Table of contents

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

Raison d’être

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is responsible for the Parks Canada Agency. Parks Canada protects and presents nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, and fosters public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations. Canada’s national urban park, national parks, national historic sites, heritage canals and national marine conservation areas, of which Parks Canada is the proud steward, offer Canadians opportunities to visit, experience and personally connect with Canada’s rich natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them. 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.

For more information on the Agency’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letteri.


i The Minister’s mandate letter, https://pm.gc.ca/en/mandate-letters.


Supplementary Information Tables


Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Section 1. Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the purpose of this Act to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Parks Canada supports reporting on the implementation of the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.


Section 2. Sustainable development at Parks Canada

Parks Canada’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy for 2017 to 2020 describes the department’s actions in support of achieving the following goals:

FSDS Goal 2: Achieving Low Carbon Government;

FSDS Goal 6: Healthy Coasts and Oceans;

FSDS Goal 8: Sustainable Managed Lands and Forests;

FSDS Goal 9: Healthy Wildlife Populations;

FSDS Goal 12: Connecting Canadians to Nature, and

FSDS Goal 13: Safe and Healthy Communities.

This supplementary information table presents available results for the departmental actions pertinent to these goals. Previous years’ supplementary information tables are posted on Parks Canada’s website.


Section 3. Departmental performance by FSDS goal

The following tables provide performance information on departmental action[s] in support of the FSDS goals listed in section 2.


Logo with building and leaf


Context: FSDS Goal 2: Low-carbon government

Low-carbon government - As part of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, Parks Canada has developed a Greening Operations Standard and Action Plan to provide strategic direction to ensure sustainable workplace operations that contribute to a low-carbon government.

Low-carbon government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve it by 2025

Improve the energy efficiency of our buildings/operations

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Reduce GHG emissions from its facilities and fleet by 2% below 2005 levels, with facilities contributing 1.4%.
  • Validate its facilities portfolios for GHG reporting with regards to fuel, electricity and non-energy sources.
  • Promote Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) for its facilities to include high-performance green building standards for new constructions or major renovations.

Starting point(s):
Total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet in fiscal year 2005-06 (base year): 41.2 ktCO2e

Total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet in fiscal year 2016-17: 35.1 ktCO2e

GHG emissions from facilities in fiscal year 2005-06 (base year): 29.8 ktCO2e

GHG emissions from facilities in fiscal year 2016-17: 22.6 ktCO2e

Performance indicator(s):
Percentage change in total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet since 2005 levels.

Percentage change in GHG emissions from facilities relative to combined total (facilities and fleet) Agency 2005 levels.

Percentage change in total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet relative to 2005-06 levels: -3%.

Percentage change in GHG emissions from facilities relative to combined total (facilities and fleet) Agency 2005-06 levels: -15%.

Parks Canada’s actions are intended to reduce GHG emissions in facilities by 28% by 2030, relative to total Agency 2005 levels, thereby contributing to the overall Government of Canada’s reduction targets.

UN SDG Goal:

Responsible Consumption and Production – Target 12.7

Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Modernize our fleet

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Reduce GHG emissions from its facilities and fleet by 2% below 2005 levels, with the fleet contributing to a 0.6% reduction.
  • Purchase 75% of its light fleet vehicles from more energy efficient vehicles on the Agency’s Preauthorized Vehicle List (PVL).
  • Promote the development of 5-year replacement plans for heavy-duty fleet vehicles by moving to vehicles with greater efficiency and lower emissions.
  • Promote right-size and low-carbon intensity fleet-vehicles.

Starting point(s):
Total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet in fiscal year 2005-06 (base year): 41.2 ktCO2e

Total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet in fiscal year 2016-17: 35.1 ktCO2e

GHG emissions from fleet in fiscal year 2005-06 (base year): 11.4 ktCO2e

GHG emissions from fleet in fiscal year 2016-17: 12.4 ktCO2e

Performance indicator(s):
Percentage change in total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet relative to 2005 levels.

Percentage change in GHG emissions from fleet relative to combined total (facilities and fleet) Agency 2005 levels.

Percentage change in total Agency GHG emissions from facilities and fleet relative to 2005-06 levels: -3%.

Percentage change in GHG emissions from fleet relative to combined total (facilities and fleet) Agency 2005-06 levels: +27%.

The modernization of the Agency’s fleet through purchasing 75% of its light fleet from more energy efficient vehicles, replacing its heavy vehicles on a more frequent basis with those with lower emissions and greater efficiency and by ensuring that right-size and carbon efficient vehicles are used where possible will contribute to its goal of reducing its fleet GHG emissions of 12% by 2030, relative to total Agency 2005 levels.

UN SDG Goal:

Responsible Consumption and Production – Target 12.7

Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement

In 2019-20 Parks Canada committed to:

  • Integrate sustainability into common-use procurement instruments, processes and controls.
  • Require key procurement officials to support and promote green procurement.
  • Provide green procurement awareness and training for staff involved in procurement.
  • Set Agency targets to reduce the environmental impact of specific goods and services (e.g. IM/IT equipment, light fleet, heavy fleet).

