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places. 78% - 82% March 31, 2020 83% 88%3 90%
Number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices. 32-39 March 31, 2021 34 30 n/a
Percentage of contemporary infrastructure that facilitates visitor access and/or use of Parks Canada places in poor condition that have improved 60% March 31, 2020 53%
1,702 out of 3,216
47%
1,519 out of 3,216
46%
1474 out of 32161
1 The baseline for heritage structures and contemporary infrastructure was revised in 2017–18 following a National Asset Review.

2 Due to the introduction of free admission for youth 17 and under, and because demographic data collection relating to entry is based on admission transactions, quantitative data for these visitors is no longer reliably available. This indicator has been removed for the 2020–21 reporting period.

3 Switched tools for support measurement, from National Survey of Canadians in 2017–18 to the quarterly Awareness Tracking survey in 2018–19. The two years are therefore not comparable.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019–20 Main Estimates 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019–20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
1,511,172,628 1,511,172,628 2,066,793,797 1,358,136,356 (153,036,272)
Actual spending was $153.0 million (or 10%) 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, partially offset by an increase in the expenditures equivalent to revenues and additional appropriations received after the planning exercise mainly related to increases to transfer payments to support initiatives such as the protection of the Southern Resident Killer Whale and the implementation of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

2019–20 Planned full-time equivalents 2019–20 Actual full-time equivalents 2019–20 Difference (Actual full-time equivalents minus planned full-time equivalents)
4,560 4,656 96
Actual full-time equivalents (FTE) were 96 FTE or 2% higher than what was planned FTEs in 2019-20. This variance is primarily due to additional students hired upon additional money received through the horizontal Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) program from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Parks Canada Agency’s Program Inventory is available in the 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:

  • Acquisition management services
  • Communications services
  • Financial management services
  • Human resources management services
  • Information management services
  • Information technology services
  • Legal services
  • Material management services
  • Management and oversight services
  • Real property management services
  • Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

Results of planning highlights outlined in the 2019–20 Departmental Plan

Human resources management services

Fostering a high-performing, diverse and inclusive workforce.
In 2019-20, Parks Canada initiated the development of its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and a review of its champions and employees networks structures with an eye to align diversity and inclusion related activities to a set of common objectives. A blog about diversity, inclusion and equity was developed as a mean to disseminate information and to foster employee engagement in the development of the strategy.

To support the implementation of a new approach to the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Program, Parks Canada participated in a Treasury Board Secretariat-led youth employment opportunity pilot program to hire seven youth in involuntary NEET situations. Also the Agency established a partnership with LiveWorkPlay which is a not-for-profit organization providing direct support and services to help welcoming and including people with intellectual disabilities, autistic persons and individuals with a dual diagnosis. The partnership led to the hiring of one employee and the delivery of two workshops on inclusion in the workplace.

In an effort to introduce a more systemic approach to talent management, Parks Canada conducted a national pilot project in one of its business lines.
Optimizing a safe, healthy and respectful workplace.
In light of the upcoming implementation of Bill C-65, which amends the Canada Labour Code to strengthen the existing framework for the prevention of harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, in the work place, Parks Canada undertook a review and update of its harassment prevention framework. Following the recommendations outlined in the Safe Workspaces Report and taking into account the Agency's Public Service Employee Survey results in collaboration with the Bargaining Agent, the updated policy will focus on addressing the recommendations and meeting the new legislative requirements.

To foster a healthy workplace, a three-year strategy on well-being in the workplace has been developed which included the Mental Health Association of Canada's The Working Mind training tailored for managers and employees. In 2019-20, a total of 440 employees have taken the training. As well, an Ambassadors’ Network for well-being in the workplace has been created, empowering 29 "ambassador" employees across Parks Canada to disseminate information on available national-level tools, resources and training.

Parks Canada made improvements to its Employees and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) by increasing the consulting hours available to employees by four hours and extending the access period for retirees and family of a deceased to 12 months after the employment has ended. The Agency is also using increasingly creative means to increase EFAP visibility and awareness among employees.
Providing tools that support and adapt to changing operational needs.
In an effort to reduce the number of pay issues and improve timeliness of resolution, the Agency continues to work in collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada. Sharing information generated from various systems and tools has resulted in a drastic reduction in delays in pay processing and allowed Parks Canada to make necessary adjustments to internal business processes and systems that impact pay to help avoid pay issues arising in the first place.

