From the Minister

Steven Guilbeault
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

As the Minister responsible for Parks Canada, I am pleased to present Parks Canada’s 2022–23 Departmental Results Report. Throughout this past year, Parks Canada has accomplished many key milestones in the protection and presentation of natural and cultural places.

In collaboration with Indigenous partners, stakeholders, and other levels of government, Parks Canada’s efforts to establish new national parks and national marine conservation areas are critical to Canada’s commitment to conserving 25% of lands and waters by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030.

National park establishment is a complex, multi-step process that Parks Canada is conducting with key partners at proposed locations from coast to coast to coast. Notable advancements this year include feasibility discussions with key partners about the use of Parks Canada protection tools at 18 new locations throughout Canada. Formal feasibility assessments are underway at 11 potential sites for new national parks, national park reserves, national urban parks, and national marine conservation areas. Negotiations continue with key partners toward the establishment of two national park reserves, South Okanagan-Similkameen in British Columbia and Pituamkek National Park Reserve on Prince Edward Island, and six national marine conservation areas.

In February 2023, Parks Canada played a vital role in the planning and delivery of the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 5) in Vancouver. As part of this event, I announced a new policy to guide the establishment and management of national marine conservation areas. This new policy lays the groundwork for effective collaboration with partners and is a step closer to the goal of creating ten new national marine conservation areas, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples.

Parks Canada’s National Program for Ecological Corridors is helping to connect protected and conserved areas, to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss and allowing species to better adapt to climate change. In 2022-23, Parks Canada provided over $8.5 million in contribution agreements through the program in order to support five pilot projects and two studies that will advance on-the-ground ecological corridor projects across the country. These investments allow Parks Canada, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, stakeholders, and other levels of government, to continue to protect and restore these stunning natural places for everyone to enjoy.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Canadians have opportunities to learn about the full scope of our shared histories through the work of Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. It is an honour for me as Minister to sign off on new national historic designations that commemorate all aspects of the history of Canada, both positive and negative, that help to foster better understanding and open discussions on the realities of Canada’s past. In December 2022, Breaking Racial Barriers in the National Hockey League was designated as an event of national historic significance. This designation highlighted the achievements of five hockey players who at different points broke through longstanding prejudice that prevented Indigenous, Chinese Canadian, Black, and other racialized players from playing in professional hockey. This is one of the many meaningful designations that were announced during this reporting period.

Finally, I was proud to host the 2023 Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada in January and February to seek advice from Canadians on the work of Parks Canada. This engagement focused on key Government of Canada and Parks Canada priorities including strengthening accessibility, greening operations, Indigenous stewardship, ecological corridors, and Parks Canada's role in tourism. In response to the invaluable feedback we received, 13 actions have been identified to guide the future of Parks Canada’s efforts. I encourage you to read the full response report.

These are only a few examples of the important work accomplished by Parks Canada this past year. I invite you to continue reading to learn more about Parks Canada’s strides in protecting nationally significant examples of cultural and natural heritage and presenting the stories of these treasured places.

Original signed by
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

From the President & Chief Executive Officer

Ron Hallman
Ron Hallman
President & CEO, Parks Canada

I am proud to submit Parks Canada’s 2022–23 Departmental Results Report highlighting the many accomplishments of the Parks Canada team during this reporting period.

Parks Canada administers one of the finest and most extensive systems of natural and cultural heritage places in the world. It is fitting that Parks Canada team members are also some of the very best at what they do. Every day, I am struck by their dedication and professionalism that is reflected in every project, partnership, and policy undertaken by Parks Canada. This year, team members truly shined.

The rapid pace and increasing magnitude of environmental impacts of climate change threaten the integrity of ecosystems, cultural resources, and infrastructure, as demonstrated by the devastation brought on by Hurricane Fiona in September 2022 and the worst fire season on record for Canada. Parks Canada’s ongoing leadership in ecosystem science, conservation and restoration is helping to advance adaptation to and mitigation measures in the face of climate change. In Prince Edward Island National Park, the Future Forests project is transitioning the forest there from same-aged spruce trees that are vulnerable to storms to a Wabanaki-Acadian ecosystem, which is more characteristic of the region. While Hurricane Fiona devastated the remaining spruces, stands with more diverse forest composition withstood the winds, demonstrating the importance of restoring the forest’s ecological integrity to allow it to flourish in the years to come. Parks Canada has also carried-out significant wildfire risk reduction activities such as vegetation management. During the year, 21 projects to reduce wildfire risk were completed in 14 national parks or national park reserves and at four national historic sites.

Over the past year, Parks Canada continued to make advancements toward an Indigenous Stewardship Framework to support place-based management and governance that is respectfully aligned with Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous leadership in stewarding lands, water, and ice. Parks Canada is actively engaging with Indigenous partners on the proposed framework, including through face-to-face meetings and through the creation of an Indigenous Stewardship Circle. Parks Canada is committed to recognizing and honouring the historic and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories, and cultures, as well as the special relationships and responsibilities Indigenous peoples hold within their ancestral lands, waters, and ice.

Presenting the stories of the treasured places administered by Parks Canada is one of the agency’s greatest strengths. As a cornerstone of Canada’s tourism industry, Parks Canada is committed to providing visitors with high quality and meaningful experiences across the country. This year saw the gradual recovery of the tourism sector, and Parks Canada team members welcomed approximately 879,000 more visitors in 2022–23 than in the previous fiscal year. In the virtual realm, in April 2023, Parks Canada launched the ReCollections podcast that invites listeners from Canada and beyond to explore the captivating stories behind various national historic sites. This engaging series helps ensure these incredible stories reach wider audiences and shares more broadly the importance of Canadian history and Parks Canada’s cultural heritage conservation work.

I am proud to lead such an incredible team, and I look forward to building on the important progress highlighted in this report. Through ongoing collaborations with Indigenous communities, partners, and stakeholders, Parks Canada will ensure that national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas are protected for current and future generations and that they remain a source of pride for all Canadians.

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada Agency

Results at a glance

As the world gradually recovered from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022-23, Parks Canada realized several significant achievements supporting its priorities.

Some of Parks Canada’s significant achievements in 2022-23 related to these priorities include:

  • supporting a gradual recovery of the tourism sector through collaboration with key tourism industry partners, promoting visitation to heritage places, and surrounding communities and fostering economic recovery
  • making demonstrable progress in negotiating establishment agreements for two national park reserves and seven national marine conservation areas as part of Canada’s commitment to protect 25% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025 and 30% of each by 2030 and in the establishment of a national urban park system
  • launching the Indigenous Stewardship Circle, bringing together Indigenous members and Parks Canada staff to support the co-development, engagement on, and implementation of an Indigenous Stewardship Framework
  • publishing a three-year Accessibility Action Plan, drawing from current best practices and integrating feedback from consultations and reflecting both the social and organizational imperatives of achieving the goals of an accessible public service
  • advancing work to modernize the digital tools that provide service to Canadians and support its internal services, this work includes:
    • renewing the Parks Canada Reservation System and website in line with modern best practices to provide a better user experience
    • migrating legacy archaeological databases to an improved system to increase accessibility
    • continuing work to transition to a cloud-based storage that will improve internal collaboration and information management practices

For more information on Parks Canada’s plans, priorities and results achieved, see the Results: what we achieved section of this report.

2022-23 Parks Canada priorities

protecting natural and cultural heritage in Canada through the establishment and conservation of protected heritage areas


fostering positive collaborative relationships with Indigenous peoples based on an understanding and acknowledgement that protected heritage places are situated on lands, waters, and ice that have been home to Indigenous peoples since time immemorial


connecting to Canadians by reaching them where they live, work, and play and working to improve the inclusivity and accessibility of national heritage places for all


supporting the sustainability of its heritage and contemporary assets to ensure Canadians can continue to safely access protected heritage places that are safeguarded for generations to come


innovating in the internal services that support its service to Canadians


cultivating a diverse, inclusive, equitable and healthy workforce and working environment

Parks Canada 2022-23 Results Highlights Infographic — Text version follows
Parks Canada 2022-23 Results Highlights Infographic — Text version

79% of terrestrial regions represented in the national park system.

21% of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system.

79% of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity was maintained or improved.

2021-22 visitation: 21.6 million

2022-23 visitation: 22.5 million

39 places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices.

61% of heritage assets in good or fair condition, 77% of contemporary assets in good or fair condition. Target exceeded in both cases.

257 thousand followers on Twitter, 638 thousand followers on Instagram, 412 thousand followers on Facebook, 22.7 million website visits, 47.4 thousand app downloads, and 2 million newsletter subscriptions.

Support remains at an all-time high: 92% of Canadians surveyed indicated that they support Parks Canada's mandate.

The Parks Canada YouTube channel launched several new video series, and a history and archeology podcast titled "ReCollections" was introduced.


Results: what we achieved

Core responsibility
Protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage

Description

The Agency establishes national parks and national marine conservation areas; designates places, persons, and events of national historic significance; protects and conserves natural and cultural heritage guided by science and Indigenous knowledge; provides opportunities to visit, experience and enjoy Canada’s natural and cultural heritage; and works with the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders to carry out these responsibilities.

Please note: Parks Canada is currently in the process of revising its Departmental Results Framework and its associated indicators that form the basis of this document, to improve the way it tells the story of its work to Canadians and Parliamentarians. As part of this work, Parks Canada plans to review its existing results and indicators to ensure they are accurately and effectively portraying, measuring, and reflecting its critical work and services valued by Canadians. It is expected that this work will be completed and implemented for the 2026–27 Departmental Plan cycle, but some priority elements may be incorporated into Parks Canada’s plans and reporting documents before that time.


Results

Departmental Result 1
Canada’s natural heritage is protected for present and future generations
Departmental Result IndicatorTargetDate to achieve target2022–23 Actual results
Percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national park system At least 82% March 2025 79%
Percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system At least 31% March 2025 21%

In collaboration with Indigenous partners, stakeholders, and other levels of government, Parks Canada is a key contributor to the Government of Canada’s commitment to halting and reversing biodiversity loss. Parks Canada’s establishment work is a critical component of Canada’s commitment to conserving 25% of land and inland waters and 25% of marine and coastal areas by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030.

Protected areas — contributing to the quality of life and well-being of Canadians

Well-managed conserved areas help to protect wild species and their habitats for present and future generations of Canadians. As more land and waters are conserved in Canada, they are withdrawn from direct human development stresses, and contribute to biodiversity conservation and improving the health of ecosystems. In turn, healthy ecosystems provide benefits such as clean water, mitigation of climate change, pollination, and improved human health.

Establishing new national parks

National parks and national park reserves of Canada are established and managed to protect representative examples of terrestrial regions in Canada. The National Parks System Plan divides Canada into 39 distinct terrestrial regions, each one a natural environment representative of Canada’s natural heritage. The establishment and management of national parks, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, also contributes to connecting broader landscapes to support ecosystem health.

As of March 2023, the national park system representation remains at 79% and 31 of Canada’s 39 terrestrial regions are represented through 47 national parks and national park reserves. These national parks and national park reserves protect approximately 342,456 square kilometres of lands in Canada.

Indigenous protected and conserved areas — Project financing for permanence

Parks Canada is only one contributor among several to Canada’s commitment to conserve 25% of lands and waters by 2025 and 30% of each by 2030. In addition to other Government of Canada partners, such as Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indigenous peoples play a significant role in protecting lands, waters, and ice in Canada.

In December 2022, the Government of Canada announced an $800 million investment through a Project Finance for Permanence model over seven years to support up to four Indigenous-led conservation projects. Once completed, these projects could protect an additional up to one million square kilometres and help to restore Indigenous connections with and stewardship of their traditional lands, waters, and ice:

  • Great Bear Sea initiative, PFP (Northern Shelf Bioregion, British Columbia)
  • Northwest Territories, PFP (Northwest Territories)
  • Qikiqtani Region, PFP (Nunavut)
  • Hudson Bay and Southwestern James Bay (HPJB) PFP (“Omushkego Homelands”, Ontario and Nunavut)

This investment, funded using the innovative Project Finance for Permanence model, will support the establishment of protected areas based on partnership, including potentially with Parks Canada. This funding model brings together Indigenous organizations, governments, and the philanthropic community to identify shared goals for protecting nature and ultimately halting biodiversity loss.

The process of creating national parks is complex. It involves many steps and relies on various factors that Parks Canada can't always predict or control. For instance, building partnerships with Indigenous groups and getting support from provincial partners can be uncertain, both in terms of when it will happen and how successful it will be. Another important factor is making sure there's enough funding to set up and run new national parks.

In 2022-23, demonstrable progress was made on the national park reserve proposals for South Okanagan-Similkameen in British Columbia and Pituamkek National Park Reserve (formerly Hog-Island Sandhills) on Prince Edward Island. Negotiations towards the completion of establishment agreements for both these proposals are underway. Once established, these protected areas will increase the percentage of represented terrestrial regions in the national parks system to 84.6%.

Parks Canada also worked with partners toward completing other national park establishment agreements by 2025. Feasibility assessment work has been initiated for a potential national park reserve in the Seal River Watershed in Manitoba, and ten other locations for national park reserves have been identified across Canada. Parks Canada is collaborating with Indigenous partners and provincial/territorial officials toward advancing these national park proposals to the feasibility assessment phase.

Establishing new national marine conservation areas

As of March 31, 2023, the national marine conservation area system remains at 21% complete, with six of 29 marine regions represented. Significant progress was made in 2022-23 on national marine conservation area proposals for 11 unrepresented marine regions.

This year, Parks Canada worked with Indigenous partners and provincial and territorial governments toward completing feasibility assessments for seven proposed national marine conservation area sites and advanced negotiations to begin feasibility assessments for another four.

This year, work continued to advance on the feasibility assessment stage of the establishment process for the proposed national marine conservation areas within eight unrepresented marine regions: eastern James Bay, Îles de la Madeleine, southern Strait of Georgia, Tuvaijuittuq, the northern Labrador Coast, Central Coast of British Columbia, and Western James Bay.

Preliminary assessments and discussions with partners continued to advance for proposals in two marine regions: the South Coast Fjords area in Newfoundland, Western Hudson Bay, and the Vancouver Island Shelf (Pacific Rim). Preliminary assessment also began in 2022-23 to initiate work on a new feasibility assessment for a potential national marine conservation area in southwest Nova Scotia.

Some potential national marine conservation areas are at risk of not being established by 2025. Key challenges include building trust between Parks Canada and local Indigenous peoples and securing the interest and participation of provincial partners. The Government of Canada’s investments in Indigenous protected and conserved areas through the Project Finance for Permanence model (see highlight box, above) may present additional opportunities for partners to advance projects in overlapping regions.

Departmental Result IndicatorTargetDate to achieve target2022–23 Actual results
Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved At least 92% December 2025 79%

Environmental sustainability is a key contributor to the well-being of present and future Canadians and Parks Canada takes its mandate to protect ecological integrity very seriously. It manages one of the few national park systems in the world that has a system-wide ecological integrity monitoring and reporting program, consisting of more than 700 scientific measures that inform park-specific priorities and guide restoration action.

An ecosystem has ecological integrity when:

  • it has the living and non-living species expected in its natural region
  • its processes—the engines that make an ecosystem work, such as fire, flooding, and predation—occur with the frequency and intensity expected in its natural region

As of March 2023, the ecological integrity of 79% of park ecosystems is maintained or improved. While this is 13% below the target of 92%, it is stable compared to 2021–22 results. Monitoring results indicate large-scale threats, such as climate change, invasive species, and local stressors like water pollution, continue to affect ecosystems.

Improvements in some ecosystems are also being observed. Seven ecosystems that were declining in 2021–22 stabilized or improved in 2022–23. One ecosystem that was stable is now improving. These improvements can be attributed, at least in part, to management actions for protecting species at risk and ecosystem restoration.

Parks Canada continues work to improve the data collection approaches for this indicator. It improved the monitoring program in 2022–23 by adding and improving ecological integrity measures, such as those employing remote sensing. In total, Parks Canada assessed 513 measures in 2022, an increase from 505 in 2021. Of the newly assessed measures, five employed remote sensing or aerial imagery. An additional two remote sensing-based measures were improved. In some cases, improved monitoring provides information that changes Parks Canada’s understanding of the condition and trend of an ecosystem. For example, in Mingan Archipelago National Park (Quebec), Parks Canada assessed two additional measures in the coastal/marine ecosystem that changed the rated condition of the ecosystem from good to fair in 2022–23.

Enhancing ecological integrity and sustainability

High-quality ecological monitoring helps direct internal funding to where it is needed most. Parks Canada’s internal Conservation and Restoration Program is an important contributor to maintaining and restoring the ecological integrity of national parks, ecological sustainability of national marine conservation areas, and recovering species at risk. In 2022-23, Parks Canada invested nearly $23 million in 65 projects at 34 locations. Approximately 75% of these projects engage Indigenous partners, integrating scientific, Indigenous, and local knowledge when appropriate. In five of these projects, monitoring results demonstrate measurable progress in 2022-23: four projects may have contributed to halting declines or maintaining stable conditions, and one project to changing the trend from stable to improving ecological integrity.

The Conservation and Restoration Program is helping Canada’s ecosystems and communities adapt to the changing climate. Since 2019, Prince Edward Island National Park’s Future Forests project has enhanced ecological integrity by transitioning the forest from same-aged spruce trees that were vulnerable to storms to a Wabanaki-Acadian forest more characteristic of the region. In 2022, Hurricane Fiona’s greater than 150 kilometre per hour winds devastated the remaining mature spruce stands, whereas stands with more diverse forest composition “weathered the storm.” By restoring the forest, Future Forests has returned key seed sources to the landscape that had been absent for decades and will be well suited to the future climate projected for this region.