Starting point(s):
Number of key procurement officials that have facilitated green procurement through various activities and/or tools in 2016-17 (base year): 7

Number of procurement decision makers that have completed training on green procurement in 2016-17 (base year): 35

Number of goods and services categories with specific green procurement targets in 2016-17 (base year): 3

Performance indicator(s): Percentage of key procurement officials that have facilitated green procurement through various activities and/or tools.

Percentage of procurement decision makers that have completed training on green procurement.

Percentage change in the number of goods and services with specific green procurement targets.

Seven of seven (100%) key procurement officials have facilitated green procurement through various activities and/or tools, as of March 2020.

35 of 35 (100%) procurement decision makers have completed training on green procurement, as of March 2020.

There was no change in the number of goods and services categories with specific green procurement targets.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services and supply chain and for procurement specialists to, through training, become more aware of green procurement principles so they can make more informed procurement decisions. GHG emission reductions, recyclable content and packaging are all areas of consideration in green procurement.

UN SDG Goal:

Responsible Consumption and Production – Target 12.7

Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Demonstrate innovative technologies

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Partner with Canadian environmental businesses to test on the Agency’s sites new clean technology developments through the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP). For example, the Agency will use innovative technology to analyse in real time the amount of petroleum contamination in soil samples.

Starting point(s):
Number of BCIP-funded clean environmental technologies tested across Agency facilities in 2016-17 (base year): 2

Performance indicator(s):
Percentage change in the number of BCIP-sponsored clean environmental technologies tested

Percentage change in the number of BCIP-sponsored clean environmental technologies tested: +600% (12 new technologies tested across the Agency in 2019-20)

Actions that incent, support, or procure state-of-the-art clean environmental innovative technologies lower the environmental footprint of government operations while contributing to the success of clean-tech businesses in Canada.

UN SDG Goal:

Responsible Consumption and Production - Target 12.7

Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Promote sustainable travel practices

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Continue to apply its Travel Directive and related policies to ensure the most efficient travel practices are pursued.
  • Promote green meeting practices by increasing videoconferencing facilities by 15% by March 2019 relative to March 2016 level.
  • Promote the creation of voluntary workplace Green Teams that will steward sustainable commuting and resource use.

Starting point(s):
Number of videoconferencing facilities in fiscal year 2016-17 (base year): 72

Number of voluntary workplace Green Teams in fiscal year 2016-17 (base year): 2

Performance indicator(s):
Percentage change in videoconferencing facilities.

Percentage change in the number of voluntary workplace Green Teams.

The Agency increased its videoconferencing facilities by 5%

Percentage change in the number of voluntary workplace Green Teams: 0%

Actions taken to reduce the amount of business travel, such as the provision of videoconferencing facilities in a greater number of workplaces or switch to less GHG intensive modes of transportation, for both business travel and commuting, will contribute to reducing the Agency’s overall GHG emissions.

UN SDG Goal:

Responsible Consumption and Production - Target 12.7

Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Understand climate change impacts and build resilience

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Continue to identify, assess, prioritize and take action to address climate change risks across the Agency’s areas of responsibility.
  • Work with partner organizations and specialists to refine tools and approaches, including an adaptation framework, regional reports and workshops, to better understand and support climate change adaptation in parks and protected areas in Canada.

Starting point(s):
A draft Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Agency has been developed to identify climate change risks.

Number of PCA heritage sites that have been subject to PCA’s site-specific climate change adaptation planning exercise.

Performance indicator(s):
Percent completion of a comprehensive assessment of climate change risks and mitigation measures

Percentage of targeted PCA heritage sites which developed climate change adaptation plans

Targets:
100% completion of a comprehensive assessment of climate change risks and mitigation measures by Fall 2019.

75% of targeted Parks Canada heritage sites which developed climate change adaptation plans by March 2020.

Parks Canada has reached 100% completion of a comprehensive assessment of climate change risks and mitigation measures, as of March 2020.

As of March 2020, 86% (18 of 21) of targeted PCA heritage sites participated in climate change adaptation workshops to inform plans for climate change adaptation approaches to address identified impacts and risks. 14% of planned workshops were postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020.

Parks Canada will integrate climate change considerations into policy, programs, and operations to adapt to a changing climate, enhance the protection of public, assets and resources, and strengthen planning and decision-making.

UN SDG Goal:

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Target 9.1

Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

Life Under Water – Target 14.5

By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.

Life on Land – Target 15.1

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.


Logo with fish tail

Context: FSDS goal 6: Healthy coasts and oceans

Parliament mandated, through the Parks Canada Agency Act and the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, that Parks Canada establish a system of National marine conservation areas (NMCAs) representative of the diversity of Canada's 29 oceanic and Great Lakes marine regions. Parks Canada's role is to ensure the protection and ecologically sustainability of these NMCAs, facilitate unique experiences and an appreciation of marine heritage, and engage Canadians in the management of NMCAs.