Information management and information technology services

Collaborate openly and digitally with partners and Canadians.
In 2019-20, Parks Canada rolled out several new collaboration tools to support productivity within the Agency and with partners, which became of particular importance during the COVID-19 pandemic which began at the very end of the reporting year. BBM Enterprise replaced Skype as the definitive internal instant messaging solution, allowing employees to use the messaging system to collaborate offline without putting a burden on the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. As well, by the end of the fiscal year, a temporary instance of the Microsoft 365 suite of tools and Google Meet were adopted and became the primary means for virtual collaboration among team members and with partners. Confluence - an online tool allowing real-time and access restricted collaboration on documents and in team workspaces - was rolled out to more business units, including targeted on-boarding at Rouge National Urban Park and Jasper Field Unit, and was supported by the establishment of a new Collaboration Community of Practice to encourage and facilitate its enthusiastic adoption across the Agency. As well, to enable a more structured and productive intake, improve file management and streamline workflows, including approvals, and produce more efficient and effective customer service outcomes for internal clients, Jira Service Desk was implemented for the Human Resource Directorate and for Corporate Security.
Enabling Parks Canada with a mobile workforce.
Several cloud-based and mobile-enabled applications were deployed, addressing the Agency's need for off-network productivity tools while also enabling the rapid and effective adoption of a temporary virtual workplace for all team members during the COVID-19 lockdown. These include the Microsoft 365 "GC Collaboration" suite, BBM Enterprise, and Google Meet, as detailed above. In addition, a pilot of a Mobile Compliance Reporting Tool, which allows park staff to track compliance incidents through time and refer incidents to Park Wardens and helps managers find trends in visitor behaviour and track the success of initiatives taken, was launched with three teams and was found to be highly effective. In addition, a corresponding Mobile Law Enforcement Android app, to begin logging incidents and patrols from their phones rather than computers, is also being piloted, with 15 Wardens testing the solution over the summer months. Finally, the Blackberry replacement program was launched, and improvements were made to the VPN. Considering the current load on the Agency's VPN gates and an anticipated 300%+ increase of remote users as a result of the move to telework resulting from COVID-19, PCA upgraded the VPN license base and bandwidth for both Eastern and Western portals.
Connect with Canadians using Open Data.
Parks Canada continues to contribute to the Government of Canada's priority of open data. There are currently 481 Parks Canada records posted on the Open Data portal:
  • Ecological Integrity Monitoring Measure datasets have been posted on the Open Data portal and are updated when new field data is available; 111 updates and nine additions to ecological monitoring data were made between April 2019 and March 2020.
  • Datasets describing human-wildlife conflict incidents managed by Parks Canada are available on the Open Data portal and are updated periodically.
  • Seven of Parks Canada’s Pre-approved Routine Impact Assessments have been posted on the Open Government Portal. These are approved environmental management and mitigation measures for defined classes of routine, repetitive projects or activities with well understood and predictable effects.
  • Datasets presenting the condition results, by asset category, for contemporary and heritage assets reported on in this report have also been published on the Open Government Portal during this year.
  • All twelve datasets supporting the Agency's Departmental Results Framework indicators.

Additional work was also carried out during this year in preparation for future Open Data contributions. Scoping and planning for an Open Science Action Plan for natural resource conservation was started and includes making more Parks Canada science information available to the public in the future by integrating open data considerations into existing processes and ensuring that scientists have the tools they need to share their information. The Agency also began work to prepare datasets from the Carbon Atlas Project for posting on the Open Government Portal.
Using technology to continuously improve.
Parks Canada employed technology to improve efficient and effective communication between employees. This year, the Agency implemented PC411, an online directory with detailed contact information for all employees, which also enabled the Agency to be able to compile quick and accurate information on each of its large number of diverse work sites across the country. This analysis of the network is ongoing, and information gathered through the PC411- project has been a tremendous asset so far.

The Agency also migrated its network to the Government of Canada Network Service (GCNet) from the legacy Converged Network Service. As part of the process, several Parks Canada places received bandwidth upgrades. In 2020-21, the Agency will continue to make improvements and leverage the migration to GCNet.

Real property management services

Investment planning
Parks Canada’s 5-year Investment Plan, approved by Treasury Board in May 2019 outlines the management principles, processes, and practices for the Agency’s planned investments in assets and acquired services over a planning horizon spanning from 2019-20 through 2023-24. The plan includes measures being taking to prepare for a future where the long-term sustainability of the Agency’s built asset base allows it to continue to deliver high-quality programs and services to Canadians. Strong progress has been made in addressing serious asset deficiencies and in developing a plan to responsibly manage Parks Canada's assets. A cultural fixed-asset prioritization framework has also been developed to guide decision making related to investments in built cultural resources owned or administered by the Parks Canada Agency based on their strategic potential. A multi-year portfolio strategy is currently under development for the Parks Canada asset portfolio supported by investment and financial plans that would form the basis for the Agency’s transition to an accrual budgeting framework, currently planned for 2023-24.
Real property information systems
Parks Canada has made a concerted effort to validate and update information related to its inventory of heritage assets as captured in the Agency’s asset information management system (Maximo). Information captured in Maximo includes, but is not limited to, location, asset category and type, heritage value, information required for the Directory of Federal Real Property (DFRP), current replacement value, and asset condition. The condition of heritage assets is assessed and updated in Maximo periodically (typically every 3 to 5 years) and is also updated following an inspection or upon completion of major work on the asset. Additionally, updates in Maximo have enabled a more efficient linkage between heritage assets and corresponding heritage designations in the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations (DFHD).

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

2019-20 Main estimates 2019-20 Planned spending 2019-20 Total authorities available for use 2019-20 Actual spending (authorities used) 2019-20 Difference (Actual spending minus Planned spending)
139,371,019 139,371,019 146,768,475 122,138,301 (17,232,718)
Actual spending was $17.2 million (or 12%) lower than planned spending primarily due to an adjustment to ensure a standard and consistent Agency wide approach to the treatment, recording and reporting of internal services expenditures and due to the fact that fewer internal service resources were needed for the initiative A Nature Legacy for Canada.