Restoring critical salmon habitat in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Parks Canada undertakes conservation and restoration projects each year that contribute to improving ecological integrity in national parks and national marine conservation areas.

A restoration project has been underway in the Cheewaht watershed in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (British Columbia) since 2020. This watershed is within the traditional territory of the Ditidaht First Nation and is an area of cultural significance. It supports several species of salmon and trout. Spawning has decreased in this watershed because of upslope instability caused by logging and subsequent infilling of preferred holding and spawning areas.

This project, which is a cooperative project with Ditidaht First Nation, integrated scientific, Indigenous, and local knowledge. It also emphasized the importance of building relationships and capacity founded on iisaak (respect with caring).

In 2022-23, results from this restoration project have indicated that it has led to improved ecological integrity in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Modernizing conservation programs

In 2022-2023, Parks Canada continued to modernize conservation programs by integrating science, Indigenous leadership, climate-smart conservation, and landscape-scale conservation in the effective management of Parks Canada-administered places. Some examples of this work in this year include:

  • initiating new work on ecological connectivity, working with partners to advance connectivity conservation, including mapping and monitoring connectivity and developing strategies to address challenges
    • as of 2022–23, Parks Canada has undertaken 53 connectivity initiatives
  • collaborating with partners to advance shared conservation priorities in broader landscapes
    • as of 2022–23, it has undertaken 23 integrated conservation planning initiatives
  • supporting seven applied science projects through the Nature Legacy Initiative to address conservation knowledge gaps
  • testing and refining modernized approaches to multi-species action planning in 10 national parks and national historic sites across the country
    • this modernized approach incorporates climate-smart conservation practices, ecological connectivity, landscape-scale conservation, and Indigenous conservation
    • based on these experiences, guidance was developed to support broader implementation across Parks Canada places
Managing wildfires

Parks Canada is the only federal organization that manages and responds to wildfires and has trained and equipped staff with similar roles and capabilities as any provincial or territorial wildfire agency. Across the country, Parks Canada’s fire management program works to protect communities, restore and maintain ecosystem health, and create landscapes that are more resilient to climate change. Parks Canada does this using all the tools in the toolbox including prescribed fire, wildfire risk reduction, and wildfire suppression.

Budget 2021 provided an additional $52.5 million over five years to the Parks Canada Agency to enhance wildfire preparedness in Canada’s national parks. In 2022-23, Parks Canada carried out significant wildfire risk reduction and suppression activities:

  • twenty-one wildfire risk reduction projects were completed in 14 national parks or national park reserves and four national historic sites
  • sending resources through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre to the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • eighteen prescribed fire projects, which help meet both ecological integrity and wildfire risk reduction objectives were carried out in 10 national parks

Parks Canada continues working towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace within the wildfire management program, in accordance with Parks Canada and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre objectives, including by establishing a Wildfire Management Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and by working to enable Indigenous fire stewardship opportunities in the heritage places it administers.

Monitoring ecosystems and measuring the effects of climate change

Park Canada’s Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program provides an indication of the ecological condition of Canada’s national parks. In 2022–23, this program improved data collection systems to monitor ecosystems and added eight new monitoring measures for a total of 513 measures in 42 national parks. Following recommendations from an evaluation of the Ecological Integrity Monitoring Program, new work was initiated on climate change, connectivity, and working with Indigenous partners. As of 2023, internal policy working groups have been created on both climate change and connectivity guidance.

In 2022–23, Parks Canada implemented several landscape-scale monitoring measures, notably for Arctic parks. As a result, several northern parks will be better able to understand the impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems in the high Arctic. In addition, conservation standards were tested to improve the use of ecological monitoring information use in evidence-based conservation actions.

Supporting ecological corridors and fostering an integrated conservation approach

Ecological corridors, which connect protected and conserved areas, are a critical conservation tool to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and help species adapt to climate change. By linking protected and conserved areas, natural processes can flow freely and species can move, interact, and find habitat across vast landscapes. Ecological corridors are geographically defined areas of land and water that are specifically governed and managed to maintain and restore ecological connectivity while honouring Indigenous stewardship values.

Parks Canada continues to move towards an integrated, landscape-level conservation approach, in collaboration with Indigenous partners and other regional stakeholders. This year, Parks Canada’s National Program for Ecological Corridors committed over $8.5 million in multi-year contribution agreements, which were also supported by additional funding from partners:

  • Indigenous-led West Coast Stewardship Corridor on Vancouver Island in British Columbia (T’Sou-ke Nation)
  • Radium Wildlife Overpass in British Columbia’s East Kootenay region (British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
  • Highway 3 Wildlife Mitigation Project in British Columbia and Alberta (Yellowstone to Yukon)
  • Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System Ecological Corridor Pilot Program in the southern Niagara Escarpment in Ontario (Royal Botanical Gardens)
  • Consolidation of the Forillon Ecological Corridor in the Gaspé region of Quebec (Nature Conservancy of Canada)

A road ecology study by the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative was also funded by the program and work is underway to support additional on-the-ground projects in priority areas for ecological corridors in Canada in the coming years.

Since March 2022, Parks Canada has held eight engagement sessions with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders to gather additional input on the supporting work on the recognition of ecological corridors and aquatic connectivity, the mapping of national priority areas for corridors, and the drafting of national governance criteria for ecological corridors.

Parks Canada also sought input from Indigenous partners on the ecological corridors program as part of the 2023 Ministers Roundtable (see more information in highlight box within Departmental Result 3, below) as well as throughout the year from the national Indigenous organizations on key program elements.

Protecting, managing, and restoring coastal and marine ecosystems

A new policy to guide the establishment and management of national marine conservation areas was announced by the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, at the fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) in Vancouver in February 2023. This new policy replaces the 1994 policy found in Parks Canada Guiding Principles and Operational Policies and will help to ensure that representative examples of Canada’s natural and cultural marine heritage are protected and conserved for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of the people of Canada and the world.

The policy framework emphasizes the importance of collaboration and co-management with Indigenous peoples. It reflects Parks Canada’s more than 30 years of experience establishing and managing national marine conservation areas and was created based on valuable feedback from Indigenous partners, federal departments, provinces, territories, stakeholders, and the Canadian public during extensive consultations from 2019 to 2022.

This year Parks Canada also announced public consultations to inform new regulations for managing activities in national marine conservation areas established under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. Engagement with Indigenous organizations began in September 2022 and will continue throughout the process of developing general regulations.

Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress

Parks Canada played a lead role in the planning and delivery of the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) held February 3-9, 2023, in Vancouver. The congress involved over 800 presenters, over 400 sessions, 3500 registered delegates from 123 countries, as well as an Ocean Expo trade show, a public cultural festival, Indigenous IMPAC5 (Indigenous-specific activities planned for all Indigenous Congress attendees by an Indigenous Working Group), extensive Young Professionals programming, and a Leadership Forum.

This successful event brought together international experts to address ocean conservation in the context of the global biodiversity and climate crises. IMPAC5 was co-hosted by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, and three host First Nations xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), as well as the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with many other partners supporting this important event.

Protecting and recovering species at risk

In 2022–23, Parks Canada advanced the implementation of 23 multi-species action plans that include recovery measures for more than 200 species at risk-listed species and over 50 species of conservation concern. As of March 2023, Parks Canada completed 75% of the recovery measures identified in Species at Risk Act action plans, significantly surpassing the target of 50% by 2023.

This year Parks Canada published 10 multi-species action plan implementation reports detailing significant achievements in species recovery over the last five years. Parks Canada also published five-year implementation reports for the Banff Springs Snail, Eastern Prickly Pear, and Black-footed Ferret Recovery Strategies outlining contributions to species recovery. Parks Canada also legally protected critical habitat for four species at risk in 15 of the places it administers. In total, Parks Canada completed four critical habitat descriptions that were published in the Canada Gazette.

Applying Indigenous Knowledge in Prince Edward Island National Park

This year Parks Canada advanced work in collaboration with the Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island (PEI) to amend the PEI National Park Multi-Species Action Plan.

This collaboration works to bring Indigenous knowledge and truths to not just species at risk, but all species of conservation concern that live within PEI National Park. Together, Parks Canada and the Mi’kmaq of PEI are working to modernize approaches to protecting species at risk and broaden the scope to include culturally significant species, such as the American eel.

Working with partners to enhance foundational knowledge of species, habitats and ecosystems

In addition to the work done directly by Parks Canada team members, Parks Canada works with a wide variety of national and international partners and networks to carry out original research and share information. This information supports and informs the active management of protected and conserved areas, including enhanced monitoring of ecosystems and species, the restoration of ecosystems and enhancement of their resilience to climate change, and the protection of species at risk. This year Parks Canada:

  • continued to support the Pan-Canadian Parks and Protected Areas Research Network, including supporting the delivery of the third research summit, held virtually from February 27 to March 2, 2023
    • this network builds on the platform of the Canadian Parks, Protected and Conserved Areas Leadership Collective, and connects researchers, independent professionals, and practitioners from parks and protected areas
  • advanced the assessment of biodiversity and carbon values for peatland, wetland, coastal, and marine ecosystems in the Hudson Bay–James Bay Lowlands, and the weaving of Western science and Indigenous knowledge to inform conservation efforts, in collaboration with the nations in the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council (which includes seven individual First Nations) and Weenusk First Nation
    • strong partnerships with academic partners, non-government organizations, and other government departments support this work
  • hosted a continent-wide expert virtual workshop on Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics with 40 experts and managers through the North American Committee on Cooperation for Wilderness and Protected Areas Conservation
    • Parks Canada experts presented on the Carbon Atlas Series, the first comprehensive analysis of the amount, distribution, and dynamics of ecosystem carbon in national parks in Canada over time
  • engaged with multiple partners in four park-specific adaptation planning workshops to assess climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and risks to Parks Canada places and programs and identify next steps for adaptation, including at the site level
  • published and presented the findings of a peer-reviewed evidence synthesis and policy scan looking at the application of ‘assisted migration’ as a climate change adaptation tactic for wildlife within and outside protected and conserved areas, in collaboration with several Canadian university researchers
  • co-developed an operational framework with Indigenous partners for a new Integrated Research and Monitoring Program in Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site (Northwest Territories) based on 23 science and Indigenous knowledge-based indicators of ecological health
  • Published a series of 49 site-specific briefings on the projected effects of climate change on birds in national parks and national marine conservation areas, developed in partnership with the National Audubon Society
    • these detailed expected changes by mid-century in the climate and environmental suitability for 434 bird species found in Parks Canada places, including expected gains and losses of species in different regions and seasons across Canada
  • advanced, in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, the Bison Integrated Genomics project
    • this project included the creation of candidate vaccines for a combined brucella-tuberculosis vaccine for bison, genetic sequencing that will allow us to differentiate subspecies of bison, and the creation of a Bison Genome Biobank
    • Parks Canada also collaborated with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and Environment and Climate Change Canada to collect samples that will advance the Genomic Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change project
Departmental Result IndicatorTargetDate to achieve target2022–23 Actual results
Number of natural heritage places managed cooperatively with Indigenous peoplesAt least 27March 202322

Parks Canada recognizes the historic and ongoing responsibilities of Indigenous peoples in the stewardship of the natural heritage of their ancestral territories and homelands. It works to advance cooperative management arrangements with Indigenous peoples at the heritage places it administers. As of March 31, 2023, Indigenous peoples participated in decision-making as part of cooperative management structures in 22 natural heritage places administered by Parks Canada, which is unchanged from last year.

Throughout 2022–23, Parks Canada and Indigenous nations continued to work together to negotiate agreements, including during national park and national marine conservation area establishment discussions, to create new or enhance existing cooperative management structures at Parks Canada-administered places. The results of these ongoing negotiations are anticipated for the 2023–24 reporting year and beyond.

Facilitating Indigenous stewardship

In addition to the work to build formal cooperative management structures for natural heritage places, Parks Canada, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, continues to advance work toward an Indigenous Stewardship Framework to support natural and cultural heritage place management and governance that is respectfully aligned with Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous leadership in stewarding lands, water, and ice. At its core, this work intends to advance reconciliation and support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This work supports the ministerial commitment in the Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada 2020 – Report and Response to advance efforts to develop a framework for Indigenous stewardship in places Parks Canada administers, convene Indigenous partners to advise on Parks Canada-led initiatives, and identify opportunities to support and advance Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. This theme was also further discussed at the Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada 2023.

Indigenous Stewardship Circle: Indigenous voices in Parks Canada’s future direction

In 2022-23, Parks Canada launched the Indigenous Stewardship Circle, bringing together Indigenous members and Parks Canada staff. The members of this Circle come together in an ethical space to share stories, perspectives, and understandings that will shape approaches to the co-development, engagement, and implementation of an Indigenous Stewardship Framework. This framework, along with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan Measures will serve as the vehicle that aligns Parks Canada’s work with and will contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Framework reflects Parks Canada’s current understanding of the work to be done to support Indigenous (re)connections with lands, waters, and ice and deeper relationships with Indigenous communities. This work also aims to foster Indigenous leadership in the stewardship of national historic sites, national parks and national park reserves, national marine conservation areas, and national marine conservation area reserves administered by Parks Canada. As the work of the Circle evolves, and engagement and co-development on the Framework continue, we expect that Framework will also evolve.

Indigenous stewardship circle framework diagram — text description follows.
Stewardship Circle Framework Design — text description

Proposed core elements (shown in green): these four interconnected elements are understood to be central components of Indigenous stewardship. They include Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous knowledge systems; shared governance; practices on the land, water and ice; and economic opportunities.

Proposed enabling elements (shown in blue): these three elements are considered to be foundations for Indigenous stewardship: broader efforts to build and maintain strong relationships between Indigenous peoples and Parks Canada; the need to acknowledge or apologize in those places where past and/or present actions by Parks Canada have impacted Indigenous Peoples, and education and understanding.

Parks Canada continues to develop and nurture relationships with Indigenous partners in ways that respect Indigenous rights as well as Indigenous knowledge and knowledge systems. Parks Canada is advancing its approach to enhance opportunities around, among other actions, shared decision-making with Indigenous governments, supporting Indigenous connections to the land, respecting Indigenous knowledge systems, contributing to economic opportunities for Indigenous communities, and ensuring that Indigenous peoples’ histories and stories are respectfully shared through heritage place programming. In support of this work, in 2022-23 Parks Canada:

  • created a new team tasked with developing negotiation tools to help enhance rights-based negotiations. This team will help align current and future negotiation tables with the Indigenous Stewardship Framework (see highlight box above) and UNDRIP
  • engaged with 73 Indigenous partners on the proposed Indigenous Stewardship Framework
    • this included 10 face-to-face meetings and the participation of almost 300 Indigenous persons
  • continued work to review and renew existing standards, guidance, and tools to include Indigenous knowledge systems, foster collaboration with Indigenous knowledge holders, and promote meaningful engagement with Indigenous partners in conservation

Departmental Result 2:
Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for present and future generations
Departmental Result IndicatorTargetDate to achieve target2022–23 Actual results
Number of places, people, and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized3,867March 20233,934

Parks Canada supports the designation and commemoration of cultural heritage through formal recognition programs at the national level. Cultural heritage can include designations of persons, places, and events of national historic significance, heritage railway stations, heritage lighthouses, prime ministers’ grave sites, Canadian World Heritage Sites, and federal heritage buildings.

In 2022–23, Parks Canada exceeded its target for total designations, with a total of 3,934. This includes 1342 Federal Heritage Buildings, 1005 National Historic Sites, 507 National Historic Events, and 734 National Historic Persons.

Supporting cultural heritage designation

As part of the many designation programs within its responsibility, this year Parks Canada:

  • supported the designation of federal heritage through its Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office. The Minister designated 63 buildings as Recognized federal heritage buildings
  • organized 17 plaque unveiling ceremonies, an increase of 17 from the previous year, and installed and maintained commemorative plaques during the reporting period
    • More plaque unveilings held in person as COVID-19 pandemic precautions were eased
  • advanced the development of a modernized register for federal heritage designations by considering possible software options
    • this renewal aims to provide Canadians with an accessible, accurate, and modern tool with more user-friendly information sharing capabilities
  • promoted public understanding of the history of Canada and cultural heritage through digital tools and social media channels to reach Canadians where they livework, and play
    • Designations and commemorations were promoted on Parks Canada’s social media channels and related website content was expanded
  • experimented with live streams of commemoration events as part of its work to explore alternative approaches to commemorating national historic designations

Commemorating the diversity of Canada and the contribution of Indigenous peoples to the history of Canada

The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), helps connect Canadians with their shared history. Each designation under the National Program of Historical Commemoration makes a unique contribution to the tapestry of stories that make up our past and collectively contribute to our identity. It is crucial that these stories tell the story of Canada from the diverse perspectives of the Canadians that make up this country.

Celebrating the diverse events that defined the Canada of today

In August 2022, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada held a plaque unveiling ceremony to commemorate the national historic significance of Viola Desmond. Originally designated in 2017, Viola Desmond is a person of national historical significance due to her civil rights activism that brought nationwide attention to the African-Nova Scotian community’s struggle for equal rights.

