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Internal Audit and Evaluation Documents

Parks Canada Multi-Year Evaluation Plan - 2012-2013 to 2016-2017

Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation Parks Canada
October 10, 2012

Recommended for Approval by Parks Canada Evaluation Committee: October 15, 2012
Date appr
oved by CEO: November 6, 2012


I submit to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the evaluation plan that I approved for the Parks Canada Agency for fiscal years 2012–2013, as required by the Policy on Evaluation.

As per section 6.1.7 and 6.1.8 of the policy, I confirm that this five-year departmental evaluation plan:

  1. aligns with and supports the departmental Management, Resources and Results Structure;
  2. has been designed to help support the requirements of the Expenditure Management System, including strategic reviews; and,
  3. includes all ongoing programs of grants and contributions administered by the department, as required by section 42.1 of the Financial Administration Act.

I will ensure that this plan is updated annually and will provide information about implementation of the Agency’s evaluation plan to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, as required.

Alan Latourelle
Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada Agency


Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The Parks Canada 2012–2013 Multi-Year Evaluation Plan outlines the mandate, organizational structure and resources for evaluation in the Agency, the considerations employed in developing the Plan and details of individual evaluation projects for FY 2012–2013, together with the associated resource allocation.

Parks Canada’s Office of Internal Audit and Evaluation (OIAE) adheres to the government’s policy, directive and standards for evaluation. The evaluation function consists of a Chief Evaluation Executive (CEE) and four evaluator positions.

The evaluation universe (i.e., all the individual “evaluable programs”) consists of 21 entities based on a modified version of the Agency’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA). Evaluable entities are described and prioritized based on eight ratings scales (e.g., materiality, completeness of performance framework, reach of entity, degree of control over outcomes). Under policy it is expected that each of the entities will be evaluated every five years, with evaluation priority ratings serving to help schedule the timing and the scope and scale of the evaluations.

For this planning cycle, we updated evaluation priority ratings and consulted with senior management on potential evaluation activities. However, given the nature and scope of changes impacting on the Agency’s operations as a result of Budget 2012 and other fiscal restraint measures in the Agency, it was not possible to conduct a comprehensive review of all entities to assist in planning. Fiscal restraint and resulting reorganization of many structures and processes also limited the capacity of management to engage in meaningful evaluation planning as well as limiting their capacity to respond to new evaluation recommendations.

As a result, senior management requested that the evaluation function concentrate its efforts in the short term on completing evaluation projects in progress and assisting the Agency through the transition by focusing on consultation, analysis and advice for the 2012–2012 fiscal year rather than launch new evaluations.

Therefore, for 2012–2013 the function will complete three evaluations carried over from the 2011–2012 fiscal year and continue to provide support to the three interdepartmental evaluations currently underway. It will also undertake three consulting engagements identified through consultations with senior management. In addition, the function will devote significant effort to updating the evaluation universe for the future planning.

The schedule of evaluations for years 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 consists of four evaluations for each year based on historic information. It should be viewed as tentative and is likely to change as the work to update the evaluation universe and priority ratings over the next several months is completed.

Over the course of the five years in this planning cycle evaluations will cover 96.3% of the Agency’s direct program spending. The two contribution programs of the Agency are included in the five year cycle as required under the FAA.


Under the TB Evaluation Policy the heads of evaluation are required to develop annually a plan which provides for comprehensive evaluation coverage of all direct program spending over a five-year period to support evidence-based decision making on policy, expenditure management (e.g., Strategic Review), program improvements, and accountability for results. Evaluation plans should also ensure coverage of all grant and contribution programs as required in 42.1 of the Financial Administration Act.

The 2012-13 Parks Canada Evaluation Plan outlines the mandate, organizational structure and resources for evaluation at Parks Canada, the strategy and process employed in developing the Plan, a project schedule for the five-year period from April 2012 to March 2017, and details of individual evaluation activities for the FY 2012–2013, together with the associated resource allocation.

Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada was established as a separate departmental corporation in 1998. The Agency's mandate is to:

“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.”

Responsibility for the Parks Canada Agency rests with the Minister of the Environment. The Parks Canada Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reports directly to the Minister.

Fiscal Restraint in the Agency

Parks Canada’s Budget as announced in the Economic Action Plan 2012 was reduced by $29.2M. In addition, the Agency must absorb approximately $15 million in salary increases as announced in Budget 2010 between April 2010 and March 2013. Like other operational organizations, the Agency must also absorb inflationary increases within its existing budget.