Healthy coasts and oceans: Coasts and oceans support healthy, resilient and productive ecosystems

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target

By 2020, 10 % of coastal and marine areas are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures

Protect and manage marine and coastal areas

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Conclude an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement and complete an interim management plan for the area, Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area (in Lancaster Sound in Nunavut).
  • Launch a feasibility assessment, proposed national marine conservation area in Arctic Basin, Ellesmere Island in Nunavut - “Last Ice Area”.
  • Conclude ongoing feasibility assessment, proposed national marine conservation area reserve in the southern Strait of Georgia, Strait of Georgia in British Columbia.
  • Launch a feasibility assessment, proposed national marine conservation area adjacent to the Îles de la Madeleine, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • Launch a feasibility assessment, proposed national marine conservation area in James Bay, eastern James Bay.
  • Advance a feasibility assessment for a new proposal for a site in western Hudson Bay.
  • Work on the national Imappivut (Our Water) initiative regarding oceans management in northern Labrador within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. This work may offer a possibility to initiate a proposal for a marine conservation area offshore of Torngat Mountains National Park.

Starting point(s):
As of March 31, 2016, the national marine conservation area system was 17 % complete. The system includes four areas representing five of the 29 marine regions.

Performance indicator(s):
Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas.

Target:
2 (annually)

Parks Canada surpassed its goal for this year; as of March 2020, one new national marine conservation establishment area was established, representing one new marine region in the system and bringing it to 21% completion. As well, demonstrable progress towards establishing national marine conservation areas was made in 6 marine regions:

  • The Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement for Tallurutiup Imanga NMCA was concluded successfully and the agreement to establish this NMCA was announced on August 1, 2019.
  • A feasibility assessment of marine protected area in Arctic Basin was launched in collaboration with DFO – “Tuvaijuittuq”
  • The feasibility assessment for southern Strait of Georgia continued
  • A feasibility assessment in Îles de la Madeleine commenced
  • A feasibility assessment is underway in Eastern James Bay
  • A feasibility assessment is underway in Imappivut (Labrador Coast)

Parks Canada’s establishment work to protect marine and coastal areas in national marine conservation areas, which includes collaboration with Indigenous peoples and provincial and territorial governments, makes a significant contribution to the government’s commitment to protect 5 % of the marine environment by 2017, and 10 % by 2020.

The establishment of Tallurutiup Imanga NMCA makes a significant contribution to this target. Between this establishment and the announcement of the joint feasibility study with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to establish a marine protected area in the high Arctic basin, together which cover more than 427,000 square kilometres, Canada’s total of marine environment protected is nearly 14%, exceeding the 10% target.

UN SDG Goal:

Life on Land – Target 15.1

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

Build our knowledge of coastal ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas and fisheries

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Continue to work with other federal departments, Indigenous peoples and stakeholders to advance policy and management tools to ensure the effective conservation and management of national marine conservation areas.
  • Continue to implement a pilot monitoring program enabling the Agency to better understand the state of the national marine conservation area system and more effectively manage these areas.

Starting point(s):
National marine conservation area monitoring plans are being implemented to help operating sites inform decision making and contribute condition assessments to future State of Canada’s Natural and Historic Places Reports.

Performance indicator(s):
Number of operating sites that contribute condition assessments to the State of Canada’s Natural and Historic Places Report.

Target:
4 by March 2021

Parks Canada is on track to achieve its target of four operating NMCAs to contribute condition assessments to the State of Canada’s Natural and Historic Places Report, which is scheduled to be released in 2021.

  • National marine conservation area monitoring programs are being developed and implemented.
  • Data has been collected and assessed that will contribute to monitoring species and habitat, environmental quality, and marine use.
  • All sites will be reporting on some indicators in the next State of Canada’s Natural and Historic Places Report

Parks Canada’s State of Protected Heritage Areas Report, published every five years (last published in 2016 and next due in 2021), presents a big-picture snapshot of the Agency’s work on protected areas establishment and on conservation within established and operational protected heritage areas. By contributing condition assessments to this report, operating national marine conservation areas in coastal regions contribute to effective area-based conservation measures by advancing knowledge of coastal and marine areas.

UN SDG Goal:

Life Under Water – Target 14.5

By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.


Logo with tree


Context: FSDS goal 8: Sustainable managed lands and forests

Parks Canada has been entrusted to protect an increasing number of natural areas within a system of national parks that represents each of Canada's 39 natural terrestrial regions. Once established, Parks Canada' role is to manage these national parks in a manner that ensures their ecological integrity for present and future generations.