On November 8, 1946, Viola Desmond, an African-Canadian businesswoman, stood up against anti-Black racism and discrimination by refusing to move from her seat in the “whites-only” section of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow. Her brave act of resistance sparked a movement towards equality and has come to represent a turning point in the struggle for rights for Black people in Canada. In 2010, the Government of Nova Scotia issued an apology and a posthumous pardon to Viola Desmond, and in 2016, the federal government announced that she would be commemorated on the newly designed $10 bill. Desmond’s resistance to racial discrimination was an important milestone in Canada’s human rights history and an inspiration for the civil rights movement in Canada.

Hockey is an integral part of Canadian identity and has long been part of our shared history, but it has not historically been inclusive of all Canadians. It has been commemorated by over a dozen designations, including those for the 1972 Summit Series, the Stanley Cup, and the formidable Preston Rivulettes women’s hockey team.

Breaking Racial Barriers in the National Hockey League (NHL) was designated as an event of national historic significance in 2022, recognized in a celebration on December 7th at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, developed in close collaboration with the players’ families and diversity-based hockey groups.

This designation highlights a different but equally important chapter in hockey history. From 1918 to 1958, Paul Jacobs, Larry Kwong, Henry “Elmer” Maracle, Fred Sasakamoose, and Willie O’Ree overcame the discrimination they faced to enter the NHL. Representing greater diversity and inclusion in professional hockey, these trailblazers were recognized for both their skill and perseverance, inspiring future generations of players.

Parks Canada is committed to the Government of Canada’s objectives for diversity and inclusion and works to promote these principles in its commemoration programs through the implementation of the Framework for History and Commemoration: National Historic Site System Plan. Parks Canada continues work to research and share the history and stories associated with Canada’s cultural and natural heritage and to expand Canadians’ access to and understanding of cultural heritage using digital tools. This work is being achieved by working collaboratively with communities to tell their stories in a way that reflects Canada’s diversity and to ensure that Indigenous history and stories are reflected in Parks Canada’s administered places, including national historic sites, national parks, national marine conservation areas, and national urban parks.

Implementing the framework contributes to Parks Canada’s priorities for cultural heritage protection by encouraging Indigenous peoples and minority communities to tell their stories. This ensures that histories communicated at Parks Canada heritage places are reflective of the diversity of Canada and the contribution of Indigenous peoples to the history of Canada, and supports Parks Canada’s implementation of the United Nations Declaration Act Action Plan Measure 110: Acknowledgements and Apologies. In support of this work, in 2022–23 Parks Canada:

  • targeted outreach to encourage Indigenous candidates to apply for vacancies on the HSMBC and generate better awareness of these vacancies amongst potential Indigenous applicants
    • as a result of these efforts over the last two years, the HSMBC now has two Indigenous members
  • conducted analysis of engagement results from workshops held in 2021–22 by the Inclusive Commemorations Initiative
    • participants from diverse communities provided valuable insights into how to improve the National Program of Historical Commemorations. Content gathered from these workshops has been used to inform work to revise the HSMBC’s criteria and policies
  • continued to seek new designations of persons, places, and events in alignment with the Framework’s strategic priorities with the development of a plan for engagement through the delivery of three workshops—one on diversity and two on Residential Schools history—with Elders, community representatives, leaders in cultural heritage, and experts
    • two workshops were hosted with more than 50 Survivors and Indigenous representatives to discuss commemorative opportunities in Quebec and British Columbia
    • further engagement was undertaken directly to support community-led efforts to commemorate the legacy of residential schools, including engagement with the T’Kemlups First Nation regarding the former Kamloops residential school
  • undertook initial background research for commemorative opportunities in 2SLGBTQI+ history
  • implemented key practices in the Framework by developing and offering oral history training and specialized advice and guidance on specific projects
    • since 2020, 300 staff have completed the introductory training
    • participants in the training learn about methods for planning, interviewing, and archiving oral history projects, and the legal and moral implications of carrying out oral history projects
    • this training better positions Parks Canada to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call-to-Action 79 to incorporate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history
  • completed 12 multi-component capacity-building projects through Parks Canada’s Stories of Canada program, including oral history, traditional skills workshops, and travelling exhibits
    • since 2018, the program has supported nearly 40 projects at more than 40 sites and collaborated with more than 60 Indigenous communities
  • continued production of short testimonial videos for the four residential schools that have been designated to date

Advancing reconciliation through commemoration

Parks Canada’s commemoration programs contribute to the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada. These programs play a key role in carrying out the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls-to-action 79 and 80, related to commemoration. Parks Canada’s cultural heritage programs are working to ensure that Indigenous Knowledge is respected, reflected, and honored in the management of cultural and natural resources. To support these commitments, in 2022–23 Parks Canada:

  • supported Bill C-23, the Historic Places of Canada Act, which was introduced in the House of Commons on June 7, 2022
    • if adopted by Parliament as written, this act would advance reconciliation by including representatives for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC), responding directly to Call to Action 79(i) of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, as well as provide for the protection of federally owned historic places
  • engaged with Indigenous peoples on Bill C-23 through the three National Indigenous Organizations
    • this engagement has offered opportunities to provide relevant technical information to these organizations and answer questions about the bill, as well as to strengthen relationships with these Indigenous partners
  • Continued renewing the HSMBC criteria booklet
    • this work will be completed over the next three fiscal years to improve public understanding of and better reflect Indigenous histories and values within the National Program of Historical Commemoration
  • partnered with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) to support community-led projects related to residential school commemoration through the NCTR’s Na-mi-quai-ni-mak (Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) meaning 'I remember them') Community Support Fund
    • this partnership has been ongoing since 2020, and in 2022-23 Parks Canada provided more than $800 000 to the NCTR to support 35 different community-led projects in eight different provinces
  • completed several smaller agreements with Indigenous organizations to support residential school commemorative activities, including with the National Indian Residential School Museum at the former Portage La Prairie Indian Residential School (Keeshkeemaquah Reserve outside of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba) and Algoma University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association for the former Shingwauk Residential School (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario)
  • reviewed existing designations of national significance associated with residential school history in the National Program of Historical Commemoration to support Indigenous communities with creating new nominations associated with residential school history
Treaty implementation at HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site

In March 2023, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada signed the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

This ten-year agreement supports the first Inuit-led and managed national historic site in Nunavut. It includes funding for the expansion of the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven (Nunavut) as a welcome centre that will serve as a place to display material related to the Franklin expedition and from the ships, as well as to tell the Inuit story from the Inuit perspective. The agreement also established an Inuit Wrecks Guardian program as well as provided an Inuit scholarship, business opportunity, and cultural heritage training fund.

Supporting world heritage and demonstrating international leadership

Parks Canada provides leadership on international activities and initiatives related to the management of natural and cultural heritage, including the designation and management of Canada’s 20 designated world heritage sites. During the reporting year, Parks Canada:

  • advanced the implementation of its International Strategy 2021-2026. This strategy aims to promote Parks Canada’s leadership role within the global natural and cultural heritage community, taking a scalable approach to leverage partnerships, advance international priorities, enhance implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements, and share best practices
  • worked to finalize a new agency-level Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States (US) National Park Service
    • Parks Canada and the US National Park Service have a longstanding collaborative relationship first formalized by an MOU in 1998
    • the revised MOU identifies areas and activities of mutual interest for cooperation
    • priority areas for collaboration have been identified for future joint strategic work in the fields of natural and cultural heritage conservation, Indigenous-led conservation and collaboration, and collaborative approaches to contributions in the global conservation context
  • continued to implement key conservation actions from the Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site Action Plan (see highlight box), in collaboration with Indigenous partners, other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and key stakeholders, to ensure that the World Heritage Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo National Park is maintained for future generations
  • assisted planning for a technical evaluation mission in August 2022 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to Anticosti Island, Quebec.
    • This location is one of Canada’s two Tentative List sites currently nominated
    • it will be considered by the World Heritage Committee at its 2023 meeting
  • through its work with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Parks Canada supported the work of IUCN Commissions, including funding a young professional to support the Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and shared its expertise through several working groups, such as the WCPA’s working group on climate change mitigation, the Species Survival Commission specialist group on bison and the WCPA Health and Well-being Specialist Group. Parks Canada also supported programming at the Asia Parks Congress and the Africa Protected Areas Congress
  • provided information coordination support for two world heritage site nominations for Canada currently under evaluation by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, Anticosti Island (Quebec) and Tr’ondëk-Klondike (Yukon Territory)
    • a decision on these two sites was deferred due to the cancellation of the 2022 session of the World Heritage Committee for geopolitical reasons
Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site Action Plan

Parks Canada continues to implement key conservation actions from the Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site Action Plan in collaboration with Indigenous partners, other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and key stakeholders, to ensure that the World Heritage Outstanding Universal Value of Wood Buffalo National Park is maintained for future generations.

Parks Canada welcomed a joint World Heritage Centre/International Union for Conservation of Nature Reactive Monitoring Mission in August 2022 to review progress achieved since the 2016 mission. The mission aims were to:

  • develop a fulsome understanding of the current threats facing the Outstanding Universal Value of the park
  • review the status of key measures requested by the Committee in its recent decisions

A draft Mission report was received in February 2023. Parks Canada coordinated the submission of factual corrections it identified in the report as well as those by stakeholders and partners.

Departmental Result IndicatorTargetDate to achieve target2022–23 Actual results
Percentage of historical and archaeological collection, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites in Parks Canada’s care that are safeguardedAt least 90%March 202668%

Parks Canada maintains cultural resources through conservation work at the national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas it administers, as well as in the facilities that house Canada’s national collection of archaeological and historical objects. This work ensures that cultural resources are safeguarded and conserved and that their heritage value is shared for the understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of present and future generations.

While the result remains unchanged for the percentage of the historical and archaeological collection, cultural landscapes, and archaeological sites that are safeguarded, Parks Canada is on track to achieve the target in 2026. This year, construction continued on the future Parks Canada Collections and Curatorial Centre in Gatineau, Quebec. This facility, which will support the consolidation and safeguarding of the historical and archaeological collections under Parks Canada’s care, will contribute significantly to this indicator. Its operations will also be net zero carbon and contribute to the Government of Canada’s greening government targets. Parks Canada also continued work to identify and document archaeological sites and cultural landscapes at heritage places. During the reporting year some national parks initiated cultural landscape studies and the development of cultural resource values statements.

Protecting and conserving Canada’s cultural heritage places

During 2022-23, cultural resource management and conservation work continued to contribute to the safeguarding of cultural resources and gains made in cultural heritage conservation. Parks Canada continues its work to advance the implementation of Indigenous values and protocols into the protection and conservation of cultural and natural resources under its care. In 2022–23, Parks Canada continued work to renew policies and support legislation related to the protection and conservation of heritage places, and its cultural heritage experts contributed to 800 projects at heritage places across the country. In support of this work in 2022–23 Parks Canada:

  • completed the migration of six legacy archaeological databases as part of Parks Canada’s work to implement its Cultural Resource Management Information System (CRMIS)
    • once completed, the database will be an improved inventory system for the archaeological and historical objects and cultural heritage sites under the administration of Parks Canada
    • CRMIS will increase the accessibility and facilitate better accuracy of archaeological site data that contributes to safeguarding these cultural resources
  • continued to engage Indigenous communities connected to Parks Canada’s heritage places on access to Indigenous objects under Parks Canada’s care
    • for this reporting period there were engagements with eight nations to share two-way knowledge on collections increasing the total number of Indigenous communities engaged to 55
  • completed a What We Heard report that summarizes the input gathered during the engagement with 40 Indigenous and modern treaty organizations in 2020-21 and guides the renewal of Parks Canada’s Cultural Resource Management Policy
    • this engagement work was part of efforts to renew Parks Canada’s cultural resource management policies to ensure that they respect Indigenous heritage perspectives, protocols, values, and practices, in line with Call-to-Action 79 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
  • worked collaboratively on a program of terrestrial archaeology on lands adjacent to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site (Nunavut)
    • the collaboration involved Parks Canada, the Inuit Heritage Trust, and the Nattilik Heritage Society
    • this work included collaborative research and capacity building with Inuit Guardians and Elders from Gjoa Haven and the protection of cultural resources through proactive archaeological surveying
    • research was also begun on the threat posed by wind/wave damage to this national historic site
    • Parks Canada continued to support the ongoing expansion of the Nattilik Heritage Centre in Gjoa Haven (Nunavut) by providing archaeological research and artifact expertise
  • completed risk assessments at 12 heritage places as part of a strategy of preventive conservation of historical and archaeological objects, a cost-effective, evidence-based, and sustainable approach to identify and reduce potential hazards to cultural resources
  • provided Parks Canada team members with training and tools that can contribute to achieving Parks Canada’s priorities and results for cultural heritage conservation at the heritage places that it administers
    • this year, 237 employees completed Cultural Resource Management (CRM) training and team members across the country had the opportunity to participate in nine CRM community of practice meetings
    • these meetings address issues of common concern in managing and safeguarding cultural resources at heritage places
  • conducted condition monitoring projects to assess the current state of selected archaeological sites
    • this allows Parks Canada’s archaeologists to track changes over time
    • this year, Parks Canada monitored conditions at various locations in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (British Columbia), reassessed and mitigated threatened archeological resources at York Factory National Historic Site (Northwest Territories), responded to previously unknown archeological materials melting out of glaciers in Kluane National Park and Reserve (Yukon Territory), and monitored and assessed ice patch melt and ground exposure at high potential ice patches in Jasper National Park (Alberta)
  • completed underwater archaeology work at Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area (Ontario), Red Bay National Historic Site/World Heritage Site (Newfoundland and Labrador), Rouge National Urban Park (Ontario), and Fathom Five National Marine Park (Ontario)
  • undertook archaeological projects in response to the effects of extreme weather events, such as the response to severe storm events through the SGang Gwaay Living Landscapes Conservation and Restoration project on Haida Gwaii (British Columbia), post-burn archaeological surveys, partnership and program development associated with the Washburn-Bates Cache discovery in Kluane (Yukon Territory) and the Ice Patch Archaeology project in Jasper (Alberta), and development of a post-burn wildfire response strategy in association with the Chetamon Wildfire in Jasper
Repatriation of Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Chief Poundmaker)’s Staff

On May 4, 2022, Pitikwahanapiwiyin’s leadership staff was officially repatriated to the Poundmaker family from Parks Canada’s collections, following a request by the Poundmaker family.

As per Poundmaker Cree Nation law and protocol, the staff was repatriated to a direct descendant of the person to whom it belonged. Accepted by Pitikwahanapiwiyin’s great-great-granddaughter Pauline (Brown Bear Woman), the family will serve as custodians of the staff.

Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Chief Poundmaker) was designated a person of national significance in 1985 for his role as an outstanding nēhiyaw (Plains Cree) leader and spokesman who sought better treaty terms for the bands of this area and was a peacemaker despite being arrested for treason. He was exonerated by the Canadian government in 2018.

The repatriation of the leadership staff to the Poundmaker family involved a concerted, coordinated effort to build understanding and trust. Two-way knowledge sharing was instrumental to understanding the importance of the staff, its belonging, and the path moving forward. This repatriation inspired the creation of an interim approach to repatriation that will guide Parks Canada to better reflect the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples.

Supporting built heritage conservation

Parks Canada continues its work to support the protection and conservation of built heritage at the heritage places it administers and to promote the conservation of built heritage in Canada by partnering with other organizations and institutions. Parks Canada also conducted impact analyses to identify and mitigate potential threats to cultural resources from infrastructure and other projects. In 2022–23 Parks Canada:

  • performed over 300 cultural resource impact assessments to identify and mitigate potential impacts of activities on the heritage value of cultural resources and the commemorative integrity of national historic sites across the country
  • delivered training and workshops for employees on national historic site maintenance
    • this training is an important element of conservation that contributes to the protection and sustainability of cultural heritage places and the efficient use of resources
    • seven in-person workshops and training projects were delivered on window restoration, log building, and historic masonry
    • two online presentations were given on historic wood windows and energy efficiency
  • published six topical conservation briefs to introduce Parks Canada employees to topics related to heritage trades, materials, and building techniques
    • these briefs provide technical information related to issues seen regularly across the historic sites that Parks Canada administers to reduce time solving the same problems
  • continued work to complete the implementation of the action plan developed in response to the Auditor General’s report on the conservation of federal properties
    • this included work on the development of the Cultural Heritage Asset Planning Tool to align with Parks Canada’s Real Property Portfolio Strategy
    • this tool will contribute to Parks Canada’s long-term asset portfolio sustainability by helping it to strategically determine and plan conservation approaches for cultural fixed assets using processes that are adapted to each cultural heritage asset
Living Landscapes of SGang Gwaay

Parks Canada is working with the Haida Gwaii Watchmen and Saahlinda Naay Haida Gwaii Museum to explore the eco-cultural landscapes of SGang Gwaay in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (British Columbia).

Now in its second summer, archaeological field work at SGang Gwaay revealed some interesting finds, including quartz quarry sites including formed tools, evidence of pigment use, and concentrations of various seeds and shells. Analysis and interpretation are ongoing in the lab at Saahlinda Naay Haida Gwaii Museum.

Based on the 2022 fieldwork, the second installment in the Living Landscapes of SG̱ang Gwaay short film series, released in April 2023, included a stunning segment recreating pigments on a standing pole, animated with guidance from Haida carvers Gwaai and Jaalen Edenshaw. The community screening of the film was the most well attended Speaker Series in Gwaii Haanas history.