As a result of these various pressures the Agency is taking several measures to reduce costs including:

  • The consolidation and streamlining of service centres and National Office into one decentralized and significantly reduced structure focused on policy guidance and service to the field operations of Parks Canada.
  • Aligning the seasonality of the workforce across functions to reflect changed work requirements in the areas of visitor services, resource conservation, and asset management. This will result in changes to the operating season of some parks and sites
  • Focusing recreational boating service at canals Parks Canada to align services at locks on canals with the periods of highest requirements. The Agency is also introducing new management units that are 100% dedicated to canals.
  • Moving to self-guided visitor activities at selected national historic sites while maintaining guided activities at the majority of the national historic sites.
  • Limiting social science research work to focus on corporate reporting needs and otherwise making use of existing external market research done by other organizations (i.e., continue to report on requirements of the federal government management accountability framework, including monitoring public appreciation and client satisfaction).
  • Consolidation of the Agency’s national collection (i.e., historic and archaeological objects and collections) and conservation laboratories in the National Capital Region over the next one to three years.[1]

As a result of these various reductions and constraints 638 positions have been eliminated in the Agency and 1051 positions are “affected”. The majority of the affected positions will not be eliminated but represent a reduction in work period.

The scope and scale of the changes in the Agency affects virtually every aspect of the way the Agency delivers its programming and services although it does not change the overall mandate and priorities. The nature and extent of the changes in turn has significant implications for evaluation planning and the conduct of evaluation activities in both the short and long term as outlined below.

Evaluation Function

Applicable Policies and Professional Standards

The evaluation function at Parks Canada adheres to the Evaluation Policies, directives, standards and guidelines of the Government of Canada. In 2007–2008 a new charter for the evaluation function was approved consistent with the then draft Evaluation Policy, directives and standards.

Mandate and Services Offered

The mandate of the function is:

To contribute to the achievement of Parks Canada's mandate by providing the CEO with evidence-based, credible, neutral and timely information on the ongoing relevance, results, and value of policies and programs, alternative ways of achieving expected results, and program design improvements.

Services include:

  • Evaluation frameworks related to programs, activities or initiatives (i.e., completed in advance of an evaluation to describe an entity, its logic, inputs, outputs, reach and results and identify evaluation questions, methods and costs);
  • Evaluations of programs, policies and functions (i.e., treating the core issue of relevance and performance); and
  • Special projects and the provision of consultation and advice, as required, on performance measures, targets and information systems.

Follow-up on Management Responses

The evaluation cycle includes a systematic follow-up on the management responses, at six months intervals, after the final approval of the reports by the CEO. Managers are requested, by e-mail from the CEO, to complete a template that provides a status report on action plans in response to evaluation recommendations. The template is returned directly to the Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive, and is tabled at the next evaluation committee meeting. The process continues for five-years or all planned actions are complete.


The Agency’s CEO chairs the Evaluation Committee, which is composed of seven senior managers (i.e., Vice-Presidents, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer). The committee approved a revised terms of reference on February 9, 2012.

The Evaluation Committee is responsible for reviewing and providing advice or recommendations to the CEO on:

  • Evaluation Function and Products: including the Agency’s Evaluation Charter; the rolling Five-Year Evaluation Plan; the adequacy and neutrality of resources allocated to the evaluation function; the performance of the function; and key elements of an evaluation product lifecycle, such as terms of reference, scoping documents, evaluation reports, and management responses and action plans including following-up to ensure action plans are implemented.
  • Performance Management Framework: the adequacy of resources allocated to performance measurement in support of evaluation activities, and recommend to the CEO changes or improvements to the framework and an adequate level of resources for these activities.

Organizational Structure and Resources

The organization chart and the 2012–2013 budget for the function are shown below.

As a result of fiscal restraint, one evaluation position at the entry level was declared surplus and was eliminated in August 2012. Staff in two of the remaining positions will be absent on either unpaid or parental leave for part of the year and one staff member will be absent on language training for part of the year resulting in the equivalent of approximately 2.5 FTEs available for work during the year.

The salary budget in the table represents forecasted expenditures for the existing staff for the period they are expected to be available. The function is exploring backfilling the absent employee but no decision has been made at this point. The O&M budget represents the funds available which were not all allocated to specific projects or activities at the time of planning.

  CAEE Office** Evaluation Total
Total 43,500 599,000 642,5000
Salaries* 27,500 314,000 341,500
O&M Staff Support 16,000 30,000 46,000
O&M Professional Services and Evaluator Travel and Project Costs   255,000 255,000
  • * Does not include benefits and accommodations costs (i.e., about 33% of the salary budget)
  • ** CAEE Office includes half the salary of the CEE Executive Assistant. The salary for the CAEE is administered centrally for all executive level employees in the Agency.