Sustainable managed lands and forests: Lands and forests support biodiversity and provide a variety of ecosystem services for generations to come

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target

By 2020, at least 17 % of terrestrial areas and inland water are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures

Conserve natural spaces

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Conclude negotiation of land transfer agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories, establishment agreement with Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, and an Impact and Benefit Agreement with the Northwest Territories Métis Nation, and formally protect the Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve (located in the East Arm of the Great Slave Lake of the Northwest Territories) area under the Canada National Parks Act.
  • Confirm a final boundary and governance approach for a national park reserve in the South Okanagan Similkameen (Interior Dry Plateau natural region) in collaboration with the British Columbia government and local First Nations, followed by negotiation of the relevant establishment agreement(s).
  • Continue to play an important role in advancing the Programme of Work on Protected Areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative.
  • Support the recognition and implementation of a spectrum of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.

Starting point(s):
Currently, 30 of 39 of Canada’s natural regions are represented by 46 national parks and national park reserves.

Performance indicator(s):
Number of unrepresented regions with demonstrable progress towards establishing national parks.

Target:
2 annually

Parks Canada exceeded this target in 2019-20 through the establishment of one new national park and progress on two additional establishment processes. As of March 2020, 31 of 39 natural regions are represented by 47 national parks and national park reserves.

  • Negotiations are complete and agreements signed for Canada’s 47th national park - Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve – which was formally established under Canada National Parks Act in September 2019.

Demonstrable progress has been made on two further national park proposals:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on July 2nd, 2019, by the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation. The MOU commits all parties to formally work toward establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen and is a significant step towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.
  • On August 14, 2019, the feasibility assessment for Hog Island – Sandhills PEI was announced by the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island and the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations. It will augment representation of the Maritime Plain natural region and advance reconciliation as this is also a proposed Indigenous protected and conserved area.

Parks Canada’s work to expand the national parks system contributes to goal of conserving lands and inland waters and to the Government of Canada’s goal to conserve, by 2020, at least 17 % of terrestrial areas and inland water through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

The establishment of Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve in August 2019, as approximately 14,000 square kilometres, and the adjacent 12,220 square kilometres of territorially protected areas and a wildlife conservation area, brings Canada closer to its commitment to conserve 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water.

UN SDG Goal:

Life on Land – Target 15.1

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

By March 31, 2023, ecological integrity will be maintained or improved in 92% of national park ecosystems

Conserve Natural Spaces

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Reprioritize the Conservation and Restoration Program to fund projects that will achieve objectives of the Nature Legacy including enhanced integration of the conservation of species and spaces, incorporation of Indigenous knowledge, incorporation of ecological connectivity, and planning for climate change adaptation. A science-based ecological integrity monitoring program is used to prioritize ecosystems to restore.
  • Begin implementation of an action plan for Wood Buffalo National Park in collaboration with Indigenous partners, other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders. This unified approach makes use of the best available science and Indigenous traditional knowledge―ensuring that Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site remains a treasured place with Outstanding Universal Value for generations to come.

Starting point(s):
As of March 2016, the condition of 90% of national park ecosystems was maintained or improved from 2011.

Performance indicator(s):
Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved.

Target:
92% of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity has been maintained or improved by March 31, 2023.

By March 2020, the condition of 86% of national park ecosystems was maintained or improved from 2011. Parks Canada is on track to meet the target, ensuring that these ecosystems are conserved for future generations.

Performance on this indicator has improved by 4% since 2018-19. Parks Canada continues to prioritize investments in restoration projects based on the results of science-based ecological integrity monitoring.

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 supporting the maintenance and improvement of the ecological integrity in national parks through protection, conservation, restoration or mitigation activities, Parks Canada contributions to the conservation of natural spaces in protected heritage areas across the country, ensuring that these places are protected for present and future generations of Canadians.

UN SDG Goal:

Life on Land – Target 15.1

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

Life on Land – Target: 15.5

Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.


Logo with bird

Context: FSDS goal 9: Healthy wildlife populations

Parks Canada has a legal obligation to maintain or improve ecological integrity of national park ecosystems, while providing benefit and enjoyment to Canadians and international visitors. The Agency uses indicators to summarize and assess the ecological condition of the main ecosystems in each national park, i.e. forests, tundra, wetlands or freshwater. Using this information, Parks Canada identifies and conducts priority restoration initiatives for impaired ecosystems.

Parks Canada is committed to the protection and recovery of species at risk, many of which can be found within Parks Canada lands and waters. Parks Canada works to protect species at risk, along with their residences and habitat, and also supports and undertakes recovery activities to maintain or improve their conservation status.

Healthy wildlife populations: All species have healthy and viable populations

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target

By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans

Use legislation and regulations to protect species at risk and migratory birds

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Recover species at risk on a priority basis through the Conservation and Restoration Program.
  • Support the development of site-based action plans for species at risk in compliance with the Species at Risk Act and demonstrate federal leadership for land use management and species recovery through an active program of implementation and restoration.

Starting point(s):
As of 2016, Parks Canada had completed seven multi-species action plans for parks with five or more species at risk. With the completion of that target, the current focus is on parks with three or more species at risk.

