Although the most important measures described in the Management Plan are intended to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site, the Plan also presents other measures that would reinforce the canal’s role as a through navigation route and help to improve the site’s integration into the surrounding region. All of these measures should ultimately contribute to enriching the experience of those using the site either as pleasure boaters or as visitors on land.
The implementation of the prescribed directions and management measures will require substantial funding. Since the site does not at present have the requisite capital budget, most of the planned measures cannot be implemented in the immediate future. These projects will probably have to be put on hold for several years, until such time as the appropriate funding is available. Parks Canada will look into the problem of funding the proposed initiatives while at the same time seeking the financial support of partners and collaborators who share the agency’s values.
In the course of the coming years, the Western Quebec Field Unit of Parks Canada, which is responsible for managing the canal, will do its utmost—either with its own budgets or through partnership agreements—to implement some of the high-priority measures related to the objective of ensuring the commemorative integrity of the site. These measures are to:
- Draw up an inventory of in situ archaeological resources and assess their current state;
- Develop an interpretation plan for the entire historic site, including the fish ladder;
- Add new panels to the outdoor interpretation circuit;
- Undertake the first phase of the fish ladder presentation plan and seek the financial partnerships required for that purpose;
- Produce a concept/plan for enhancing the landscape of the entire site;
- Develop a plan for the conservation/res-toration of the superintendent’s house.
The full development of the cultural core sectors and the implementation of other projects will have to be contemplated in terms of long-range planning, at a time when the necessary funding has become available. However, it is possible that certain projects involving co-funding may be realized earlier than expected, depending on the partnership offers that arise.
As specified by law, the Saint-Ours Canal National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan is to be updated by 2009. All the measures that have not been implemented at that time will be re-examined within the framework of the next Plan review process. In the meantime, interested members of the public may consult the Report on the State of Protected Heritage Areas, published every two years, to find out what steps have been taken to preserve the site’s commemorative integrity.