The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal
A National Historic Site
In 1925, the Historic Monuments and Sites Board of Canada (HMSBC) recommended that the development of a national network of Canadian canals should be considered as a theme of national historic significance, and it undertook a study of various Canadian canals with a view to establishing a commemoration project. Four years later, the Board recommended that 14 canals be recognized as sites of national historic significance, but the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal was omitted from the list.
In 1972, under the Recreation and Conservation Agreement (RCA) Program, the management of certain canals that had come to be used mainly for pleasure boating was entrusted to Parks Canada. Eight historic canals, including the Sainte-Anne-de- Bellevue Canal were thus transferred, on the condition that they should be managed in a manner that took into consideration not only their former role as transportation corridors but that also promoted the protection, enjoyment and interpretation of their heritage values.1
In 1987, the Board recommended that, "the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal was of national significance as a waterway belonging to the national network of canals in Canada and should be commemorated with a plaque." Furthermore, the Board recommended that a study should be conducted to identify structures or components of the Sainte-Annede- Bellevue Canal that might have taken on national historic significance or deserve to be preserved.2 In 1990, the Board reiterated the recommendations it had made in 1987.
In 1994, Parks Canada established its Guiding Principles and Operational Policies, which represents a comprehensive statement providing a framework for the definition of the general principles intended to guide national programs for the protection and presentation of natural and cultural heritage. The HSMBC's 1987 opinion concerning the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal could thus be acted upon on the basis of the more detailed directives expressed in the Historic Canals Policy, the National Historic Sites Policy and the Cultural Resource Management Policy.
1Considering the two roles played by historic canals, these sites are managed in accordance with the Department of Transport Act and the regulations concerning historic canals under this act, as well as with the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, which governs the administration, protection and maintenance of national historic sites.