Leading and partnering for cultural heritage conservation

In addition to its work to manage the cultural heritage resources in its own care, Parks Canada plays a key leadership role in the cultural heritage conservation of Canada’s heritage places. Parks Canada provides support to departments responsible for protecting and conserving federal heritage properties in their own asset portfolios and provides guidance and funding to other owners of heritage places of national significance. During this year, Parks Canada:

  • responded to requests from multiple federal departments for advice and recommendations, completing 121 reviews of intervention at federal heritage buildings across the country
    • these reviews included the high-profile rehabilitation of Parliament Hill with a review of the Centre Block Landscape schematic design, as the grounds themselves are classified under the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO)
  • provided increased financial assistance, for a second year, to support the protection and presentation of 22 nationally recognized heritage places not administered by the federal government through the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places
    • In line with the commitments made in response to the Minister’s Round Table 2020, the available funding envelope was again $2 million in 2022-23 to provide greater support to heritage places that have been formally recognized by the Government of Canada, but that it does not administer
  • contributed content for an additional learning module on universal accessibility at heritage places as part of the open access course, Introduction to the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada , in collaboration with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
    • this course will be offered in English and French and is free to everyone
  • continued to participate at the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Cultural Heritage (FPTCH) Table, as part of Parks Canada’s commitment to broaden work and engagement with key partners in the culture and heritage community
    • in line with the 2021 to 2026 FPTCH Strategic Plan, Parks Canada has continued an ongoing dialogue at the FPTCH Table on priority issues that reflect areas of common interest with federal, provincial, and territorial partners
  • co-chaired regular monthly meetings of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heritage Resource Working Group with the province of Saskatchewan
    • in July 2022, FPTCH ministers tasked the group with the development of options for a new framework for the conservation of historic places in Canada, with options to be presented to FPTCH Ministers in 2024
  • provided support for Athabasca University to develop content and to support the inclusion of Indigenous participation and teaching for the 2022 International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property International Summer (ICCROM) School on Communication and Teaching Skills in Conservation and Science in St. Albert, Alberta
    • the international training program covered a diverse and broad range of conservation teaching practices, including Indigenous cultural teaching components, and facilitated learning about heritage conservation through a Canadian lens
Supporting Indigenous stewardship of cultural heritage

As part of its support for Indigenous stewardship of cultural heritage places, Parks Canada piloted a project this year to provide funding to Indigenous organizations that may not otherwise have fully met the requirements of the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places. This funding was made available to better support and understand the needs of heritage places administered by Indigenous organizations. Three Indigenous organizations received funding this year through this pilot project:

  • Mi’kmawey Debert Cultural Centre in support of their Shubenacadie Commemoration Project associated with the Former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School National Historic Site of Canada (Nova Scotia)
  • Land of Maquinna Cultural Society for their Yuquot National Historic Site of Canada (British Columbia) Gathering Space – Church Rehabilitation Project
  • Muskowekwan First Nation for their Muscowequan Residential School Reclamation Project associated with the Former Muscowequan Indian Residential School National Historic Site of Canada (Saskatchewan)
Departmental Result IndicatorTargetDate to achieve target2022–23 Actual results
Number of cultural heritage places managed cooperatively with Indigenous peoplesAt least 6March 2023 7

Parks Canada recognizes the historic and ongoing responsibilities of Indigenous peoples in the stewardship of cultural heritage of their ancestral territories and homelands. Parks Canada continues to collaboratively advance cooperative management with Indigenous peoples at cultural heritage places by establishing new cooperative management structures or by including Indigenous roles in existing relationship-building structures to support the stewardship of heritage places, in accordance with Recognition of Rights and Self-Determination processes and Rights Reconciliation Agreements. As of March 31, 2023, there are seven places where Indigenous peoples participate in decision-making structures: Kitijigattlik-Ramah Chert Quarries National Historic Site (Newfoundland and Labrador), Nan Sdins National Historic Sites (British Columbia), Obadjiwan – Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site (Québec), Saoyú-?ehdacho National Historic Site (Northwest Territories), Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site (Nunavut), Fort Reliance National Historic Site (Northwest Territories) and Batoche National Historic Site (Saskatchewan).

Throughout 2022–23, Parks Canada and Indigenous partners continued to work together to negotiate agreements, including as part of cultural heritage area establishment discussions, which will create new or enhance existing cooperative management structures at Parks Canada-administered places. The results of these ongoing negotiations are anticipated for the 2023–24 reporting year and beyond.

Advancing reconciliation and self-determination at Batoche National Historic Site

Declared a national historic site in 1923, Batoche National Historic Site, north of Saskatoon, holds great cultural, spiritual, and historic significance to the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan. The national historic site designation commemorates the Métis community that was there, Métis river lot land-use patterns, and the 1885 conflict between the Métis and the Government of Canada.

In July 2022, Parks Canada transferred 690 hectares of land adjacent to Batoche National Historic Site to the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. The transferred lands are culturally important to the Métis and are located west of the historic Village of Batoche.

Parks Canada and the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan also continued collaboration in other areas, resulting in a new draft of a cooperative agreement for the Batoche National Historic Site. The agreement focuses on managing the national historic site.

Supporting Indigenous stewardship

Parks Canada, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, continues to advance work toward an Indigenous Stewardship Framework that aims to support natural and cultural heritage places management and governance that is respectfully aligned with Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous leadership of stewarding lands, water, and ice.

This work supports the ministerial commitment in the Minister’s Round Table on Parks Canada 2020 — Report and Response to develop a proposed framework to support Indigenous stewardship in protected heritage places through processes of collaboration and dialogue. At its core, the intent of this work is to advance reconciliation and support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Parks Canada continues work to develop and nurture relationships with Indigenous partners in ways that respect Indigenous rights and Indigenous knowledge and knowledge systems. Parks Canada is working to enhance opportunities for shared decision-making with Indigenous governments and other actions that support Indigenous connections to the land, respect Indigenous knowledge systems, contribute to economic opportunities for Indigenous communities, and ensure that Indigenous peoples’ histories and stories are respectfully shared through heritage place programming. In support of this work, in 2022-23 Parks Canada:

  • launched the first Indigenous Stewardship Circle which brought together Circle members and subject matter experts
    • the Circle is centred on the co-development, engagement, and implementation of an Indigenous Stewardship Framework
    • the Framework is intended to capture the breadth of Parks Canada’s work with Indigenous peoples – supporting an environment to deepen relationships and promote Indigenous leadership in the stewardship of national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas administered by Parks Canada
  • continued work to enhance rights-based negotiations by creating a new team tasked with developing negotiation tools to help align current and future negotiation tables with the Indigenous Stewardship Framework and UNDRIP
  • renewed a memorandum of understanding with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada and signed a three-year contribution agreement to support the development of world-class tourism offerings by Indigenous businesses that operate at or adjacent to Parks Canada-administered places
  • collaborated with Indigenous partners in the delivery of authentic Indigenous experiences at national historic sites and national parks to share Indigenous stories, perspectives, and cultures with Canadians and international visitors
  • worked closely with Indigenous storytelling team members and domestic and international travel writers to showcase Indigenous stories and experiences
    • content was showcased in Travel & Leisure (US), National Park Traveller (US), Adventure Travel News, (US), Escape (AUS), New Zealand Herald (NZ), and FDM Travel (Denmark)
  • continued to share Indigenous stories, perspectives, and experiences content across digital channels
Departmental Result Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2022-23 Actual Results
Percentage of built heritage assets in good or fair condition At least 58% March 2023 61%

In 2022–23, Parks Canada continued to deliver important projects to rehabilitate essential infrastructure within its portfolio. Investments of funds through the Federal Infrastructure Program and various federal budgets since 2014 have contributed to improvements in the condition of Parks Canada’s built heritage assets. Through these infrastructure investments, Parks Canada is protecting and conserving national treasures.

In 2022–23, 37 heritage assets, with a replacement value of $426 million, were improved from poor or very poor condition. The completion of several major capital projects on high-value marine heritage assets has made it possible to exceed Parks Canada’s planned March 2023 target of 58%, with 61% of the built heritage assets in Parks Canada’s care in good or fair condition. Continued investment is required to maintain heritage assets in acceptable condition and to continue to make progress towards improving the overall condition of Parks Canada’s built heritage assets.

The following is an example of work carried out that has improved the condition of built heritage assets:

  • replacement of the Equipoise Bridge at Fort Henry National Historic Site in Ontario to allow continued operations of the fort
  • major roofing and chimney repairs at the King’s Bastion at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site damaged by Hurricane Fiona, which is one small component of recovery work that is still underway
  • interventions to stop the deterioration of character-defining elements of twelve national historic sites and classified heritage buildings, built between 1930 and 1936, in Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park, including the East Gate Registration Complex, Grey Owl’s cabin, and the heritage building that houses the park’s visitor centre
  • roof repairs to stop leaks that were affecting building integrity and interior finishes at Laurier House National Historic Site in Ottawa, Ontario
  • conservation of stone walls and historic battlefield features at Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site in Manitoba
  • removal and replacement of damaged water line needed to operate the fire suppression system at the heritage train station in Churchill, Manitoba, which serves as the visitor reception centre for Wapusk National Park

Departmental Result 3
People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them
Departmental Result Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2022-23 Actual Results
Number of visitors experiencing Parks Canada places At least 23.7 million March 2023 22.5 million

In 2022-23, national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas continued to provide safe settings for recreation and learning and for friends and families to connect. Most places opened normally and remaining modifications to visitor services and experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., closed buildings, limited interpretation tours) subsided this year, where capacity permitted. Parks Canada’s efforts to resume operations that were similar to pre-pandemic years provided an important boost to local and regional tourism as the sector continued to deal with the uncertainty of post-pandemic recovery, labour shortages, and the impact of decades-high inflation.

Connecting Canadians with nature

This year Parks Canada's visitation levels benefited from a gradual recovery in the tourism sector, with approximately 879,000 more visits in 2022-23 than in the previous fiscal year. Visitation totaled 22.5 million visits, up 4% over the 21.6 million visitors welcomed in 2021-22. Visitation this year was also 32% over 2020-21 (17.0 million).

Graph — Visitation to Parks Canada Places — Text description follows.
Visitation to Parks Canada plances — Text version

A bar graph showing visitation counts from 2016-17 to 2022-23. The visitation is as follows: 2016-17: 23,700,000; 2017-18: 27,200,000; 2018-19: 25,100,000; 2019-20: 24,900,000; 2020-21: 17,000,000; 2021-22: 21,600,000; 2022-23: 22,500,000.

Both national parks, with 15.2 million visitors, and national historic sites, with 7.3 million visitors, welcomed more visitors in 2022–23 than in 2021–22. However, both remain below their respective pre-pandemic visitation levels (see chart). The continued rebound was helped by high demand for camping and the return of international visitors. When compared to the baseline year (2016-17) that visitation trends are measured against, current visitation is only 5% below the baseline level of 23.7 million. Visitation to national parks is on par with the baseline (down 1%) of 15.4 million, while visitation to national historic sites remains below the baseline (down 22%) of 9.3 million visits.

Graph — Visitation to National Heritage Places, by System — Text description follows.
Visitation to national heritage places, by system — Text version

Bar chart showing the number of visitors to National Parks and National Historic Sites from 2016 to 2023. The number of National Park visitors started at 15.4 million in 2016-17, increased to 16.8 million in 2017-18, and fluctuated between 15.9 million and 16.1 million in the following years. However, in 2020-21, there was a significant decrease to 11.7 million, followed by a gradual recovery to 15.2 million in 2022-23. On the other hand, National Historic Site visitors started at 9.3 million in 2016-17, rose to 10.4 million in 2017-18, and varied between 9.2 million and 8.7 million in the subsequent years. The data shows a decrease in 2020-21 to 5.3 million visitors, with a slow increase to 7.3 million in 2022-23.

Parks Canada team members engaged with Canadians, inspiring them to prioritize heritage places while planning day trips or vacations. Proactive media and communication efforts, including a mix of paid advertising (e.g., national advertising campaigns), on its own platforms and channels (e.g., Parks Canada website content, social media, mobile app, e-newsletters, announcements/press releases), and earned in media (e.g., travel stories in tourism magazines and on blogs) helped showcase the multitude of visitor experiences across the network and how to access them. Travel media outlets alone wrote nearly 2,000 articles about national heritage places in 2022-23, reaching millions of people around the world across digital and traditional channels.

This year, Parks Canada continued to promote alternative places to explore to inspire people to explore places beyond the most popular national historic sites and national parks. Another priority was highlighting behavioural etiquette to manage expectations and to ensure the safety of visitors, but also to ensure the health of nature, wildlife, and heritage places.

Immerse yourself in Parks Canada Places on Google Arts and Culture

As part of its efforts to make heritage places accessible to all Canadians, Parks Canada joined Google Arts and Culture to showcase its treasure trove of content.

Through interactive stories and immersive virtual tours, visitors can "travel" to a national historic site, national park or national marine conservation area.

Through the number of experiences on Google Arts and Culture, visitors can achieve the impossible and visit Flowerpot Island in Fathom Five National Marine Conservation Area in the morning and Bar U Ranch in the afternoon.

Inclusive and accessible visitor experiences

In 2022–23, Parks Canada team members worked to facilitate memorable experiences for all visitors to help ensure that everyone can meaningfully experience national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas. Campgrounds that had been closed for renovations reopened for the 2022 summer season, increasing capacity for those eager to enjoy a night under the stars. Work also continued to expand the number of accessible and inclusive washroom facilities at visitor centres and campgrounds.

Showcasing accessible experiences

Parks Canada is working to ensure all Canadians have the opportunity to experience the protected heritage places it administers, both by expanding its accessible experiences and by ensuring that information on existing experiences is available. Examples of actions Parks Canada completed and expanded in 2022-23 included:

  • creating and expanding a list of accessible trails, camping, and activities on its website to provide useful trip-planning information to visitors with accessibility needs
  • assessing approximately 250 kilometres of trails in national historic sites and national parks
  • expanding the availability of adaptive equipment such as beach mats, all-terrain wheelchairs, and wheelchair bikes, at some national heritage places, and working to add more equipment over time
    • to facilitate this process, Parks Canada created and maintains a list of adaptive equipment possibilities, suppliers, and considerations for places considering adding these to their available accessible experiences
  • continuing to advance accessibility assessments of individual national historic sites and national parks to identify needs and opportunities.

This year, Parks Canada continued to provide quality service to visitors. More than nine in ten visitors enjoyed their visit (94%) and were satisfied with their overall visit (95%). Visitors rated satisfaction with trails (91%), staff welcome (88%), wayfinding (87%), day use areas (87%), and trip planning information (82%) all very high. Nearly all visitors (95%) indicated they would recommend the place they visited in 2022–23 to their friends and/or family.

Parks Canada completed other work during this year to improve its services to Canadians and to remove barriers to the use and enjoyment of the national heritage places it administers. This year Parks Canada modernized its public website, following extensive user testing. The website, which meets high standards for web accessibility, features more photos and content and is easier to navigate —including for mobile users, who account for more than 50% of website visitors—to help with trip planning. User-generated content from social media sites is embedded on the homepage to showcase amazing experiences and what is trending. Improvements were also made to Parks Canada's mobile app by integrating two separate systems and enhancing the offer available on it. Content on the app is fully accessible, including tours, information, and maps, and the app works offline.

Improving the reservation experience

In March 2023 Parks Canada launched an improved version of its reservation system, aiming to improve user experience and reduce the number of glitches and crashes users experience during peak reservation periods.

The improved version follows booking and ticketing industry best practices, including setting a maximum volume of users and introducing a virtual waiting room to ensure equitable access to the reservation service for everyone and help maintain optimal performance. Parks Canada also staggers reservation opening dates to reduce the burden on the reservation system.

These adjustments successfully met the high demand for camping once reservations were launched, with as many as 50,000 devices connected to the reservation system when it opened, and more than 42,000 reservations made in the first six hours.

Initial user feedback on the system improvements has been very positive. Further improvements will be made to the reservation system in upcoming years.

Supporting the recovery of Canada’s tourism sector

National historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas are anchors for local tourism economies in communities across Canada. In 2022-23, Parks Canada partnered with local, regional, and national tourism partners, Indigenous tourism partners, and marketing organizations to support sustainable tourism recovery. Some examples of the work undertaken this year include:

  • collaborated with Destination Canada and Expedia to promote national historic site and national park destinations, and to leverage the attraction of these places to support four-season regional tourism and economic recovery for local communities and businesses adjacent to these places
  • piloted an early access program with seven travel trade companies to provide advance access to camping reservations (less than 1.5% of total reservations) to solidify operating seasons of business that remained uncertain going into 2022
  • participated in major tourism congresses and marketplaces, including Rendez-vous Canada, Bienvenue Quebec, and Canada Showcase Europe, to support Canada's tourism sector recovery and encourage international visitation to Canada
  • coordinated and/or supported nearly 50 individual and group travel media trips to showcase select locations to national and international travel writers/media outlets
  • participated in the International Indigenous Tourism Conference, which is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the vibrant world of Indigenous tourism
  • collaborated with Tim Horton's for a third year as part of its Roll up the Win® contest, which ran in March and April 2023
    • Parks Canada supplied 750 Discovery Passes for the prize list, encouraging Canadians to visit national historic sites and national parks
    • the contest provided 1.79 billion media impressions and additional visibility for Parks Canada's entire network through an iconic brand in Canada
  • announced an investment of $55 million over five years to maintain, enhance, and expand the Trans Canada Trail in communities across Canada
    • the funding will improve trail infrastructure, enhance accessibility, strengthen inclusive use of the trail, and support local trail organizations and managers who steward the trail
Departmental Result Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2022-23 Actual Results
Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places At least 78% March 2023 92%

In 2022-23, more than nine in 10 Canadians (92%) supported Parks Canada’s mandate, exceeding the target by 14%. Support was 93% among young adults aged 18 to 34, and 92% among Canadian residents born outside of Canada. Support was also high in Canada’s three largest cities – Toronto (94%), Montreal (95%), and Vancouver (93%). Support has remained above 90% since June 2021. Maintaining these levels during almost two years of considerable uncertainty in Canada and the world over reinforces Parks Canada’s commitment to engage and connect with Canadians in diverse and meaningful ways. Parks Canada is humbled by this level of public support.