OIAE typically uses consultants to augment internal resources to conduct evaluation work. For recent evaluations, the Office has adopted a “hybrid” approach where contractors perform various data collection activities and provide technical reports, which Parks Canada evaluators use as input in preparing the final evaluation report.

Detailed assumptions and calculations of estimated time budgets for the function are shown in Appendix A.

Evaluation Planning Methodology and Considerations

Evaluation planning involves:

  • Identification of the evaluation universe (i.e., the individual “evaluable entities” that may be subjected to an evaluation activity). The Agency’s evaluation universe is its Program Activity Architecture (PAA), with some adjustments and modifications to amalgamated sub-activities where it makes sense and to add a few programs[2] that are not part of the PAA structure. This universe currently consists of 21 entities.
    TB Evaluation Policy requires comprehensive evaluation coverage of all direct-program spending over a five-year period (i.e., all 21 entities or programs in the universe should be evaluated once every five years).
  • Describing, documenting and prioritization of each entity to determine which entities need to be evaluated earlier in the five year cycle and to provide information to calibrate the level of evaluation effort required. A description of each entity is prepared with basic information (purpose, budget, expenditures, governance framework, owner, partners, stakeholders, supporting information systems, and financial coding, etc). Priority ratings for evaluation are based on ratings of the entity on eight dimensions (i.e., with a three point scale for each) adapted from the TBS Guide to Evaluation Planning.
    Appendices C, D, E, and F provide more details on the dimensions rated, relevant inputs, (Corporate Risk Profile, past and current work by other assurance providers, external commitments to evaluate an entity, and materiality of expenditures).
  • Scheduling of entities for evaluation taking into account prioritization of entities as well as other factors such as:
    • External commitments to conduct an evaluation (i.e., typically in the context of special funding approved by TB for new programs or initiatives).[3] This includes the requirement to evaluate all G&Cs program over five years as specified in the FAA
    • Past or planned coverage by other assurance providers (OAG/CESD, other Agents of Parliament, the OCG, and internal audits within the Agency)
    • Senior management (i.e., evaluation committee) priorities
    • Availability of evaluation resources (i.e., human resources and O&M funds)
    In scheduling evaluations, first priority is given to areas for which there are external commitments to evaluate the activity. Evaluations of higher priority areas are then scheduled in light of the evaluation unit’s annual capacity for project work and reviewed with the evaluation committee prior to finalizing the plan.

Current Planning Period

A preliminary evaluation planning phase for 2012–2013 was undertaken in January and February 2012 which consisted of reviewing the priority ratings of the entities and making some minor adjustments.[4] We then conducted consultations with senior management on the continued relevance, appropriateness and timing of the already proposed evaluation schedule as laid out in the 2011–2012 Evaluation Plan.

Although the overall impact of Budget 2012 on the Agency was announced on March 29th, the implications on organizational structures and reductions in positions, programs and seasons of operation have only gradually been clarified over the course of the spring and summer with many details yet to be confirmed.

Given this continued uncertainty, the existing evaluation universe and associated priority ratings do not necessarily provide a reasonable guide for future evaluation planning and scheduling. At the same time, management’s capacity to engage in meaningful discussions of new organizational structures and risks for purposes of planning was limited, as was their capacity to respond to new evaluation recommendations. As a result, senior management requested that the evaluation function concentrate its efforts in the short term on completing evaluation engagements already in progress and assisting the Agency through the transition by focusing on consultation, analysis and advice for the 2012–2012 fiscal year rather than launch new evaluations. Subsequent consultations with senior management in May and June 2012 therefore focused on where the function could add most value during the year through consulting engagements, as well as projects and activities that could serve to improve the evaluation function over time.

Planned Projects For Next Five Years

The table below provides a summary overview of the planned projects (i.e., evaluations and consulting engagements) against the elements of the universe. This is followed by a more detailed table of project descriptions and costing for the 2012–2013 fiscal year.

For 2012–2013, the function will complete three evaluations carried over from the 2011–2012 fiscal year and continue to provide support to the three interdepartmental evaluations currently underway. It will also undertake three consulting engagements identified through consultations with senior management related to identifying key management information needs for the future as well as supporting the development of new logic models and/performance measurement strategies for a few programs. In addition, the function will devote significant effort to revising the descriptions of the entities in the evaluation universe and the priority ratings for these elements.

The schedule of evaluation engagements for years 2013–2014 and 2016–2017 should be viewed as tentative and is likely to change as the work to update the universe and priority ratings over the next several months is completed. It is anticipated that this process will be completed for the 2013–2014 planning cycle.