Performance indicator(s):
Number of action plans for Parks Canada places with 3 or more species at risk.

Target:
24 action plans have been developed for Parks Canada places with 3 or more species at risk by March 2020.

As of March 2020, Parks Canada has completed 21 multi-species action plans and continues to work towards achieving the target of 24 by the end of 2020.

One additional single-species action plan (for Sweat Bee) was posted on the SARA registry in March 2020.

In 2019, Parks Canada implemented over 60 species at risk recovery projects prescribed in site-based Action Plans.

In 2019, Parks Canada’s Conservation and Restoration Program (CoRe) supported 55 projects ($27.0M) for ecological integrity and species at risk. For example, a CoRe project in Banff National Park reintroduced free-ranging plains bison after a 100-year absence. CoRe project selection criteria were also refined to improve project efficacy and the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge.

Parks Canada works to protect species at risk found in heritage places, along with their residences and habitat, and also supports and undertakes recovery activities to maintain or improve their conservation status.

Multi and single-species action plans outline the projects or activities within a protected heritage area required to meet the goals and objectives outlined in species at risk recovery strategies. They include information on the species habitat, protection measures, and an evaluation of the socio-economic costs and benefits, as well as Indigenous perspectives on species at risk. It is the second part of the two-part recovery planning process and is used to implement the projects or activities to improve the species status.

Parks Canada's internal CoRe program supports high priority projects in national parks, national historic sites and national conservation areas that make a difference on the ground in maintaining or restoring ecological integrity, contributing to ecological sustainability, and helping in the recovery of species at risk.

UN SDG Goal:

Life on Land – Target: 15.5

Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.


Logo with twig in hand

Context: FSDS goal 12: Connecting Canadians with nature

Parks Canada builds public awareness of and connection to the protected heritage places that it administers, as well as the natural and cultural resources in them. Through relevant and effective promotion and engagement initiatives, Parks Canada is working to strengthen Canadians' awareness and appreciation of their national protected heritage places and Parks Canada's important mandate to protect and present these places. By encouraging Canadians to visit these places, and in providing them with the information and means to enjoy them, Parks Canada allows more Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn about our heritage. These experiences can also lead to learning, personal growth and mental and physical health benefits. By strengthening the connection Canadians feel to their national heritage places, Parks Canada is helping to foster enthusiasm for Canada's natural and cultural heritage and create a culture of stewardship and care for these places and the environment more broadly.

Connecting Canadians to nature: Canadians are informed about the value of nature, experiencing nature first hand, and actively engaged in its stewardship

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target

By 2020, maintain or increase the number of Canadians that get out into nature – for example, by visiting parks and green space – and increase participation in biodiversity conservation activities relative to a 2010 baseline

Promote public participation

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Reach nationally-identified markets and audiences to diversify and build visitation, and to increase public awareness and support including: youth 17 and under, young adults, young families, and urban Canadians, as well as various niche markets and select international markets.
  • Building on the 2018 awareness and pride campaign (450 000 km2 of memories), launch a national advertising campaign to promote visitation, conservation and authentic Indigenous experiences that showcases activities rooted in Indigenous knowledge.
  • Enhance public understanding and appreciation of Parks Canada’s work in science and conservation and highlight the importance of working with Indigenous knowledge holders and partnerships through strategic and targeted communications, promotion and outreach activities such as media events, social media interactions, media relations, website updates, advertising and promotional activities.
  • Integrate promotion, communication, outreach, education, social media and web content with a focus on content marketing in a digital first context.
  • Introduce a renewed brand in time for the 2020 operating season and develop accompanying tools to guide its implementation.
  • Renew Parks Canada’s reservation system for 2022, increasing the types and number of experiences that can be reserved and purchased and optimizing their availability across a wider variety of channels and devices.
  • Renew Parks Canada’s point of sales system so the Agency continues to have an effective and efficient system to serve visitors.
  • Improve the links between the reservation and point of sales systems, the Parks Canada web site and other systems, to create a more seamless and convenient user experience, and to allow for the effective collection of business intelligence.
  • Building on the success of 2018 and visitor feedback, improve online planning tools and reservation capabilities to support trip planning, including adding new features to the Parks Canada’s mobile app.

Starting point (s):
628,203 visits by new Canadians and young adults (2016-17) (10%).

Performance indicator(s):
Percentage of visitors to Parks Canada places that are new Canadians and young adults.

Count of personal and non-personal contacts obtained through multimedia and outreach initiatives.

Target:
14% of visitors annually to Parks Canada places are new Canadians and young adults.

100 million contacts personal and non-personal contacts are obtained through multimedia and outreach initiatives between April 2019 and March 2020.

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 is no longer reported by Parks Canada.

Parks Canada established more than 365.5 million personal and non-personal contacts through multimedia and outreach initiatives between April 2019 and March 2020.