Reaching Canadians in their communities

Opportunities to make connections with Canadians in-person at events or through community outreach resumed in 2022-23 as pandemic-related health measures waned. Parks Canada engaged residents and tourists alike with a massive photography exhibit at Canada Place (in Greater Vancouver) entitled 450,000 km2 of Stories. The exhibit showcased conservation efforts, natural wonders of nature, and the historical stories woven through national heritage places.

Parks Canada continued its work to engage young people in the stewardship of their natural and cultural heritage places. Youth and those young-at-heart once again pitched their tents in designated urban settings to try their hand at camping at one of more than 1000 Learn-to-Camp events across the country. Parks Canada's official youth ambassadors also engaged with young adults from coast to coast on conservation and history-related issues, helping to inspire the next generation of storytellers and conservationists. The previous generation was also celebrated this year through Hometown Heroes community events. Captain (N) (ret’d) William H. Wilson and the late Paris Kemp Sahlen were each honored by their local communities for their achievements and contributions during the Second World War and in preserving and promoting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

Parks Canada took advantage of its popular digital channels to engage Canadians in meaningful ways on a variety of topics in 2022-23. As part of its website update, visitors can now tag Parks Canada's Instagram account (@Parks.Canada) to have their photos of national heritage places featured on Parks Canada's public website.

On its YouTube channel, Parks Canada brought conservation work to diverse audiences through several video series (e.g., Field Notes, Fish Talk with Leo, and Parks Canada Climate Crew) using a variety of styles (e.g., graphic novel animation, staff talks, stories told from a fish’s perspective). Parks Canada’s conservation video series, Parks Insider, continued to provide a behind-the-scenes look at conservation on the ground across the network, while opportunities to build awareness of the importance of our oceans and their protection advanced with the development of an ocean literacy toolkit.

Parks Canada’s e-newsletter, which reaches more than two million subscribers worldwide, was issued six times in 2022. Parks Canada also expanded its digital presence with a podcast series, ReCollections. Developed in 2022 and launched in spring 2023, the podcast offers compelling stories of people, places, and events linked to national historic sites that will leave viewers wanting to learn more. Stories about science, biodiversity, marine areas, Black history, and Indigenous history were also shared across platforms to engage people.

Parks Canada also worked with others to bring the work it does to Canadians in different ways and to exchange ideas. For example, in collaboration with Montréal’s natural science museum complex, Espace pour la vie, Parks Canada team members spent time at Montreal’s Biodome to communicate with the public on species at risk. Collaborations with education organizations such as École en réseau and Canadian Geographic Education facilitated engagement with Canadian youth. Students in Holland College’s Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program donned their hard hats to get hands-on experience restoring and reinstalling some original windows at Province House National Historic Site (Prince Edward Island). Parks Canada also started a three-year partnership with the British Columbia Parks Foundation to deliver the PaRx program, which harnesses the power of nature to contribute to mental and physical well-being.

Minister's Roundtable 2023 - fostering inclusive engagements

Held every two years, the 2023 Minister's Roundtable on Parks Canada took place as 10 in-person and virtual engagement sessions with 125 organizations. Parks Canada also held 15 days of online public engagement.

This year's installment focused on key cross-cutting Government of Canada and Parks Canada priorities and quality of life contributors, including strengthening accessibility, greening operations, Indigenous stewardship, ecological corridors, and Parks Canada's role in tourism.

The 2023 Minister’s Round Table aimed to be as inclusive and accessible as possible and integrated more culturally-appropriate engagement principles and practices.

Indigenous cultural practices were also a key focus of the sessions. All sessions were opened and closed by an Indigenous Elder and Indigenous facilitators led discussions related to Indigenous Stewardship. A sharing circle format was used in engagement of themes where most participants were Indigenous.

Departmental Result Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2022-23 Actual Results
Number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices Between 32 and 42 March 2025 39

Parks Canada recognizes the important and ongoing roles and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples as stewards of the heritage places it administers and is committed to facilitating their use of these lands and waters for traditional and modern cultural practices. Most, if not all, of the natural and cultural places administered by Parks Canada have been traditionally used by Indigenous peoples long before Canada became a country. Supporting Indigenous peoples’ connections to traditional territories contributes to repairing connections that in many instances were severed when heritage places were created.

As of March 2023, the number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern cultural practices was 39. Parks Canada and Indigenous partners continue to work towards finalizing agreements that will facilitate Indigenous peoples’ use of land and waters at protected heritage places across Canada.

In 2022-2023, Parks Canada provided a total of $6.8 million in funding for the implementation and enhancement of 12 Indigenous Guardians programs and the exploration and capacity development of 23 more Guardians initiatives.

Parks Canada continues work to develop and review policy and operational practices that support Indigenous peoples’ exercise of rights and responsibilities in places administered by Parks Canada. For instance, Parks Canada is developing production guidelines for digital media to encourage meaningful collaboration with Indigenous leadership, storyholders, and other community members. These guidelines aim to ensure that Parks Canada team members understand their roles and responsibilities while working with Indigenous communities and how to treat their stories with the necessary respect and care throughout the digital media production process.

Departmental Result Indicator Target Date to Achieve Target 2022-23 Actual Results
Percentage of contemporary assets in good or fair condition At least 76% March 2023 77%

To support the delivery of its mandate, Parks Canada has a significant contemporary asset portfolio, which includes not only visitor centres and campgrounds, but also 1,200 kilometres of major highways, 300 dams, water and wastewater treatment facilities, labs and monitoring stations. In 2022–23, Parks Canada continued to use short-term funding to assess and undertake urgent improvements to the condition of its contemporary assets and address health and safety issues.

As of March 2023, 77% of Parks Canada’s contemporary asset portfolio is in good or fair condition. In total, Parks Canada carried out work on 102 contemporary assets with a replacement value of $661 million. Its efforts are focused on critical assets that keep Canadians safe and provide transportation, water management, and municipal functions. High priority assets needed to protect ecological integrity and support visitors to connect with Canada’s cultural and natural heritage places were also addressed.

The following are examples of work carried out that has improved the condition of contemporary assets:

  • replacement of culverts blown-out by a severe weather event along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia to ensure public safety and community access, make infrastructure more resilient to future climate impacts, and improve aquatic habitat connectivity
  • redesign and rehabilitation of the Peyto Lake Bow Summit Day Use Area on the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park in Alberta was redesigned and rehabilitated to expand services to meet visitor needs, improve safety at the lookout, and facilitate access for mobility-impaired visitors
  • rough-in of necessary utilities infrastructure, pending funding availability to complete reconstruction of the 125-site Crandell Mountain Campground, which was demolished by wildfire in 2017 and remains closed to visitors of Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park
  • rehabilitation of the Waskesiu trail network in Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan to improve trail sustainability and safety through surface and infrastructure upgrades that lower maintenance costs and allow Canadians to access the mental and physical benefits of the outdoors
  • abatement of asbestos and other hazardous materials and deconstruction of the abandoned West Light Quonset Hut at Sable Island National Park Reserve; if left unaddressed, this hazardous material would have presented an on-going risk of environmental contamination

Continued effort is required to keep Parks Canada’s contemporary assets in safe, working order and to continue to make progress towards improving their overall condition. More than 3,700 of Parks Canada’s contemporary assets remain in poor and very poor condition, meaning that they require investment to ensure they are safe and usable by the public.

Ensuring dam safety at the Glen Miller Dam

In 2022, Parks Canada completed a four-year project to reconstruct the Glen Miller Dam in Quinte West, Ontario. Originally constructed in 1910, the Glen Miller dam is one of approximately 160 operable dams and water control structures along the 386-kilometre Trent Severn Waterway managed by Parks Canada.

In 2019, the Glen Miller Dam was at the end of its life and no longer able to meet condition, stability, and flow capacity requirements for safe operation. Dam safety is a priority given that Glen Miller is a large dam six kilometres upstream of the town of Quinte West and supports water management on the Trent River.

Parks Canada’s work on the dam included full replacement of the existing dam and rehabilitation of a section of earth embankment adjacent south of the dam to ensure shoreline protection. A new dam was built immediately below the existing one and has improved water management and capacity capabilities, as well as earthquake resistance. Adding to the complexity of the project, the site also continued to provide active water management operations during each phase of this major construction project.

The dam is now expected to deliver 80 years of service and this project has increased the reliability and safety of the dam and water management operations, as well as contributing to increased public safety for downstream and adjacent public and private infrastructure.


Gender-Based Analysis Plus

As an operating agency of the Government of Canada, Parks Canada seeks to adopt an inclusive lens when developing policies and implementing programs to continuously improve its services to Canadians. Parks Canada strives to make inclusion and accessibility fundamental principles in the development and delivery of its visitor services and experiences by eliminating barriers to the use and enjoyment of national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada increasingly uses Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) concepts to its policy and programs by challenging assumptions, considering diverse recommendations during consultations and review steps, and identifying possible issues.

During 2022–23, Parks Canada continued advancing GBA Plus commitments across the organization.

Uniform Pins

In its continuing effort to create a welcoming place for both visitors and team members, Parks Canada added a series of pins to its uniform catalogue:

  • the Progress Pride pin (below, left): available for team members to wear on the uniform during Pride events and celebrations
  • the Orange Shirt pin (below, centre): available for team members to wear on the uniform to demonstrate commitment to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous Peoples
  • the Bilingual pin (below, right): available to wear on the uniform to let visitors know the Parks Canada team member can assist in either official language
three icons: a rainbow flag, an orange shirt, a bilingual service sign

Inclusive sanitary facilities and signage

Parks Canada continues to work to expand the availability of inclusive sanitary facilities, which refers to a washroom, shower, change room, or privy that can be used by someone of any gender, gender identity or expression, and is accessible to people living with disabilities. Part of this work includes ensuring that inclusive sanitary facilities are labeled with signs that have symbols identifying the fixtures located inside the facility (e.g., toilet, shower, change room), as opposed to signs indicating who can enter the space. Tactile signage (i.e. Braille) will also help people with visual impairments navigate their surroundings more easily and plays an important role in providing equal access. Parks Canada expects to have signage for all existing inclusive sanitary facilities updated with inclusive symbols by May 2023.

Three sanitary facility icons: Toil, shower, change room

Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion 2023

Parks Canada was an exhibitor at a career fair for the Canadian Congress on Disability Inclusion (CCDI) 2023, which acts as the milestone event to kick-off National AccessAbility Week. CCDI 2023 provided many networking opportunities and featured prominent Canadian disability and accessibility advocates, leaders, and innovators, as well as an Innovation Showcase for accessible and inclusive projects and products. The goal of this national, virtual career fair was to connect persons with disabilities, promote Parks Canada’s diverse jobs, and build an inventory that will be available to hiring managers.

Increasing diversity in hiring

In 2022–23, Parks Canada hired 645 youth through funding from the Employment and Social Development Canada led Youth Employment and Skills Strategy program. In total, 66% of participants self-identified as youth facing barriers to employment, such as Indigenous youth, Black and other visible minority youth, and youth with disabilities. The program promotes skill development and enables their successful transition into the labour market.

Diversity and inclusion in science and research

Parks Canada provided support to the Canadian parks and protected areas community to undertake participatory research to better understand and address current issues, barriers and opportunities regarding inclusion and diversity in science and research in parks and protected areas. This work, led by the University of British Columbia in partnership with the Canadian Parks, Protected and Conserved Areas Leadership Collective (CPPCL) shared best practices for equity and inclusion and created opportunities to amplify underrepresented or excluded voices. Current challenges in the management of parks and protected areas require input from a variety of knowledge systems and the inclusion of a diversity of perspectives and insights to collectively determine how best to address them.

United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals

As the custodian and steward for cultural and natural heritage places across Canada, Parks Canada’s work contributes significantly to meeting the Government of Canada’s commitments to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Its contributions are not only in the realms of natural heritage conservation, but also to the social and economic well-being and quality of life of communities throughout Canada. The impact of Parks Canada’s work in Canada’s contribution to the sustainable development goals cannot be overstated.

Through its activities in 2022–23, Parks Canada contributed to the achievement of the following UN SDGs and targets:


Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth — Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Parks Canada contributes to Canada’s commitment to this goal through its work to increase the inclusivity and diversity of its workforce, including its programs to support the recruitment and retention of equity-deserving groups and their development to more senior positions within the organization.

It also supports this through its funding of the Work to Grow Program. Delivered by Nature Canada, this program provides wage subsidies toward employment in Canadian organizations actively involved in nature-related activities as part of their mandate and business, so that racialized youth can experience tangible nature- and ecology-focussed career options in Canada.

Parks Canada also makes contributions – both financially and intangibly – to the economic well-being of Indigenous communities around the country, such as through Indigenous Guardians programs that empower Indigenous nations to honour the responsibility to care for lands, waters, and ice in national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada also provides significant direct and indirect employment opportunities for Indigenous peoples, not only as part of its obligations under land claim agreements, but also as part of its work to recruit, retain, and develop Indigenous employees in positions across the country, such as through its Indigenous Employee Training Fund. Parks Canada has also exceeded its commitments for procurement with Indigenous businesses, with 6.31% of the total value of its contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses in 2022–23, providing direct economic opportunities and development. More information related to Parks Canada procurement and other funding arrangements that support economic development in Indigenous communities can be found in the Internal Services section, below.


Goal 10: Reduced inequalities — Reduce inequality within and among countries

As one of the largest land managers in the Government of Canada and located in communities from coast to coast to coast, Parks Canada is uniquely positioned to contribute to Canada’s commitments related to this goal. Most, if not all, of the natural and cultural places administered by Parks Canada were traditionally used by Indigenous peoples long before Canada became a country. Parks Canada recognizes the important and ongoing roles and responsibilities of Indigenous peoples as stewards of the heritage places it administers and is committed to facilitating their use of these lands and waters for traditional and modern cultural practices.

Indigenous stewardship infographic - Text version follows.
Indigenous stewardship infographic — Text version

An illustration representing the integrated elements of Indigenous stewardship. The illustration is in the shape of a braid, with locks coming off to encircle the different elements. A the top it is titled Indigenous Stewardship - supporting shared responsibility for ancestral homelands, treaty lands and traditional territories. There is an illustration of people in nature on the back of a turtle. The elements and components in the locks of hair are each illustrated and include Indigenous knowledge systems (relational, natural laws, values and principles, nature and spirit and language and ceremony), shared governance (Indigenous laws and protocols, legal and knowledge systems, consensus, and cooperation), economic opportunities (Indigenous tourism, right to benefit, Indigenous procurement and employment opportunities, programming partnerships, and training), practices on lands, waters, and ice (Indigenous guardians, monitoring and restoration, research, gathering and ceremony and harvesting), acknowledgements (colonial histories, ongoing harms, repatriation and truth), relationships (ethical space, honouring treaties, lands waters, and ice, Indigenous protected and conserved areas, and long term and evolving), and education and awareness (natural and cultural, awareness and two-eyed seeing). At the bottom there is the following text: This proposed Framework is part of Parks Canada's efforts to advance the implementation of UNDRIP and integrate what we've heard from Indigenous peoples on how to work together to conserve, protect and present natural and cultural heritage.

As of 2022-23, Parks Canada is embarking on a process of renewal, centered around a vision of protected area management and governance that enables Indigenous stewardship across Parks Canada administered places that is respectfully aligned with Indigenous ways of stewarding lands, water, and ice. At its core, the intent of this work is to advance reconciliation and support implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). At the heart of this work is Parks Canada’s Indigenous Stewardship Framework, which reflects what Parks Canada has heard from Indigenous Peoples on what is needed to support Indigenous connections and reconnections with protected lands, waters, and ice within their traditional territories, treaty lands, and ancestral homelands.

Parks Canada has three indicators in its departmental results framework that measure elements of its work with Indigenous peoples that are related to the implementation of UNDRIP and that champion Indigenous stewardship of their traditional lands, waters, and ice. In 2022-23, Parks Canada continued to work with Indigenous partners to establish cooperative management agreements for the natural and cultural heritage places across the country and to ensure that Indigenous peoples have access to their traditional lands, waters, and ice for traditional and modern cultural practices. As of March 2023, 22 natural heritage places and seven cultural heritage places with cooperative management structures. There were also 39 agreements in place for Indigenous peoples’ use of these lands and waters for traditional and modern cultural practices. Negotiations contributing to these indicators and to facilitate other Indigenous stewardship and relationship building and collaboration also continued throughout the year that will be reflected in future years. More information on this work can be found in the three departmental results above.

In 2022–23, Parks Canada also supported the Government of Canada’s creation of the action plan for the implementation of the UNDRIP Act, which was released in June 2023, and worked toward the creation of its own UNDRIP Act implementation action plan describing how it will advance measures related to its mandate. This action plan was developed in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, organizations and governments and reflects feedback Parks Canada has received over many decades in its relationships with Indigenous partners.