This five year evaluation plan proposes coverage of 96.3% of the Agency’s direct program expenditures. The Agency has two G&C programs, one of which, the General Class Contribution Program was evaluated in 2011–2012 and is scheduled for evaluation again in 2016–2017 and the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program for which an evaluation is being completed in 2012–2013. It would be scheduled for evaluation in five years consistent with the requirements of the FAA.

2012–2013 Priority Ratings and Five-Year Plan
Universe Elements % coverage[5] Priority Ratings
(0 to 32)
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Past Coverage
Direct Program Spending Coverage (as percentage of average spending[6]) 22.5% 7%[7] 18.9% 6.5% 41.4%  
Through Highways Management 12% 20   Evaluation (TCH)     Evaluation 2010–2011
Visitor Activities and Services 29.4% 16         Evaluation 2011–2012
Through Waterways Management 1.2% 14           2011–2012
Species at Risk n/a 14 *Evaluation       Evaluation  
Outreach Education And External Communications 5.9% 14   Evaluation        
Stakeholder And Partner Engagement 14        
Visitor Safety 1.1% 14   Evaluation        
National Park Establishment and Expansion 2.5% 12 *Evaluation          
National Parks Conservation 19.9% 12 *Evaluation          
Law Enforcement n/a 12   Evaluation        
National Marine Conservations Areas Sustainability 0.3% 12     Evaluation      
Market Research and Promotion 2.6% 12           2011–2012
Interpretation 9.7% 12     Evaluation      
Townsite Management 2.4% 12       Evaluation    
General Class Contributions Program -- 12       Evaluation   2010–2011
National Marine Conservation Area Establishment 0.4 10     Evaluation      
National Historic Sites Conservation 8.5% 8     Evaluation      
Other Heritage Places Conservation 3.1% 8       Evaluation    
National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing 0.1% 8 *Evaluation          
National Historic Sites Designation (Persons, Places, Events) 0.8% 6       Evaluation    
Other Heritage Places Designations 0.2% 6       Evaluation    
  • Note: Aspects of Market Research and promotion are covered in the evaluation of visitor activities and services
  • * Carry over projects from 2011–2012

Planned Projects 2012–2013

The scheduling and resource requirements of the 2012–2013 projects are shown below.

Evaluation Project Scheduling for 2012–2013
Topic Type Description Planned or Actual Dates Resources Required
Planned 2011-12 Start date Completion of the fieldwork Completion of report Date of approval by Committee Approx hours O&M
Total 5750 189K
Carried Over From 2011–2012
National Park Establishment and Expansion Evaluation An evaluation of the relevance and performance of this sub-activity. Y January 2011 April 2012 September 2012 December 2012 2000 0K
National Parks Conservation Evaluation An evaluation of the relevance and performance of the sub-activity. Y May 2011 June 2012 September 2012 December 2012 1000 77K
National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program Evaluation A summative evaluation of the relevance and performance of the program. Y April 2011 May 2012 August 2012 September 2012 1200 0K
New in 2012-13
Core Management Information Needs Assessment Consulting Assisting the Agency in identifying core management information needs to support decision making and accountability. A joint project with internal audit function. N     Fall 2012      
Performance Framework for Commemoration Program Consulting Assisting program management to develop a logic model and performance measures for commemoration of persons, places and events of national historic importance N     Not Required      
Measurement of Commemorative Integrity of NHS Consulting Assisting and advising management on ways to measure commemorative integrity of national historic sites in light of changing policy and changes in structures and accountabilities. N     Not Required      
Contributions to Interdepartmental Evaluations for 2012-13*
Programs and Activities in Support of the Species at Risk Act   A summative evaluation of the relevance and performance of programs and activities that support the Act N March 2010 June 2011 July 2012 August 2012 50 0K
Advancing Conservation Interests in the NWT   Parks received funding for feasibility study of East Arm of Great Slave Lake and development and operation of Sahoyue and Ehdacho NHS. N March 2011 September 2012 October 2012 December 2012 400 0K
Federal Contaminated Sites   A horizontal evaluation, involving the sixteen organizations involved in the three components of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan. N March 2012 October 2012 February 2012 March 2013 100 0K
  • * Carried over from 2011-12. Parks Canada participates in these joint evaluations, generally contributing to joint evaluation reports. Reporting from these will be tabled at Evaluation Committee for information or approval as appropriate.

Note: Approximate hours reflect required effort. Projects that extend beyond a fiscal year will require more effort than shown in the table. Staff or consultants may perform the work. O&M required includes costs of professional services and/or costs of staff travel.