By implementing strategies to ensure targeted audiences, such as youth, newcomers and urban audiences, as well as its traditional audiences are inspired to visit and connect with Parks Canada’s network of protected heritage areas, the Agency contributes to the number of Canadians that get out into nature.

Completion of the renewed brand has been delayed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The renewal of the reservation system and Point of Sale is currently on track.

UN SDG Goal:

Sustainable Cities and Communities – Target 11.7

By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.

Enhance programs and services for visitors

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Renew interpretive and outreach programming with a focus on fostering meaningful connections to nature and history.
  • Continue to deliver and enhance Learn-to Camp programming and events in urban centres to better equip Canadians with the tools to connect to and explore the outdoors and to help low-and middle-income families visit and enjoy Parks Canada places
  • Manage visitation levels so they are sustainable and ensure quality visitor experiences, including growth where appropriate, and redistribution of visitation geographically and temporally as necessary.
  • Continue to diversify experiences and interpretive offers to encourage exploration and learning at heritage places.
  • Implement the Service Fees Act including a national consultation with Canadians on value-added experiences and services.
  • Plan for visitor experience and making investments in visitor infrastructure, to maintain access to high quality experiences, maximize revenues and improve financial sustainability.
  • Continue to improve the Agency’s ability to work within the broad spectrum of engagement and collaborative activities with renewed policy, directives, guidance, tools and instruments.
  • Develop innovative partnerships with tourism partners, national and local stakeholders and Indigenous peoples to target key audiences and develop visitor experiences.
  • Implement the Stories of Canada program by working with Indigenous communities on opportunities for experiences, interpretation and storytelling, and present Indigenous values, perspectives and contributions to Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.
  • Leverage Government of Canada milestone anniversaries and special events, such as the commemorations of the World Wars, and the third annual Canada Historic Places Day, as a means to attract new audiences and to enhance Canadians’ connections to and understanding of Canada’s heritage.
  • Support Canada’s new Tourism Vision to grow Canada’s revenue through international tourism.

Starting point(s):
In 2016, there were 24.7 million visits to Parks Canada administered places.

Performance indicator(s):
Maintain or increase the number of people that connect with nature at Parks Canada places.

Target:
At least 24.7 million people that connect with nature at Parks Canada places annually.

In 2019-20 there were 24.9 million visits to Parks Canada administered places.

In 2019, the Learn-to Camp program held over 600 events and welcomed over 100,000 participants (approximately 40,000 young Canadians).

To fulfill the Government of Canada’s priority to have more Canadians experience and learn about the environment and their heritage places, Parks Canada develops and innovates its programs and services to encourage Canadians to visit and connect with national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas across the country.

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, including the increasingly popular Learn to Camp program, are encouraging exploration and learning, with a focus on fostering meaningful connections with nature and history. Indigenous experiences, family-friendly activities are just few examples of many programs and activities that contribute to welcoming more Canadians.

UN SDG Goal:

Sustainable Cities and Communities – Target 11.7

By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.


Logo with three people under roof


Context: FSDS goal 13: Safe and healthy communities

Canada is responsible for 479 sites registered in the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory as of March 31, 2017. With funding from the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan, the Agency undertakes risk reduction activities (through remediation and/or risk management) at federal contaminated sites under its responsibility. Efforts at remediating contaminated sites serves to protect the health of Canadians as well as the environment.

Safe and Healthy Communities: All Canadians live in clean, sustainable communities that contribute to their health and well-being

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target

By 2020, address the 4,300 substances identified as priorities for action under the Chemicals Management Plan

Demonstrate leadership on assessing and remediating contaminated sites

In 2019-20, Parks Canada committed to:

  • Contribute to the delivery of Phase III of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) to reduce potential environmental and human health risks and related financial liabilities.
  • Assess 38 FCSAP-funded federal contaminated sites.
  • Remediate or risk-manage 49 high-priority federal contaminated sites.

Starting point(s):
Number of FCSAP-funded sites where assessment activities have been completed by 2016-17 (base year): 4

Number of FCSAP-funded high-priority sites where FCSAP-funded risk reduction activities have been completed by 2016-17 (base year): 2

Performance indicator(s):
Number of FCSAP-funded sites where assessment activities have been completed in 2019-20

Number of FCSAP-funded high-priority sites where FCSAP-funded risk reduction activities have been completed in 2019-20.

Number of FCSAP-funded sites where assessment activities have been completed in 2019-20: 1

Parks Canada completed the assessment and reduced uncertainty with the risk posed by a contaminated site located in Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site. Assessment activities are also ongoing at five other sites, located within Point Pelee, Pukaskwa, Glacier and Banff National Parks and at the Rideau Canal National Historic Site.

