6. Summary of the Strategic Environmental Assessment

6.1 Context

The Management Plan for Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site of Canada has undergone a strategic environmental review in accordance with the Cabinet Directive entitled “Environmental Assessment Process for Policy and Program Proposals.” This federal environmental assessment process is a self-evaluation mechanism used by federal departments and agencies to determine, assess and generally mitigate the environmental impacts of projects or activities they plan to undertake. In accordance with Parks Canada’s Management Directive 2.4.2 on impact assessment, the scope of these environmental assessments extends to cultural resources, so that all the factors bearing on the assessment are included in the same report. The environmental assessment of this Management Plan is presented in a separatedocument entitled “Évaluation environnementale stratégique du plan directeur du lieu historique national du Canada du Canal-de-Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.” The following sections provide a summary of this document.

6.2 Methodological Approach

The environmental assessment of the Management Plan was carried out in several stages. The first consisted in determining the scope of the assessment with respect both to the elements to be considered and to the temporal and spatial limits of the exercise. Then the general directions presented in the Management Plan were examined to ensure that they accorded with the mandate and policies of Parks Canada. The next step involved identifying the stressors that might result from the presentation of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site of Canada. These potential impacts were defined by using a matrix that showed the relationship between elements of the Management Plan and components of the receiving environment. The impacts were then characterized according to their duration (temporary or permanent impact) and intensity (no impact, weak impact, impact that could be mitigated or not, or unknown impact). The cumulative effect of these impacts was assessed by determining to what degree the interaction of certain elements in the Management Plan would contribute to improving or impairing key components of the environment. Finally, general measures intended to reduce anticipated negative impacts were defined.

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