Appendix A. Time Budget of Evaluation Function

A: Available Time

  1. Staff Hours of Work Time

      Hours Available
    Total Work Time Available 1,559
    52 week/year * 5day week * 7.5 hour/days 1950
    Average days holiday (28 days) -210
    Average days sick (5 days) -37.5
    Average days training (5 days) -37.5
    Break Time (1/2 hour per day) -106
    * Equivalent to 208, 7.5 hour working days working days

  2. Contractor Hours of Work: Additional capacity can be purchased from contracted professionals based on available O&M budgets. An average per diem of $1,200 per day or $160 per hour is used for this calculation. For 2012–2013, the O&M budget for professional services and travel is estimated to be $255,000 (as per budget table in text) or approximately 1600 hours of work.

B: Types of Work

  1. Evaluation project work includes the development of evaluation frameworks, evaluation work required as part of TB submissions or RMAF/RBAF commitments, horizontal interdepartmental evaluations, and risk-based evaluation projects. Based on this data, evaluators averaged 1182 hours evaluation project work per evaluator over the course of a fiscal year.

    Time Budget 2012–2013
    A) Time Available CAEE Office Evaluation Total
    FTEs 1 2.5* 3.5
    Staff Hours 1,559 3,898 5,457
    Professional Service Hours Purchased   1600 1600
    Total Hours Available 1,559 5,498 7,057
    B) Allocation to Tasks
    Administration, special requests, consultation/advice/coordination -1,559 -943 -2,502
    Evaluation 0 4,555 4,555
    C) Project Capacity
    Number of Typical Projects (2,200 hours per project)     2.0
    * see description of organizational structure and resources for explanation of actual capacity.

  2. The remainder of the available work hours, 377 hours per evaluator[8], are assumed to be for administration.
  3. Special requests by management outside the approved evaluation plan, and consultation and provision of advice related to evaluation or performance measurement. Hours contributed by the CAEE toward evaluation project work, as well as those of the CAEE’s assistant, are not tracked and therefore estimated in the analysis for section 2.

Appendix B. Priority Assessment Dimensions and Scales

Dimension Score
4 2 0
1. TB Commitments Required in the next 12 to 18 months Required but not in the next 18 months None required
2. Materiality Greater than 10% (approximately 60+ million) 5% to 10% (approximately 31 to 60 million) 5% (approximately 30 million)
3. Links to Corporate Risk Profile Links primarily to high priority corporate risks Links to primarily lower priority corporate risks No links to corporate risks
Activities linked to the four key corporate risks: competitive position, natural disasters, environmental forces, adn asset management are rated four. Activities related to other corporate risks are rated a moderate and activities not related to the risk profile are rated one.
4. Completeness of Performance Framework None or few elements of the framework in place Partially complete Complete
A complete framework consists of defined measurable goals and objectives, baseline measures of performance, quantifiable targets with clear time frames for accomplishment of goals and systems to measure and report on progress and goal attainment, and evidence of monitoring and reporting.
5. Extensiveness of Program Reach Extensive reach to communities, stakeholders, NGOs, Aboriginal peoples, and the public. Moderate and/or regional-level reach to communities, stakeholders, NGOs, Aboriginal peoples, and the public. Limited and/or localized reach to communities, stakeholders, NGOs, Aboriginal peoples, and the public.
High intended direct reach is typified by activities related to building awareness and understanding the Agency and its mandate and promotion and marketing Parks Canada sites as well as the visitor experience program which are intended to reach millions of Canadians and international visitors. Low reach is typified by sub-programs in the Other Heritage Places Establishment Sub-Activity such as Grave Sites of Prime Ministers which is effectively targeted at a few families of former prime ministers whose grave sites are not yet formally commemorated. When the target reach of a program are organizations, or provinces, as in park establishment for example, we count reach as the number of groups targeted and not the size of the constituencies represented by these groups. Most program activities have ultimate beneficiaries i.e., Canadians as a whole, who are not counted as the program or sub-activity reach.
6. Degree of Direct Control Over Outcomes Low Direct Control Moderate Direct Control High Direct Control
Low control over outcomes is exemplified by the national park and national marine conservation areas establishment and expansion sub-activities, which require extensive consultation and negotiations over many years with dozens of different stakeholders, who differ in their capacities and interests, and have the capability to block a particular establishment process. More control is available over a contribution program where the Agency, with TB agreement, has set the terms and conditions for receiving funding and evaluates and recommends who will be funded. An intermediate example might be conservation in national parks and NMCAs where the Agency may have a relatively high degree of control over what occurs within the boundaries of the park but is also interested in influencing regional land use practices that impact on the park’s ecological integrity.
7. Importance of Health and Safety Considerations in Program Delivery High Level of Consideration of health and safety issues in delivery of a sub-activity. Moderate Level of Consideration of health and safety issues in delivery of a sub-activity. Low Level of Consideration of health and safety issues in delivery of a sub-activity.
Many activities involving visitors require consideration of health and safety issues as a fundamental part of the program delivery. Examples include the potential for human wildlife conflicts in national parks, possibilities of contamination when providing potable water, the potential of accidents on highways managed by the Agency, and the potential for accident or injury when conducting law enforcement or search and rescue activities. We do not assess the nature or quality of management measures to mitigate health and safety issues involved in sub-activity delivery only whether and the extent to which these considerations have been inherent in delivery of the activity.
8. Public Interest and Sensitivity High Moderate Low
Activities which have received recent public or political attention are rated higher (i.e., the lead up to the decision to arm park wardens and the new law enforcement program had extensive media coverage but this has largely abated since the new program began operating). Introduction of new legislation such as the Heritage Lighthouse Act, creates temporary political interest in a particular activity (the Act would protect heritage lighthouses in Canada and is considered part of the Other Heritage Places Designation sub-activity). Some consideration is also given to potential for public or political interest. Many of the health and safety concerns reviewed above have high potential interest should they occur (e.g., the failure of a dam or a potable water system resulting in a significant number of injuries or deaths).