Total number of FCSAP-funded high-priority sites where FCSAP-funded risk reduction activities have been completed in 2019-20: 1

Results from the 2019-20 program of work to conduct remediation and risk reduction activities included 10 planned sites as well as an additional 12 sites which carried-forward FCSAP funds from 2018-19. Parks Canada successfully completed the remediation of one site at the Lachine Canal National Historic Site and closed one site in Quttinirpaaq National Park. These two sites no longer pose any risks to human health or the environment. Furthermore, Parks Canada continued remediation and risk reduction activities at 21 sites located in various national parks and national historic sites and canals

Assessment at federal contaminated sites reduces uncertainty associated with the risk from these sites. Subsequent remedial or risk management actions reduce the associated risk and financial liabilities. It is anticipated that up to 95% of FCSAP remediation expenditures contribute to reducing financial liability.

UN SDG Goal:

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns – Target 12.4

By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment


Section 4. Report on integrating sustainable development

Parks Canada will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process. An SEA for a policy, plan or program proposal includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on relevant FSDS goals and targets.

Public statements on the results of Parks Canada’s assessments are made public when an initiative that has undergone a detailed SEA (see here). The purpose of the public statement is to demonstrate that the environmental effects, including the impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets, of the approved policy, plan or program have been considered during proposal development and decision-making.


Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more

General information

Name of transfer payment program

General Class Contribution Program

Voted

Start date

1995–96

End date

Ongoing

Type of transfer payment

Contribution

Type of appropriation

Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions

2017–18

Link to the department’s Program Inventory

Program 1.1 Heritage Places Establishment

Program 1.2 Heritage Places Conservation

Program 1.3 Heritage Places Promotion and Public Support

Program 1.4 Visitor Experience

Program 1.5 Heritage Canals, Highways and Townsites Management

Description

The objective of the program is to assist recipients in conducting activities and delivering projects that will support the Agency in fulfilling its mandate to preserve and protect nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage and present and foster public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment in ways that ensure the ecological and commemorative integrity of these places for present and future generations.

Results achieved

Projects under the General Class Contribution Program achieved one or more of the following results:

  • Canadians recognize, appreciate and are engaged in the values of natural and cultural conservation.
  • Stakeholders are engaged in terms of interest and involvement of common objectives towards ecological or cultural integrity.
  • Parks Canada managers, partners and stakeholders have access to a better knowledge base for informed decision-making and dialogue on commercial, ecological or indigenous issues of mutual interest.
Findings of audits completed in 2019–20

Not applicable

Findings of evaluations completed in 2019–20

Not applicable

Engagement of applicants and recipients

Not applicable

Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2017–18 Actual spending 2018–19 Actual spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) Variance (2019–20 actual minus 2019–20 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 6,223,027* 13,109,395* 7,664,324 16,939,187 16,939,187 9,274,863
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 6,223,027 13,109,395 7,664,324 16,939,187 16,939,187 9,274,863
Explanation of variances: The variance in actual spending is the result of additional contributions sourced from newly approved program funding and from operating funding. Planned spending is based on a preliminary annual forecast. Total authorities are based on actual approvals.
* Some previous year numbers have been modified to align with the reporting in the Public Accounts of Canada.

General information

Name of transfer payment program

Support to the Great Trail

Voted

Start date

2018–19

End date

2021–22

Type of transfer payment

Contribution

Type of appropriation

Appropriated annually through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions

2018-19

Link to the department’s Program Inventory

Program 1.4: Visitor Experience

Description

The contribution is to enhance, maintain and improve the Great Trail, a national network of multi-use recreational trails that links 15,000 communities and spans 24,400 kilometres. The emphasis is on optimizing user experience and accessibility, and ensuring long-term sustainability.

Results achieved
  • Improvements were made to the Great Trail in the following priority areas: conversion of interim road routes into greenway; engagement and inclusion of Indigenous communities; accessibility for individuals with limited mobility; creation of links with major trail networks; and repairs needed to maintain connection.
  • Damaged sections of the trail were repaired to ensure user safety.
  • Awareness of the Great Trail was increased through a strong digital and social media presence and through partnerships with the tourism industry.
Findings of audits completed in 2019–20

Not applicable

Findings of evaluations completed in 2019–20

Not applicable

Engagement of applicants and recipients

Not applicable

Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2017–18 Actual spending 2018–19 Actual spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) Variance (2019–20 actual minus 2019–20 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total contributions 0 7,500,000 7,500,000 7,500,000 7,500,000 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 0 7,500,000 7,500,000 7,500,000 7,500,000 0

General information

Name of transfer payment program

Grant to the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation

Start date

2019–20

End date

2019-20

Type of transfer payment

Grant

Type of appropriation

Appropriated through Estimates

Fiscal year for terms and conditions

2019-20

Link to the department’s Program Inventory

Program 1.4: Visitor Experience

Description

The grant will contribute significantly to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples by giving control to the Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation (LKDFN) to deliver a service that is of cultural importance to them. The objective is to provide one-time funding to the Thaidene Nëné Trust Fund in order for LKDFN to support and manage the obligations negotiated in the Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve Establishment Agreement, including an on-the-land program to monitor and interpret important cultural sites in the park, and make a significant contribution to the visitor experience, participation in the co-operative management board with Parks Canada, and develop scholarship and employment and training opportunities for their membership.