Goal 11: Sustainable Cities — Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Parks Canada is a significant contributor to Canada’s commitment to

Target 11.4—strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage—
which is at the core of its mandate. It supports this commitment through its investments in national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas, not only in the places it administers, but also by providing assistance, in the form of expert guidance and financial support, to other managers of heritage places, such as through the National Historic Sites Cost Sharing Program, the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, and the Indigenous Guardians Program.

Internationally, Parks Canada continues to act as principal federal representative in work with key multilateral organizations, including financial support through annual contribution agreements with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. More information related to this work can be found in all three departmental results above.

Parks Canada also contributes to

Target 11.7—provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities—
in particular through its ongoing efforts to sustain and increase visitation to national heritage places. It also supports this target through outreach and programming to improve the knowledge and accessibility of as well as support for these places, such as through its free admission program for youth 17 and younger, the Learn-to-Camp program and through its participation in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s #NatureForAll program. The new Natural Urban Parks program will also support this target by supporting access to green space for all Canadians by providing high-quality access to nature near where they live, work, learn, and play. More information on Parks Canada’s activities in support of this target can be found under the first two indicators in Departmental Result 3, above.


Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production — Reduce waste and transition to zero-emission vehicles

As a contributor to the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy and with one of the largest portfolios of built assets and of administrative fleets within the Government of Canada, Parks Canada contributes to several elements of this goal.

Through the sustainable management of its built assets, its contaminated sites, its administrative fleets, and its procurement practices, Parks Canada contributes to

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, 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse, and Target 12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

In support of these targets, Parks Canada is working from coast-to-coast-to-coast to reduce energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions through the acquisition of low and zero-emissions vehicles, reduce waste, procure green energy – as well as produce it through the innovative use of renewable energy sources – and increase climate resilience in its assets, services, and operations.


Goal 13: Climate Action — Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

As a manager for national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across the country, many of which are susceptible to growing impacts of climate change, the effects of climate change on these places are a significant concern for Parks Canada. Through its work to protect national heritage places for present and future generations of Canadians, Parks Canada supports

Target 13.2—Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning—
and
Target 13.3—Improve education, awareness raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.

For example, during this reporting cycle, Parks Canada conducted condition monitoring projects to assess the current state of selected archaeological sites so that their condition could be monitored to assess the impacts of climate change. As well, through its significant annual infrastructure investments in its heritage and contemporary infrastructure, Parks Canada incorporates not only climate change considerations in the choice of types of materials, construction techniques, and approaches, but also applies greening techniques to ensure sustainable operations that contribute to a low-carbon government.


Goal 14: Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Parks Canada was a key partner in the Government of Canada’s success in meeting

Target 14.5—by 2020, conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas—
and continues to play a crucial role in the updated commitment to protect 25% of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030. This year, Parks Canada continued to make progress toward the 2025 target through its work to establish new national marine conservation areas in unrepresented areas, such as the Southern Strait of Georgia and the Eastern James Bay.

Parks Canada also contributes to

Target 14.a—Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology in order to improve ocean health—
through its work in managing established national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada’s is undertaking condition assessments of marine ecosystems and use for operational marine and coastal protected areas. This work supports and informs adaptive management and advances knowledge of coastal and marine areas. Ecological sustainability monitoring is an essential element of effective management for the protected coastal and marine areas and will enhance our understanding and inform management actions to support sustainability.

Parks Canada also played a lead role in the planning and delivery of the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress in February 2023, which brought together experts in marine conservation areas from around the world to address ocean conservation. More information on this congress can be found in a highlight box under Departmental Result 1, above.

More information on Parks Canada’s establishment and management of national marine conservation areas can found be under Departmental Result 1, above.


Goal 15: Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

This goal is directly and inextricably related to Parks Canada’s mandate. Through its work to establish and manage national parks, national park reserves, and freshwater national marine conservation areas across the country that are representative of the diversity of Canada’s natural regions, Parks Canada plays a significant role in supporting

Target 15.4—by 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.
In 2022–23, Parks Canada made significant progress exploring the feasibility of new national parks and national park reserves with partners and negotiating the establishment of two new national park reserves. In established protected areas, Parks Canada also contributes to this target through its efforts to maintain and improve ecological integrity and by increasing its understanding of park ecosystems through monitoring, conservation, restoration, and mitigation activities. This year, Parks Canada invested nearly $25 million into conservation and restoration projects in Parks Canada’s administered places.

Parks Canada’s work toward Target 15.4 also contributes to Canada’s efforts on

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.
Parks Canada plays an important role in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act. Parks Canada works to protect species, as well their residences and critical habitats, by developing and implementing action plans that are designed to maintain or improve their conservation status. This work contributes to halting and reversing the loss of biodiversity in Canada. For example, in 2022-23, Parks Canada advanced the implementation of 23 multi-species action plans that include recovery measures for more than 200 species at risk and over 50 additional species of conservation concern. As of March 2023, Parks Canada completed 75% of the recovery measures identified in Species at Risk Act action plans, significantly surpassing the target of 50% by 2023.

More details about Parks Canada’s work that contributes to this goal can be found under Departmental Result 1, above. Additional information on Parks Canada’s efforts related to species at risk during this year can also be found in the most recent Species at Risk Act Annual Report to Parliament.


Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

Parks Canada’s work to foster reconciliation with Indigenous peoples supports

Target 17.17— Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.
As part of its reconciliation goals, Parks Canada works with local Indigenous nations in the establishment and cooperative management of new and existing protected areas. Parks Canada also continues to develop contribution agreements to improve the capacity of Indigenous communities to be fully engaged in consultations and feasibility assessments. These agreements with Indigenous peoples also provide support for the integration of Indigenous science, the sharing of their traditional knowledge, and the continuation of traditional cultural practices. In 2022-23, Parks Canada established an Indigenous Stewardship Circle, bringing together members and Parks Canada staff to support the co-development, engagement on, and implementation of an Indigenous Stewardship Framework. This work is intended to evolve approaches to conservation, commemoration, and presentation to be more in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and will contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. More information on this initiative can be found in a highlight box under departmental result one above.

Parks Canada also collaborates with urban centers across the country in the pursuit of improving access to green space for Canadians. Work continued in 2022-23 to establish a network of national urban parks in and near cities across Canada, including in Victoria, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Windsor, and Halifax.

Parks Canada’s international collaboration efforts support

Target 17.16—Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.
During 2022–23, Parks Canada also worked to enhance the implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements. This year Parks Canada signed a new agency-level Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States (US) National Park Service. Parks Canada and the US National Park Service have a longstanding collaborative relationship first formalized by an MOU in 1998. The revised MOU identifies areas and activities of mutual interest for cooperation. Parks Canada also has MOUs in place to collaborate with other countries, including Mexico, Denmark, Ireland, and Australia. Through its work with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Parks Canada also supported the work of IUCN Commissions, shared its expertise through several working groups and supported programming at the Asia Parks Congress and the Africa Protected Areas Congress.

More information on Parks Canada’s contribution to the UN SDGs during this reporting period, including Canadian Indicator Framework and Global Indicator Framework commitments, can be found in its 2020 to 2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy. Parks Canada is also currently in the process of creating its 2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, scheduled to be tabled in Parliament and posted on Parks Canada’s website on November 2, 2023. This strategy will contain more information on Parks Canada’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, including contributing departmental actions, indicators, and targets.


Innovation

Due to of the nature of Parks Canada’s operations, informal experimentation is a necessary part of its regular business. To improve its service to Canadians and the internal services that support the delivery of its mandate, Parks Canada undertakes and builds upon pilot projects to find ways to address persistent challenges. Parks Canada is working on building a culture of experimentation and innovation across its regions and organizational structure.

The following activities are some examples of innovations and pilot projects that took place during 2022-23:

Caribou comeback: Recovering an iconic species at risk in Jasper National Park

Mountain caribou depend on vast and undisturbed habitats. Over the last fifty years, mountain caribou herds in Alberta and British Columbia have gotten smaller in number and some herds have disappeared. Populations are so small that these herds cannot recover on their own. Protected areas like national parks are key for their survival.

Parks Canada, in collaboration with partners, is working on an innovative project to protect and recover Woodland Caribou, Southern Mountain population (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Jasper National Park (Alberta). The main goal is to support caribou to thrive on their own once again.

Parks Canada’s wildlife specialists have worked with experts from governments, Indigenous partner communities, academia, and conservation organizations around the world to understand how to best protect and recover caribou in Jasper National Park as part of the broader Multi-Species Action Plan for Jasper National Park. Through a conservation breeding and release program⁠—the first of its kind for caribou in Canada⁠—Parks Canada is working to build a conservation breeding centre in Jasper National Park.

Conservation breeding programs are used to prevent animal species from becoming extinct and to help in their recovery. This involves capturing a small number of wild animals, breeding them in captivity, and releasing their offspring back into the wild to increase populations of endangered wildlife. Through this program, Parks Canada plans to capture a small number of wild caribou from local (and potentially regional) populations and move them into captivity to establish the breeding population.

Every year, new calves will be born at the centre from the breeding population. Parks Canada will then release these young caribou into the local wild Tonquin population and repeat each year until the Tonquin herd reaches about 200 animals. Parks Canada will monitor the animals and collaborate with partners and experts to adapt the program based on what is learned and eventually explore releasing caribou from the centre into other areas of the park where herds have disappeared. Options to support other regional recovery initiatives will also be explored with neighbouring jurisdictions.

In 2022–23, Parks Canada continued work toward launching this breeding program, including completing a detailed impact analysis, starting construction of the conservation breeding facility, continued engagement with Indigenous partners to create meaningful participation, and discussions with federal and provincial partners to determine the best approach to source additional caribou from other populations.

Parks Canada could begin to welcome the first wild caribou into Jasper’s breeding centre as early as 2025. That means the first yearlings born in the facility could be released into the Tonquin population the following year. Modelling shows a good probability that up to 35 to 38 calves could be born to about 40 adult females in captivity each year, with most being released into the wild.

The goal is to rebuild the Tonquin herd to 200 caribou within five to ten years after the first caribou are released. Based on the experience and results with the Tonquin herd, Parks Canada will explore releasing animals back into the Brazeau and Maligne ranges to reach populations of 300 to 400 caribou among the three caribou ranges.

Hayfields to havens

Because of the critical status of the greater sage-grouse in Canada, the restoration of optimal nesting and brood rearing habitat has been identified as an important recovery action in Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan. For more than 20 years, Parks Canada team members in Grasslands National Park have been restoring native prairie; since 1997, 1133 hectares of land previously used for farming has been restored to native prairie species, to varying degrees of success. There remain close to 3680 hectares of non-native vegetation in the park with potential for restoration.

One of the greatest barriers to large-scale ecosystem restoration in this and other national parks is the lack of appropriate native plants and seeds. Experience has shown that successful restoration requires high quality native seed, ongoing management and monitoring, and patience. To improve success rates, innovative approaches are crucial.

This year, to restore a 30-hectare grassland ecosystem, the Hayfield to Haven project team at Grasslands National Park trialed innovative methods to collect, clean, and store native seeds. These novel practices resulted in significant cost-saving while also benefitting neighbouring landowners and conservation partners all striving towards healthy and intact grassland ecosystems. In time, these hayfields will be transformed into a haven for endangered sage-grouse.

Moving people sustainably in Banff National Park

Banff National Park (Alberta) is Canada’s most popular national park and one of the country’s most important tourism destinations. Over four million people visit the park annually and visitation increases every year. Between 2010 and 2019, there was a 29% increase in visitation.

With increased visitation levels, the Banff National Park has seen a steady rise in vehicle traffic over the past decade. Some roadways in the national park and the Town of Banff have become very congested at certain times of the year, such as Lake Louise Drive and Mountain Avenue to Sulphur Mountain. Parking lots at popular attractions are often full by 7am from June to September. This has also led to an increase in illegal parking along roadways leading to popular destinations, further negatively impacting the ecological areas along roadways and contributing to additional traffic congestion. This causes great frustration for visitors, produces greenhouse gas emissions, and is an additional barrier to wildlife moving through the area.

Parks Canada has taken steps to address these issues in various areas of the park with the creation of an interim congestion management plan. Over the past several years Parks Canada has worked to improve traffic flow and parking such as introducing a reservation system, paid parking at popular lots to improve parking turnover, and adding traffic flow flaggers—at a significant cost—to manage traffic flow. Visitors can also ride a paid shuttle system at Lake Louise that allows them to leave their cars in the valley bottom where parking is more plentiful. Parks Canada also contributed funds to the Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission to improve the public transit between Calgary and Banff, between Banff and Lake Louise and to Lake Minnewanka. These measures as well as improved digital communication, in collaboration with local partners, reduced vehicle wait times in the Town of Banff by 55% during summer 2022.

These preliminary actions, while they had positive effects for visitors, had limited effectiveness at resolving underlying congestion issues, without broader framework to address transportation and mobility issues in the park. Recognizing that planning for such a system requires a high level of interdisciplinary expertise, Parks Canada convened an expert panel to provide advice and recommendations. In August 2022, Parks Canada received the report of this expert advisory panel on moving people sustainably in Banff National Park.

Parks Canada is in the process of reviewing the report and creating a plan for implementation of its recommendations. Parks Canada aims to have a comprehensive people-movement plan for the park that sets ten-year goals, objectives, and measurable targets. The plan will consider local, regional, municipal, and private transportation services, existing pathways and trails, key attractions, and current and projected levels and patterns of visitor use.

Supporting tourism recovery with Expedia

To bring attention to national parks and historic sites, support recovery of regional tourism in Canada, and foster growth of new markets in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Parks Canada partnered with Expedia – an online travel agency – to explore methods of reaching a wider audience. Curated content about national historic sites and national parks ran on Expedia, exposing those planning their vacations to new ideas for destinations.

As a result of this partnership, Parks Canada-related content drove accommodations bookings that generated approximately $331 million in gross accommodation sales in communities near national historic sites and national parks. Significantly, most of the bookings were for accommodations rated two- or three-stars, choices that reflect that many people were booking smaller and locally operated inns, bed and breakfasts, and motels/hotels near parks and sites, generating significant local economic benefits for these communities.

Flags to Bags – Upcycling with purpose

In collaboration with its merchandise supplier, Parks Canada recycles fabric from gently used and outdated commemorative flags and banners used at parks/sites and turns them into one-of-a-kind reusable tote bags. The proceeds from tote bag sales are re-invested in conservation projects across Canada. This successful upcycling strategy has diverted hundreds of banners and flags from the landfill.

The Flags to Bags initiative received two awards in 2022 from the Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (‘Best in Sustainability’, and ‘Best in Made in Canada’ categories).

Team Up and Clean Up the Shore

In 2022, a pilot citizen science project called Team Up and Clean Up the Shore, was launched at several Parks Canada administered places around the country. During the 2022 field season, visitors to places administered by Parks Canada were invited to sign out a clean-up kit that included buckets, gloves, an educational brochure, and a data card to fill out and return. Overall, 249 people participated in 24 cleanups at seven Parks Canada sites from coast to coast. More than 6,218 pieces of trash were picked up and audited and the total weight of garbage removed was 1883.8 kilograms.

Alongside raising awareness of plastic pollution, this program allowed Parks Canada to collect data on the types and quantity of marine litter and plastic waste on the shores of the places it administers. In February 2023, the project and its results were presented at the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Vancouver. Building on the lessons learned in 2022–23, Team Up and Clean Up the Shore will continue in 2023–24. In future years, Parks Canada will seek to expand and digitize the program using compatible smartphone apps to streamline data collection.

Connecting coastal communities and conserving kelp project

Kelp is a valuable part of the marine habitat, an important resource for communities, species, and ecosystems. It is also very important culturally for First Nations. In May 2022, Parks Canada implemented a collaborative approach for kelp monitoring, mapping, and research in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve by relying on methodologies developed and performed by Indigenous governments as part of British Columbia’s Marine Plan Partnership, an innovative partnership that brings together 17 local First Nations governments and the Province of British Columbia.

This project expanded the successful kelp monitoring application from the Marine Plan Partnership into the west coast of Vancouver Island, complementing an existing regional kelp monitoring program that informs ecosystem-based management decisions. To facilitate collaboration and standardize protocols, Parks Canada team members at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve organized a training workshop with the local Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government and was joined by members from local non-profits restoration and education organizations.

As part of this project, Parks Canada also shared information and expertise with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and with local working on coastal research and restoration, including the Hakai Institute and Redd Fish Restoration Society. The project also complements academic research by the University of Victoria which further informs kelp restoration potential in and around Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Birds and climate change: can they stay or will they go?

Jump ahead thirty years—will you still find the sights and sounds of your favourite birds in national parks? By 2050, one in four birds in Parks Canada places may need to find new homes because of climate change caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions. To understand what the future holds, Parks Canada collaborated up with the National Audubon Society, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and Birds Canada on a national study to understand the impacts of climate change on birds in national parks.

Through a variety of innovative products, the story of Birds and Climate Change was launched across various platforms in 2022, highlighting work that takes place in many Parks Canada locations, and to share how Canadians can protect birds and help them adapt in a changing climate. The impact of this work was increased by coordinated efforts to share it broadly with Canadians. Illustrating the importance of telling deeper stories in an accessible way that speak to the interconnected nature of conservation work, Birds and Climate Change served as a model for sharing stories about science in action.


Key risks

For 2022–23, Parks Canada identified six key risks in relation to its core responsibility that could impact delivery of programs and services and undertook mitigation strategies to minimize the overall impact. These risks and associated actions in 2022–23 are described in the table below.