Appendix C. Corporate Risk Profile 2012–2013

Risk Category and Label Risk Statement Risk Owner
Aboriginal Support Support from Aboriginal Peoples may diminish and become insufficient to advance Parks Canada’s programs. Director, Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat
Inter-governmental Collaboration Cooperation and support from other federal departments, provinces, territories, and municipalities, may be insufficient to advance Parks Canada’s programs.

VP, Protected Area Establishment and Conservation

VP, Heritage Conservation and Commemoration

Partnering Instruments Existing partnering authorities and related instruments may limit Parks Canada’s ability to fully leverage partnering opportunities, resulting in its inability to extend its reach and to grow the base of support for Parks Canada’s administered places. VP, External Relations and Visitor Experience
Public Support Support from local communities, stakeholders, NGOs, and the Canadian public may not exist or be insufficient to advance Parks Canada’s programs. VP, External Relations and Visitor Experience
Competitive Position Parks Canada’s programs, service and experience offer may be less attractive, or of less interest to Canadians compared to alternative leisure activities and interests. VP, External Relations and Visitor Experience
Development Pressures Development pressures may limit opportunities for establishment of NPs and NMCAs, as well as impact commemorative integrity at Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites in urban areas.

VP, Protected Area Establishment and Conservation

VP, Heritage Conservation and Commemoration

Natural Disasters Natural disasters may impair or destroy critical infrastructure and/or assets of national historic significance, or lead to significant unforeseen expenses and potentially, serious injury or loss of life. Chief Administrative Officer, VP Eastern Canada, VP Western and Northern Canada
Environmental Forces The Agency’s ability to maintain or improve overall EI in NPs and meet legal requirements related to species at risk may be hindered by environmental forces, such as biodiversity loss, exotic/invasive species, as well as climate change, and shoreline erosion, which also pose a risk to maintaining commemorative integrity at NHSs.

VP, Protected Area Establishment and Conservation

VP, Heritage Conservation and Commemoration

Parks Canada’s Business Operations
Asset Management Aging infrastructure and inadequate level of recapitalization and maintenance, particularly for high risk contemporary assets could result in failure of assets which could compromise public safety, hinder Parks Canada’s ability to deliver on its mandate and damage the Agency’s reputation. Chief Administrative Officer
Information Management Failure to identify, capture, manage, share and report pertinent data and information may hinder the ability to effectively manage all program areas and meet legal requirements. Chief Administrative Officer
Workforce Management The Agency’s ability to sustain a sufficient and representative workforce with the appropriate competencies within the current fiscal and demographic realities could lead to challenges in delivery of all programs and support functions. Chief Human Resources Officer
Source: Parks Canada Agency Corporate Risk Profile 2012-13

Appendix D. Past Coverage of the Evaluation Universe

Program Activities and Sub-Activities Parks Canada Evaluations
January 2005 to March 2012
Work of External Assurance Providers
Heritage Places Establishment
National Park Establishment and Expansion    
National Historic Sites Designation (Persons, Places, Events)    
National Marine Conservation Area Establishment   CESD Chapter --- Marine Protected Areas (2012)
Other Heritage Places Designations    
Heritage Resources Conservation
National Parks Conservation  

CESD Chapter 2—Ecological Integrity in Canada's National Parks - September 2005

CESD Chapter – National Parks (starting 2012)