Results achieved

The grant will allow the LKDFN to establish the Trust, putting the First Nation in a position of responsibility, including for any future liability, to deliver their programs in perpetuity. The governance of this grant through a Trust is the epitome of nation-to-nation dealings and is a significant new form of reconciliation.

Findings of audits completed in 2019–20

Not applicable

Findings of evaluations completed in 2019–20

Not applicable

Engagement of applicants and recipients

Not applicable

Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2017–18 Actual spending 2018–19 Actual spending 2019–20 Planned spending 2019–20 Total authorities available for use 2019–20 Actual spending (authorities used) Variance (2019–20 actual minus 2019–20 planned)
Total grants 0 0 0 15,000,000 15,000,000 15,000,000
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 0 0 0 15,000,000 15,000,000 15,000,000
Explanation of variances: This program was only approved during 2019-20 and therefore had not been included in the 2019-20 Departmental Plan.

Summary of response to Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the Parliament of Canada on departmental progress in implementing sustainable development strategies

In Fall 2019, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) released a report on its review of whether federal departments and agencies contributed to the goal of sustainably managed lands and forests in the 2016–2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). This review fulfills the CESD’s obligations under the Auditor General Act to monitor and report on the extent federal departments and agencies that are subject to the Federal Sustainable Development Act have contributed to meeting the targets set out in the federal strategy. The CESD reviewed the 2017–20 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies (DSDS) developed by 7 federal organizations, including Parks Canada, as well as the progress reported in the respective supplementary tables of the 2017–18 Departmental Results Reports.

This review found that although departments and agencies reported results, it was not clear how those results contributed to or supported the federal targets aimed at achieving the goal of sustainably managed lands and forests. It recommended that departments and agencies that contribute to the goal of sustainably managed lands and forests should ensure that the targets and actions in their sustainable development strategies clearly state their contributions to the goal and targets of the FSDS.

Parks Canada agreed with the finding of the review. The Agency committed to continuing to ensure that the actions and targets of its DSDS clearly state the contribution to the goals and targets of the FSDS. The Agency also committed to drawing more evident links between its results for conserving lands and forests to the goals and targets of the FSDS in the supplementary tables of its Departmental Results Report.

Since the above response was provided, the reporting products have been adjusted to show greater alignment between departmental and agency DSDS results and those of the FSDS. Parks Canada is following the updated processes.


Gender-based analysis plus

In 2019–20, Parks Canada set up its GBA+ responsibility centre with a GBA+ lead and a champion supported by a working group. Together, they crafted a GBA+ statement of intent and action plan, presented it to all Directorate Management Committees and obtained approval of the Executive Management Committee. The Parks Canada GBA+ responsibility centre launched a GBA+ ParksNet page (intranet) and provided guidance and revision services to Parks Canada functional teams on their GBA+.

Parks Canada GBA+ statement of intent:

The Parks Canada Agency prides itself on fully respecting diversity and gender equality while serving more than 20 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 Canadians and international visitors, Indigenous peoples and communities, team members and stakeholders across the organization.

General information

Governance structures

In 2019-20, Parks Canada identified the Strategic Policy and Investment Directorate as the host for the GBA+ responsibility centre. Furthermore:

  • A vice-president has been appointed as GBA+ champion.
  • A GBA+ working group was renewed and included members from the following directorates: Operations, Strategic Policy and Investment, Human Resources, External Relations and Visitor Experience, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation, Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage and the Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation.

Following recommendations of the GBA+ working group, the Executive Management Committee approved the formal GBA+ statement of intent and the Agency-wide GBA+ action plan.

Human resources

For 2019-20, one FTE was dedicated to lead the GBA+ responsibility centre as well as the Agency’s GBA+ working group.

Major initiatives: results achieved

In 2019-20, the Parks Canada GBA+ responsibility centre:

  • Drafted and received approval from the Executive Management Committee for the GBA+ statement of intent and the GBA+ action plan
  • Launched the GBA+ ParksNet page (intranet) during GBA+ Awareness Week
  • Confirmed the long-term resource requirements for the GBA+ responsibility centre
  • Provided GBA+ guidance to functional teams drafting GBA+ for budget proposals, memorandum to Cabinet, Treasury Board submissions and others
  • Contributed to the GBA+ implementation survey of the Department of Women and Gender Equality
  • In collaboration with the Parks Canada LGBTQ2 Network, contributed to the policy direction to modernize the government of Canada’s sex and gender information practices by producing and distributing through ParksNet a document entitled Pronouns Sharing at Parks Canada: A Few Answers to Your Questions.
Reporting capacity and data

Two key outcomes identified and crafted in the Parks Canada GBA+ Action Plan 2019-2021 are:

  • better access to supporting data and research for GBA+ among team members at Parks Canada
  • stronger monitoring, reporting and impact of GBA+ at Parks Canada.