Key Risk Actions in 2022–23
Environmental forces adaptation and response

Due to the magnitude and rapid pace of environmental changes, including climate change, there is a risk that the integrity of ecosystems, cultural resources, and infrastructure cannot be maintained or improved which may lead to Parks Canada being unable to deliver its mandate.

During this year Parks Canada:

  • continued to assess climate change risks, understand impacts, and identify feasible and evidence-based measures for adaptation at places it administers
  • developed guidance, tools and resources to support adaptation planning at places it administers
  • adjusted policies and programs in diverse areas of work, including work to develop a national monitoring framework that requires each site to have a suite of indicators to monitor the state of ecosystems and ecologically sustainable use of national marine conservation areas
  • developed guidance to support science and research collaborations with external organizations such as academia and non-governmental organizations to help achieve conservation objectives, both within and adjacent to, Parks Canada administered places
  • invested more than $25 million in conservation projects that contributed to improving ecological integrity in Parks Canada administered places
  • Parks Canada initiated new work on ecological connectivity, collaborated with partners to advance connectivity conservation by mapping and monitoring connectivity and developed strategies to address challenges. As of 2022-23, Parks Canada undertook 53 new connectivity initiatives
  • continued to review emergency management and provide Parks Canada personnel with ongoing emergency management and response training;
  • continue to implement measures to protect contemporary and built heritage assets, such as using more resilient designs and construction materials
  • launched the #ParksCanadaConservation communications campaign, to raise awareness about Parks Canada’s leadership in ecosystem science, including in adaptation to and mitigation of climate change
Relationships with Indigenous peoples

If Parks Canada does not allocate the necessary time, effort, and investment to build and maintain relationships with Indigenous peoples, there is a risk that it may not be able to fulfill its obligations and deliver on its programs and services, which may result in damaged reputation, increased litigation, and challenges meeting conservation targets.

During this year Parks Canada:

  • continued to advance projects, agreements, and mechanisms that facilitate Indigenous uses of traditional lands, waters, and ice
  • advanced policy and programs that support a comprehensive approach to Indigenous stewardship
  • supported the revision of the required qualifications for Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) members to promote diversity and targeted outreach to Indigenous candidates
    • There are now 2 HSMBC members that are Indigenous
  • supported collaborative decision-making with Indigenous partners by increasing cooperative management and other partnership and advisory structures
  • worked with Indigenous peoples to review existing designations and increase the number of Indigenous-led nominations related to Indigenous histories under the National Program of Historical Commemoration, including through the launch of the Inclusive Commemorations Initiative
  • addressed barriers preventing meaningful Indigenous collaboration and engagement, including internally, through a series of consultations with Indigenous employees to co-develop strategies to address issues raised in an internal survey for Indigenous Employees, which resulted in a collaborative workplan
  • worked with Indigenous partners to bridge Indigenous and science-based knowledge in the approach to conservation and research, including partnering with ten First Nations to manage hyper abundant species in seven national parks
  • worked with Indigenous communities to incorporate Indigenous perspectives in the way heritage places are established and presented, including developing visitor experience opportunities to help Canadians learn about and connect with Indigenous culture
  • strengthened acquisition approaches to encourage procurement from Indigenous businesses, surpassing the Government of Canada’s 5% target in the first year of the commitment
  • hosted Indigenous events, supported Indigenous visitor experience product development, provided venues for Indigenous nations and people to share their stories in their own voices, and offered unique opportunities in support of reconciliation
  • worked with Indigenous governments to support their role in decision-making regarding the establishment process (e.g. feasibility assessment)
  • collaborated with Indigenous governments to assess the feasibility of protecting Indigenous lands and waters with Parks Canada conservation tools and shared government models
Competitive position

Socioeconomic conditions and other market influences are changing and there is a risk that Parks Canada’s programs and services may not meet the expectations of Canadians without adaptation from Parks Canada, potentially leading to a decrease in relevance as measured by tourism market share and visitation.

During this year Parks Canada:

  • welcomed visitors to national heritage places at levels trending back toward typical levels, following two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions;
  • reached nationally identified markets and audiences to diversify and build visitation and to enhance public awareness and support, continuing to see the highest level of support for its mandate (92%) since tracking began
  • developed national outreach and marketing efforts in a digital-first context with the modernization of the Parks Canada website, the expansion of its YouTube channel through several video series, and the introduction of the ‘ReCollections’ podcast
  • managed visitation levels so they are sustainable and ensure quality visitor experiences, including growth where appropriate, and redistribution of visitation geographically and temporally
  • continued to collaborate with Destination Canada and the travel industry on initiatives to support the tourism sector and worked with Expedia for the second year in a row to showcase national historic sites and national parks in Canada
  • undertook proactive marketing and communication efforts to manage expectations and to influence safe and respectful visitor behaviour as COVID-19 related restrictions eased
  • took opportunities to connect and engage with Canadians in-person once again, for example with the massive photography exhibit entitled 450,000 km2 of Stories, which showcased conservation efforts, natural wonders of nature, and historical stories woven
  • invested in user-centred digital services with improvements to the Parks Canada mobile app and the reservation system, resulting in better user experience and a reduced number of glitches and crashes
Built asset condition and long-term sustainability

There is a risk that a sustainable asset portfolio will not be maintained to support the delivery of Parks Canada's mandate due to aging infrastructure, inadequate level of recapitalization and maintenance, and climate change and inflationary impacts. As a result, public safety may be compromised, cultural heritage may be lost, and Parks Canada’s reputation may be damaged.

During this year Parks Canada:

  • invested existing and time-limited capital asset funding to support improvements to the overall condition of its built heritage and contemporary assets. This year, Parks Canada continued to make progress on bringing assets into fair and good condition, with 61% for built heritage assets, and 77% for contemporary assets
  • improved 21 heritage assets, with a replacement value of $171 million from poor or very poor to fair or good condition; and,
  • continued to maintain and update Parks Canada's asset management information system to ensure that it has the most up-to-date asset data
Business innovation

There is a risk that Parks Canada may not have the capacity, business processes and tools to effectively and efficiently support service delivery and meet government management accountability expectations, including information management and information technology requirements, if Parks Canada does not modernize its corporate and internal services.

During this year, Parks Canada:

  • continued work to renew its Departmental Results Framework based on a longer-term strategic direction that sets the foundation for evidence-based decision-making, resource allocation, and reallocation
  • increased its performance and analytics capacity, including benchmarking against like departments, to support evidence-based decision making and to demonstrate results to Canadians
  • continued to mature the data strategy and the alignment of data and information architecture in order to support effective planning, performance measurement, and decision-making
  • began a continuous, multi-year effort to strengthen integrated business planning processes that support evidence-based decision making and to demonstrate results to Canadians
  • unified intake for all call-outs of Parks Canada programs into a single, integrated process to enable stronger horizontal prioritization, and to better align and leverage funding towards the advancement of Parks Canada's priorities and program objectives
  • continued to make improvements to its financial management structures to better align its resources with its program needs and be in a stronger position to respond to evolving changes in its operating environment
  • undertook a review of various internal services across all business units to assess their efficiency and effectiveness in supporting program delivery across the country
Workforce, equity, accessibility, inclusion and diversity, and well-being

If Parks Canada fails to foster an inclusive and barrier-free work environment that reflects Canada’s diverse population, there is a risk that it will not have the cultural competencies and perspectives needed to serve all Canadians and will not be able to build and maintain a healthy workplace, which may result in impacts on programs and services, and damage to Parks Canada’s reputation.

During this year, Parks Canada:

Equity, diversity and inclusion
  • launched the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Council, which will report on activities and share information and better practices on inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility initiatives across Parks Canada
  • ensured readiness to comply with the Pay Equity Act by establishing a Pay Equity Committee to guide the development of the Pay Equity Plan
  • initiated the development of a three-year Employment Equity Action Plan and implemented specific programs to support talent development of employees from equity-seeking groups
  • developed and published the three-year Accessibility Action Plan, which reflects both the social and organizational imperatives of achieving the goals of an accessible public service and Parks Canada
  • initiated the development of a three-year Official Languages Action Plan, which aims to strengthen and integrate both official languages in the way Parks Canada serves Canadians by reinforcing bilingualism in the workplace and promoting bilingualism in Canadian society
Occupational health and safety
  • developed and launched the first three-year Agency-wide Mental Health Strategy as a way to increase Parks Canada's investment in employee’s wellbeing and psychological health and safety
  • introduced monitoring and reporting capabilities through the Harassment and Violence Prevention program, which provided meaningful data on harassment and violence prevention training compliance
  • modernized the Parks Canada Safe Work Practices and prioritized policies and program review, including related tools and training, based on hazards levels
  • introduced a new Disability Management and Workplace Wellness training and completed the review of Parks Canada's disability management toolkit
  • delivered violence and harassment prevention workshops, and developed information sessions to raise awareness of existing services and tools created to foster a respectful workplace
  • initiated the cyclical review of the Hazard Prevention Program and kept up to date with central agency requirements, public health guidelines, infectious disease protocol and best practices

Results achieved

The following table shows, for Protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, the results achieved, the performance indicators, the targets, and the target dates for 2022–23, and the actual results for the three most recent fiscal years.

Departmental Result 1: Canada’s natural heritage is protected for present and future generations
Departmental result indicator TargetDate to achieve target2020-21 actual result2021–22 actual result2022–23 actual result
Percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national park system At least 82% March 2025 79% 79% 79%
Percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system At least 31% March 2025 21% 21% 21%
Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved At least 92% December 2025 82% 79% 79%
Number of natural heritage places managed cooperatively with Indigenous peoples At least 27 March 2023 23 22 22
Departmental Result 2: Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for present and future generations
Departmental result indicator TargetDate to achieve target2020-21 actual result2021–22 actual result2022–23 actual result
Number of places, people and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized At least 3,867 March 2023 3,822 3,862 3,934
Percentage of historical and archaeological collection, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites in Parks Canada’s care that are safeguarded At least 90% March 2026 68% 68%68%
Number of cultural heritage places managed cooperatively with Indigenous peoples At least 6 March 2023 5 5 7
Percentage of built heritage assets in good or fair condition At least 58% March 2023 54% 58% 61%
Departmental Result 3: People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them
Departmental result indicator TargetDate to achieve target2020-21 actual result2021–22 actual result2022–23 actual result
Number of visitors experiencing Parks Canada places At least 23.7 millionMarch 2023 17.0M 21.6M 22.5M
Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places At least 78% March 2023 86% 92% 92%
Number of places where Indigenous peoples use lands and waters according to their traditional and modern practices Between 32 and 42 March 2025 36 36 39
Percentage of contemporary assets in good or fair condition At least 76% March 2023 75% 74% 77%

Financial, human resources and performance information for Parks Canada’s program inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for Protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, budgetary spending for 2022–23, as well as actual spending for that year.

2022–23 Main Estimates2022–23 planned spending2022–23 total authorities available for use2022–23 actual spending (authorities used)2022–23 difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
887,028,950887,028,9501,246,263,5551,004,574,706117,545,756

Financial, human resources and performance information for Parks Canada’s program inventory is available in GC InfoBase.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in fulltime equivalents, the human resources Parks Canada needed to fulfill this core responsibility for 2022–23.

2022–23 planned full-time equivalents 2022–23 actual full-time equivalents2022–23 difference (actual full time equivalents minus planned full time equivalents)
4,7484,83486

Financial, human resources and performance information for Parks Canada’s program inventory is available in GC InfoBase.


Internal services

Description

Internal services are those groups of related activities and resources that the federal government considers to be services in support of programs and/or required to meet corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services refers to the activities and resources of the 10 distinct service categories that support program delivery in the organization, regardless of the internal services delivery model in a department. The 10 service categories are:

  • acquisition management services
  • communication services
  • financial management services
  • human resources management services
  • information management services
  • information technology services
  • legal services
  • materiel management services
  • management and oversight services
  • real property management services

Results

Acquisition management services

Parks Canada’s local presence across the country supports multiple sectors of the economy. Parks Canada integrates Government of Canada priorities to leverage procurement for economic, sustainability, and accessibility goals into its planning.

In 2022-23, Parks Canada built on its ongoing efforts to increase opportunities for Indigenous peoples, resulting in Indigenous businesses receiving 6.3% of the total value of all contracts and amendments. As a result, Parks Canada exceeded the Government of Canada’s target of 5% for the second year in a row. Refer to the section Contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses, below.

To broaden access to contracting opportunities, Parks Canada procurement experts continue to participate in outreach sessions with diverse supplier communities. These outreach sessions provide an opportunity for two-way exchanges of information. Discussions give an opportunity for suppliers to inform Parks Canada about the goods and services they offer, gain insight into how and what Parks Canada procures, and enable collaboration with suppliers in finding solutions to challenges and barriers to their participation in Parks Canada’s procurement activities.

Financial management services

In 2022-23, Parks Canada continued to make improvements to its financial and resource management practices to better align its resources with program needs and be in a stronger position to respond to evolving changes in its operating environment.

This year, to strengthen sound financial management and budgeting practices as part of its transition to a one-year appropriation, Parks Canada focused on supporting team members through this change. This was done through updates to the budget and forecasting directives and processes, improvements to its multi-year financial planning processes, and the implementation of a new forecasting system, guidance, and procedures.

Parks Canada also advanced its efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of its significant asset portfolio by implementing long-term funding approaches, including a transition to an accrual-based budgeting regime to allow for better financial planning and analysis. In support of this, Parks Canada’s work in 2022–23 focused on key activities such as capital planning, improving capital-related data, undertaking a policy and business process review, design for an IT solution, internal communication, and engagement to prepare for the transition.

Human resources management services
Equity, diversity and inclusion

As a highly operational organization, Parks Canada’s workforce is its strength. Parks Canada is strongly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in its workplaces. Work in this area has been a renewed focus in recent years. During this reporting period, Parks Canada undertook many initiatives to progress toward a culture of inclusion, increased workforce diversity, and enhanced policies and programs to support workplace equity.

Parks Canada has launched an internal Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Council. This committee is chaired by Parks Canada’s President & Chief Executive Officer and made up of co‑champions and leads for equity-deserving groups, Parks Canada’s senior management team and Ombuds, and the Gender-Based Analysis Plus lead. The council meets to report on activities and share information and better practices on inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility initiatives across Parks Canada.

This year, Parks Canada prepared itself to comply with the Pay Equity Act by establishing a Pay Equity Committee to guide the development of its Pay Equity Plan. Parks Canada has also initiated the development of a three-year Employment Equity Action Plan and implemented specific programs to support the talent development of employees from equity-deserving groups, including continued support and strategies to eliminate barriers and improve retention.

Parks Canada is also working to support talent management of team members from equity-deserving groups. This year it launched the Mentorship Plus-Sponsorship Program, which will support professional development for members of equity-deserving groups in executive-level positions. Parks Canada also nominated two team members who were part of equity-deserving groups to the Centre for Diversity and Inclusion’s Mosaic Leadership Development Program, a program for employees at the level just below executive, intended to close gaps in representation at the senior executive levels in organisations.

Parks Canada aims to address barriers to retention, career development, and advancement for Indigenous employees as identified in the whole of government strategy Many Voices One Mind: A Pathway to Reconciliation. In addition to the actions detailed above that support employees in all equity-deserving groups, Parks Canada also continued to support Indigenous employees through the Indigenous Employee Training Fund. This fund supports career and personal development opportunities, including Indigenous language learning.

In 2022–23, Parks Canada published its three-year Accessibility Action Plan. The plan will build on current best practices and integrate findings from the What We Heard report following internal consultations with employees and the Employment Systems Review, including employees with disabilities. It reflects both the social and organizational imperatives of achieving the goals of an accessible public service and demonstrates Parks Canada’s commitment to comply with the Accessibility Canada Act and the Accessible Canada Regulations.

To support its official bilingualism responsibilities, this year Parks Canada initiated the development of a three-year Official Languages Action Plan, a comprehensive plan to strengthen and integrate both official languages in the way it serves Canadians in its parks and heritage sites. This plan will include reinforcing bilingualism in the workplace and promoting bilingualism in Canadian society through its work with official language minority communities.

Occupational health and safety

Parks Canada remains committed to building a safe and harassment-free work environment that supports workplace health and wellness and promotes civility and respect. To promote occupational health and safety, in 2022–23 Parks Canada has undertaken several initiatives to promote a culture of respect and awareness, as well as modernize its approach to safe work.

To support positive mental health in the workplace, Parks Canada worked on the development and implementation of its three-year Mental Health Strategy and delivered violence and harassment prevention workshops to employees. It also developed information sessions that will be delivered in 2023–24 to increase awareness of existing services and tools created to foster a respectful workplace. In addition, Parks Canada’s Harassment and Violence Prevention Program provided tools for monitoring and reporting, providing senior management meaningful data on harassment and violence prevention training compliance, as well as incident trends.

As part of its work to modernize its safe work practices, Parks Canada prioritized a review of its policies and programs, including related tools and training, to identify risks based on hazard levels. Material related to ergonomic assessments was reviewed and a new Disability Management and Workplace Wellness training was introduced to support an accessibility-confident public service. New resources were also launched to help managers and employees respond to incidents of impairment in the workplace and to recognize and prevent domestic violence. Parks Canada also completed a review of its disability management toolkit.