Species at Risk

Formative Evaluation of Federal Species at Risk Programs-July 2006

Contributing to a Environment Canada lead Evaluation of the Habitat Stewardship Component of the Species at Risk Program (2008–2009)

Contributing to a Environment Canada lead Interdepartmental Evaluation of the Programs and Activities in Support of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) (2012)

CESD Chapter 5—Ecosystems—Protection of Species at Risk – March 2008

CESD Chapter – SARA (starting 2012)

National Historic Sites Conservation   AG Chapter 2—The Conservation of Federal Built Heritage February 2007
National Marine Conservation Areas Sustainability

Evaluation of Parks Canada's Phase One of Oceans Action Plan -June 2007

Contributing to Interdepartmental Evaluation of Health of the Oceans (HOTO) Initiate (2012).

CESD Chapter --- Marine Protected Areas (2012)
Other Heritage Places Conservation
National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Evaluation of Issues Related to the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program -August 2008  
Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund Formative Evaluation of the Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund (CHPIF) -January 2007  
Historic Places Initiative Formative Evaluation of the Historic Places Initiative -March 2005  
Public Appreciation and Understanding
Public Outreach and External Communication

National Performance and Evaluation Framework for Engaging Canadians: External Communications at Parks Canada -February 2005

Formative Evaluation of Engaging Canadians External Communications Strategy -September 2006

CESD Chapter 2—Ecological Integrity in Canada's National Parks - September 2005
Stakeholder and Partner Engagement    
Visitor Experience
Marketing and Promotion    
Interpretation (National Parks, National Historic Sites, National Marine Conservation Areas)    
Visitor Services Evaluation of Visitor Service Offer –(2012)  
Public Safety Evaluation of Parks Canada’s Public Safety Program-February 2005  
Town-Site and Throughway Infrastructure
Townsite Management  

CESD Chapter 1 – Safety of Drinking Water – March 2009

AG Chapter 4 – Safety of Drinking Water: Federal Responsibilities - 2004

Through Highways Management Evaluation of Through Highway Management – November 2010  
Through Waterways Management Evaluation of Through Waterway Management – March 2012  
Evaluations contributing to coverage of multiple program activities

Evaluation of the Parks Canada Asset Management Program – July 2009

Evaluation of Parks Canada’s General Class Contribution Program – November 2010


Appendix E. Agency RMAF Evaluation Commitments

  Horizontal Evaluations Parks Canada

Evaluation of the Species at Risk Program: Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans and the Agency are the lead federal organizations for the Species at Risk Program. Parks Canada received a total of $10.6M between 2007/08 and 2011/12 from this initiative and expects to receive $6.8M per year thereafter, representing about 10% of the overall available funding. A summative evaluation was completed in 2012-13. The next evaluation is tentatively planned for 2016-17.

Evaluation of the Establishing Federal Protected Areas in the NWT: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Environment Canada and Parks Canada are partners working together to advance the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Strategy. Parks Canada will receive $8.05M between April 2008 and March 2013 (i.e., roughly a third of investment) to assist in establishing a national park in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, and to help develop and make operational of the Sahoyue and Ehdacho National Historic Site of Canada. A summative evaluation of the initiative, lead by AANDC, is currently underway and is planned for completion in 2012-13. 

Evaluation of Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan: This evaluation is currently underway, lead by EC. The three program components identified for this evaluation include the FCSAP Secretariat, expert support departments and all custodians who have received FCSAP funding. A final report is planned for March 2013.

Evaluation of the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program: The program provides matching contribution funds to eligible national historic sites undertaking conservation and presentation work. It was renewed in 2008-09 with an annual budget of between $2.3 and 3.3M per year over the next five years. The budget was supplemented from 2009–2011 with EAP funding. A summative evaluation was completed in 2012-13. The next evaluation will be scheduled following renewal of the T&Cs of the program.

Evaluation of the Law Enforcement Program: The program, involving up to 100 armed law enforcement officers responsible for enforcement of laws and regulations in the Agency’s protected heritage places (excluding criminal code enforcement) was funded and developed in 2008-09 with on the ground activities commencing in 2009-10. The program will have start-up costs of $8.5M in 2008-09 and ongoing costs of $2.3M per year thereafter (i.e., less than one percent of the Agency’s annual spending). A summative evaluation is planned in 2013–2014

Evaluation of the Twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Parks: The recent initiative (i.e., 2004-05 on) involves twining 32 kilometres of the TCH at a total cost of $317M over 10 years. Funding was received through four different TB submissions including portions from the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative Fund and the Gateway and Boarder Crossing Fund.[9] The TB approval of the last $130M in funding (March 2009) provided an exception from the planned horizontal evaluations of the two funds and instead allowed for a summative evaluation of the whole project in 2013-14.

Parks Canada received $1.3M between April 2007 and March 2012 to provide services and support to the International Polar Year Initiative.  The Agency is not considered one of the six lead departments with respect to this initiative. No related evaluation work is planned.

Appendix F. Average Expenditures by Program Sub-Activity

($ thousands) 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 Average Expenditure Average Percentage
Heritage Places Establishment
Total 604,613 634,043 683,795 640,814  
National Park Establishment and Expansion 14,239 9,871 24,178 16,096 2.5%
National Historic Sites Designation (Persons, Places, Events) 4,753 5,559 4,154 4,822 0.8%
National Marine Conservation Area Establishment 82 2,986 3,680 2,249 0.4%
Other Heritage Places Designations 1,415 1,392 1,581 1,463 0.2%
Heritage Resources Conservation
National Parks Conservation (Includes species at risk and law enforcement) 126,985 129,312 125,850 127,382 19.9%
National Historic Sites Conservation 49,763 54,452 59,786 54,667 8.5%
National Marine Conservations Areas Sustainability 1,466 2,135 2,193 1,931 0.3%
Other Heritage Places Conservation 15,775 14,590 28,859 19,741 3.1%
National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing   900 134 345 0.1%
Public Appreciation and Understanding
Outreach Education and Agency Communications and Stakeholder and Partner Engagement 39,643 33,290 40,126 37,686 5.9%
Visitor Experience
Market Research and Promotion 14,316 15,445 19,952 16,571 2.6%
National Parks Interpretation 24,884 19,634 18,046 20,854 9.7%
National Historic Sites Interpretation 43,902 36,683 40,796 40,460
National Marine Conservation Areas Interpretation 943 765 1,470 1,059
National Parks Visitor Activities and Services 116,884 120,470 129,506 122,287 29.4%
National Historic Sites Visitor Activities and Services 51,606 81,951 60,864 64,807
National Marine Conservation Areas Visitor Activities and Services 972 1,937 1,247 1,385
Visitor Safety   9,732 11,224 6,985 1.1%
Town-Site and Throughway Infrastructure  
Townsite Management 12,715 16,363 16,604 15,227 2.4%
Through Highways Management 75,145 68,870 87,618 77,211 12.0%
Through Waterways Management 9,125 7,706 5,927 7,586 1.2%
General Class Contributions Program          

[1] Collection facilities and/or conservation laboratories are currently maintained in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Cornwall, Quebec and Halifax.

[2] These are the law enforcement program and the General Class Contribution Program.

[3] Initiatives with a specific evaluation commitment represent from less than 1% to about 5% of the Agency’s spending in any one year. Therefore, while important to meet commitments to evaluate transfer payment programs as specified in the Federal Accountability Act, or to demonstrate results related to particular initiatives, they do not provide coverage of most of the Agency’s direct program spending.

[4] Given the fact that the fundamentals of the Agency’s programs (i.e., materiality, direct reach, control over outcomes, health and safety implications) do not change significantly from year to year, priority ratings of the elements of the universe tend to be similar from year to year. Dimensions where some change is evident include a commitment to conduct an evaluation (i.e., due dates are nearer increasing the priority of some items) and links to the corporate risk profile (i.e., the extent to which the Agency’s risk profile has changed).

[5] Estimate of % coverage is not available (n/a) for species at risk or law enforcement as these were not specifically isolated by financial analysis. These are each estimated to cover less than 1-2% of direct spending. By extension, the % coverage for National Parks Conservation is slightly over-estimated.

[6] Expenditures by sub-activity are not directly coded into the financial system and must be estimated each year by Finance Branch. The methodology for this is complex and under review. Estimates are not available for 2009-10 to 2011-12. Coverage is therefore based on average spending from 2006-07 to 2008-09 (see Appendix 7 for details).

[7] Estimate of % coverage does not include evaluation of TCH as this is a small sub-set of total spending on Through Highways Management.

[8] We factor 377 hours for evaluator FTE based on past time tracking data.

[9] Parks Canada is a stakeholder in the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative which provides $591M over eight years to several departments to invest in transportation infrastructure and other projects. Parks Canada received $37M or about 6% of the funds for twinning of a portion of the TCH. A summative evaluation led by Transport Canada was scheduled for 2010–2011. The Gateway and Border Crossing Fund provides $2.01B over seven years between April 2007 and March 2014 for both infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects. Parks Canada received $100M from the fund for twinning of the TCH or about 5% of the funds. Parks Canada will conduct a summative evaluation of the investment in the TCH as a whole in 2013–2014.