This year Parks Canada also initiated a cyclical review of its Hazard Prevention Program, with implementation of recommended findings planned to take place in 2023-24. Related reviews were completed this year, including Parks Canada’s Job Hazard Analysis Form and its Risk Estimator Tool. Parks Canada has implemented current public health guidelines, infectious disease protocol, Government of Canada requirements, and best practices to provide accurate advice, guidance, and support practices for the occupational health and safety of its employees.

Pay stabilization

Parks Canada maintains its commitment to ensuring that team members are being paid correctly and on time. To support this commitment, in 2022–23 Parks Canada focused on increased collaboration, education, and communication around pay systems.

This year, Parks Canada collaborated with Public Service and Procurement Canada on a pilot project to reconcile union dues and worked to improve coordination and identification of incomplete work in employee files in preparation for the end of peak operational season employment levels. This included facilitating the work of the Pay Centre and ensuring that departing seasonal employees received their final pay and record of employment in a timely fashion. Parks Canada has also modernized its staffing processes to provide clear, updated, and streamlined support to hiring managers and human resources practitioners, and established a timeliness working group to identify opportunities to improve HR-to-Pay processes, particularly with respect to pre-payment activities.

After reviewing and analyzing recommendations from an assessment of internal controls on pay, Parks Canada has implemented data entry verification to ensure quality control activities are performed on 100% of entries and initiated the development of pay-related business processes to document and promote clear procedures. Parks Canada has also developed new internal communications tools and launched a platform as the central resource point for its timekeeping community of practice.

Information management and information technology services
Collaborating openly and digitally

Significant progress was made in 2022–23 towards the implementation of SharePoint Online as Parks Canada’s centralized electronic documents and records management system. SharePoint Online will allow for greater collaboration at Parks Canada while taking full advantage of the capabilities of the tool as an electronic document and records management system to improve searchability through metadata, as well as introduce versioning and customizable document permissions.

Parks Canada conducted several pilots to validate and refine the process of migrating information from local servers to SharePoint Online, a cloud-based storage. These pilots allowed for the improvement of the planned information architecture, a refinement of the technical process for migration, and a clearer understanding of client behaviours. As a result, Parks Canada identified gaps and was able to adjust and plan for the phased migration in 2023–24. Significant work was done to refine and validate the technical aspects of the migration of information while preserving the integrity of the data.

To support this transition to SharePoint Online, Microsoft 365 desktop apps were installed on all team members’ computers, and Parks Canada initiated a phased migration from personal drives to Microsoft OneDrive, enabling cloud access and collaboration. Parks Canada also installed Wi-Fi Access points in 20 office locations to support office-based employees’ return to Parks Canada offices, enabling greater flexibility for work arrangements and collaboration, and piloted mobile virtual private network access for government-issued mobile devices.

Maximizing the value of data and information

Parks Canada continues to mature its data and information approach to follow the Government of Canada’s Digital Ambition through the renewal of the data strategy and alignment of data and information architecture at a Departmental/Agency Architecture Review Board (EARB). EARB helps to better manage data and information as a strategic asset.

Parks Canada also continues to contribute to Open Government and is dedicated to publishing all departmental results frameworks datasets, including those for this departmental results report. As of March 2023, there are 493 Parks Canada records posted on open.canada.ca.

Parks Canada is continuously improving its methodology to track and manage the list of services it delivers to Canadians, increasing the number of entries in its published service inventory from 11 to 18 in 2022–23. The inventory will become more detailed in the coming years, allowing for the ability to link together the entries in the service inventory to other planning, investment, and application information. This work will help Parks Canada better integrate its services and ultimately help it provide better services to Canadians through improved tracking and feedback mechanisms.

Improving and modernizing applications and network infrastructure

In collaboration with Shared Services Canada, Parks Canada is conducting a comprehensive review of its network infrastructure to identify areas for improvement that respond to both current and future needs. Parks Canada is also actively deploying enhancements to site connectivity to bolster the network capabilities of remote offices. Working closely with Shared Services Canada, Parks Canada has upgraded network connectivity and implemented Wi-Fi at several of its office locations as well as at some of the places it administers. This has resulted in improved access to digital solutions and collaboration tools for Parks Canada’s team members and visitors.

Connecting employees in remote locales

Given the nature of its work protecting cultural and natural heritage in remote corners of Canada, many of Parks Canada’s locations are out of the range of typical internet and cellular service providers.

Based on positive results in a pilot project extending internet service to Sable Island, an island 175km off the coast of Nova Scotia, using a satellite cellular service, in 2022-23 Parks Canada also set up satellite cellular service for other remote sites it administers.

As a result, team members working at these sites can now work more efficiently and communicate more reliably with Parks Canada, visitors, and emergency officials.

This year, Parks Canada also began work to address the findings of a thorough cyber security risk assessment, helping it to identify priority areas for investment in its network security measures. As part of this work, Parks Canada began developing a Digital Capital Asset Plan that encompasses various information technology (IT) projects and enterprise solutions, specifically leveraging secure cloud-based options, such as Software as a Service. To optimize software utilization, Parks Canada is implementing a comprehensive IT Asset Management (ITAM) program, with an eventual focus on Software Asset Management. This initiative will allow for the streamlining of software rationalization efforts effectively. Furthermore, the Application Portfolio Management team is diligently creating a robust inventory of its current applications, ensuring better visibility and management of our application landscape.

Management and oversight services

This year, Parks Canada began a multi-year effort to strengthen its integrated business planning processes. For 2022–23, this involved combining internal requests for funding applications for Parks Canada programs into a single, integrated process. This enabled stronger horizontal prioritization, including the ability to align and leverage funding from multiple funded programs to key initiatives and better align available funding to advance Parks Canada’s priorities and program objectives.

This year, Parks Canada continued work to renew its Departmental Results Framework (DRF) as part of a longer-term strategic direction that sets the foundation for evidence-based decision-making, resource allocation, and reallocation.

Parks Canada also undertook an internal review of the level of effort spent on supporting internal services across all business units to assess opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these crucial services to support program delivery. The initial findings were presented to Parks Canada’s senior management and work to address the review’s findings will be started in 2023–24.

Real property management services

Parks Canada is the steward of one of the largest and most diverse portfolios of built heritage and contemporary assets in Canada, with a current replacement value of $27.7 billion (2022 dollars). Parks Canada continues to put in place the necessary changes to implement its Real Property Portfolio Strategy, which sets strategic goals for the portfolio and integrates horizontal priorities for protecting Canada’s built assets, reducing the carbon footprint, increasing accessibility, and enhancing climate change resilience, while maintaining assets in safe and useable condition.

Securing long-term funding to sustain Parks Canada's built asset portfolio remains a top priority. In September 2022, $557 million in temporary funding over two years was received to address critical infrastructure projects, support condition assessments and inspections, and maintain internal expertise to prepare for long-term asset sustainability.

In 2022–23, Parks Canada continued to regularly update its asset information system to support investment decisions and portfolio analysis. Parks Canada also adjusted its organizational structure to provide increased oversight for real property and to enhance integration and collaboration among business units involved in asset management.

Contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses

Parks Canada is a Phase 1 department and as such must ensure that a minimum 5% of the total value of the contracts it awards are to Indigenous businesses by the end of 2022–23. In its 2023–24 Departmental Plan, Parks Canada forecasted that, by the end of 2022–23, it would award 5% of the total value of its contracts to Indigenous businesses.

As shown in the following table, Parks Canada awarded 6.31% of the total value of its contracts to Indigenous businesses in 2022–23.

Contracting performance indicators2022-23 Results
Total value of contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses+ (A) $24,083,274
Total value of contracts awarded to Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses± (B)$381,664,209
Value of exceptions approved by deputy head (C)$0.00
Proportion of contracts awarded to Indigenous businesses [A / (B−C)×100]6.31%
+ For the purposes of the 5% target, Indigenous businesses include Elders, band and tribal councils, businesses registered in the Indigenous Business Directory for contracts under the Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business and businesses registered in a beneficiary business list for contracts with a final delivery in a modern treaty or self-government agreement area with economic measures as defined by Indigenous Services Canada.
± Includes contract amendments.

Parks Canada is committed to supporting the Government of Canada’s mandate to award contracts to Indigenous suppliers, which represents 5% of the total value of contracts for each federal department and agency. Parks Canada is at the forefront of this initiative, requiring it to meet the 5% commitment as part of Phase 1 implementation in 2022–23.

In support of this target, in 2022-23 Parks Canada continued to enhance and deliver guidance and training to promote more diverse contracting practices, including incorporating Indigenous procurement considerations into Parks Canada contracting activities. Functional procurement experts at Parks Canada also participated in government-wide working groups on social procurement initiatives, including Indigenous procurement. These initiatives have resulted in Parks Canada meeting the Government of Canada’s 5% Indigenous procurement target in 2022–23.

In 2022-23, Parks Canada issued 633 contracts and contract amendments, valued at more than $24 million in total to Indigenous suppliers, and indirectly contributed another $900 thousand to Indigenous businesses and individuals through Indigenous participation components—such as training, scholarships, and subcontracts—in its contracts. Through its transfer payments (grants and contributions) programs, Parks Canada contributed over $78 million to Indigenous recipients through 188 agreements issued in 2022–23, in addition to transfer payments to support projects delivered by non-Indigenous recipients that benefit Indigenous peoples. As of March 2023, more than 1900 Parks Canada employees have completed the Indigenous Considerations in Procurement course offered by the Canada School of Public Service.

In 2022–23, systems were updated to capture additional data on Indigenous participation plans included in contracts to allow more accurate and timely reporting. Parks Canada also implemented bi-annual reporting on Indigenous procurement to governance committees to allow senior management to monitor progress and provide timely direction to ensure Parks Canada contributes to this important Government of Canada commitment.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

The following table shows, for internal services, budgetary spending for 2022–23, as well as spending for that year.

2022–23 Main Estimates2022–23 planned spending 2022–23 total authorities available for use2022–23 actual spending (authorities used) 2022–23 difference (actual spending minus planned spending)
101,554,355101,554,355131,772,811152,034,33550,479,980

Actual spending was $50.5 million (or 33.2%) higher than planned spending, primarily due to new appropriations received after the 2022-23 planning exercise. These new appropriations include temporary funding received for investments in Parks Canada’s assets to support a transition to long-term asset sustainability, and interim funding to maintain capacity to manage capital assets. The variance is also due to internal reallocation to address funding priorities in areas such as Human Resources, Financial Management, and Information Technology Services.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

The following table shows, in fulltime equivalents, the human resources the department needed to carry out its internal services for 2022–23.

2022–23 planned full time equivalents2022–23 actual full time equivalents2022–23 difference (actual full time equivalents minus planned full time equivalents)
8531,067214

Spending and human resources

Spending

Spending 2020–21 to 2025–26

The following graph presents planned (voted and statutory spending) over time. For the period from 2020-21 to 2022-23, spending represents expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts of Canada. For the period from 2023-24 to 2024-26, the planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support Parks Canada’s core responsibility and internal services.

Graph — Agency spending trends — Text description follows.
Agency spending graph — Text version

Agency spending graph

($ Thousands)

2020-21 - Statutory: 177,336, Voted: 1,128,234, Total: 1,305,570

2021-22 - Statutory: 146,376, Voted: 1,017,583, Total: 1,163,959

2022-23 - Statutory: 279,768, Voted: 876,841, Total: 1,156,609

2023-24 - Statutory: 218,250, Voted: 1,075,763, Total: 1,294,013

2024-25 - Statutory: 217,420, Voted: 916,093, Total: 1,133,513

2025-26 - Statutory: 211,792, Voted: 668,721, Total: 880,513

The decrease in planned spending from 2023-24 to 2025-26 is primarily due to the sunset of temporary funding for investments in Parks Canada’s assets to support the transition to long-term asset sustainability. Parks Canada continues to prioritize its efforts to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of its asset portfolio.

Budgetary performance summary for core responsibility and internal services (dollars)

The Budgetary performance summary for core responsibility and internal services table presents the budgetary financial resources allocated for Parks Canada’s core responsibility and for internal services.

Core responsibility and internal services 2022–23 Main Estimates 2022–23 planned spending 2023–24 planned spending 2024–25 planned spending 2022–23 total authorities available for use 2020–21 actual spending (authorities used) 2021–22 actual spending (authorities used) 2022–23 actual spending (authorities used)
Protecting and Presenting Canada's Natural and Cultural Heritage887,028,950887,028,9501,168,310,1631,009,916,4841,246,263,5551,171,403,1861,027,492,6941,004,574,706
Internal services101,554,355101,554,355125,702,968123,596,177131,772,811134,166,731136,466,001152,034,335
Total988,583,305988,583,3051,294,013,131 1,133,512,6111,378,036,3661,305,569,9171,163,958,6951,156,609,041

The planned spending of $988.6 million represents Parks Canada's 2022–23 Main Estimates and reflects approved funding by the Treasury Board to support its programs. The actual spending of $1,156.6 million reflects Parks Canada's expenditures as reported in the 2022–23 Public Accounts.

The increase in authorities available for use over the 2022–23 Main Estimates is primarily due to the additional appropriations received after the planning exercise, mainly related to the temporary funding for investments in Parks Canada’s assets to support a transition to long-term asset sustainability, funding to maintain the capacity to manage capital assets, funding to support the Trans Canada Trail and invest in community trail connections to Rouge National Urban Park (Ontario), funding for restoration efforts for damaged infrastructure from Hurricane Fiona at sites in Atlantic Canada and the province of Quebec, as well as funding to implement the federal framework to address the legacy of residential schools.

Actual spending was $117.5 million (or 13.3%) higher than planned spending primarily due to additional funding mentioned above offset by funding that is moved to future years, mainly for the Enhanced Nature Legacy and Wood Buffalo Action Plan & Wood Bison program.

The decrease in planned spending from 2023-24 to 2025-26 is primarily due to the sunset of temporary funding for asset investments.

Human resources

The Human resources summary for core responsibility and internal services table presents the full-time equivalents (FTEs) allocated to Parks Canada’s core responsibility and to internal services.

Human resources summary for core responsibility and internal services
Core responsibility and internal services 2020–21 actual full-time equivalents2021–22 actual full-time equivalents2022–23 planned full-time equivalents2022–23 actual full-time equivalents 2023–24 planned full-time equivalents2024–25 planned full-time equivalents
Protecting and Presenting Canada's Natural and Cultural Heritage 4,417 4,833 4,748 4,834 4,850 4,785
Internal services 762 1,023 853 1,067 973 959
Total 5,179 5,856 5,601 5,901 5,823 5,744

Parks Canada’s planned Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) reflect approved funding by the Treasury Board to support Parks Canada's programs. In 2022–23, Parks Canada had 5,901 FTEs, which is 300 FTEs or 5.4% higher than planned. The variance in FTEs is primarily due to new appropriations received after the planning exercise offset by the reduction of funds for the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. The variance is also due to internal reallocation to address funding priorities.

The decrease in planned FTEs from 2023-24 to 2025-26 is primarily due to the sunset of temporary asset funding.

Expenditures by vote

For information on Parks Canada’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada.

Government of Canada spending and activities

Information on the alignment of Parks Canada’s spending with Government of Canada’s spending and activities is available in GC InfoBase.

Financial statements and financial statements highlights

Financial statements

Parks Canada’s financial statements (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2023, are available on its website.

Financial statement highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited) for the year ended March 31, 2023 (dollars)
Financial information2022–23 planned results2022–23 actual results2021–22 actual resultsDifference (2022–23 actual results minus 2022–23 planned results)Difference (2022–23 actual results minus 2021–22 actual results)
Total expenses 1,121,729,000 1,280,672,000 1,137,540,000 158,943,000 143,132,000
Total revenues 150,000,000 196,513,000 155,627,000 46,513,000 40,886,000
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 971,729,000 1,084,159,000 981,913,000 112,430,000 102,246,000

The 2022–23 planned results information is provided in Parks Canada’s Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and Notes 2022–23.

Expenses

Actual expenses were $158.9 million higher than planned, primarily due to the temporary funding for assets, funding to support the Trans Canada Trail and invest in community trail connections to Rouge National Urban Park (Ontario), funding for restoration efforts for damaged infrastructure from Hurricane Fiona at sites in Atlantic Canada and the province of Quebec, as well as funding to implement the federal framework to address the legacy of residential schools.

Actual year-over-year expenses increased by $143.1 million, primarily due to the increase in operating activities due to the end of restrictions related to COVID-19, which increased operational expenses. Furthermore, there was an increase in expenditures related to the funding for assets, funding to implement the federal framework to address the legacy of residential schools, and funding for restoration efforts for damaged infrastructure from Hurricane Fiona at sites in Atlantic Canada and the province of Quebec.

Revenues

Actual revenues were $46.5 million higher than planned, primarily due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the increased interest in travel and outdoor activities, leading to higher revenue than anticipated.

Actual year-over-year revenues increased by $40.9 million, primarily due to the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and the positive impacts it had on increased visitation.

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited) as of March 31, 2023 (dollars)
Financial information 2022–23 2021–22 Difference (2022–23 minus 2021–22)
Total net liabilities $581,494,000 $484,043,000 $97,451,000
Total net financial assets $213,863,000 $177,433,000 $36,430,000
Departmental net debt $367,631,000 $306,610,000 $61,021,000
Total non-financial assets $4,746,201,000 $4,784,493,000 ($38,292,000)
Departmental net financial position $4,378,570,000 $4,477,883,000 ($99,313,000)

The 2022–23 planned results information is provided in Parks Canada’s Future-Oriented Statement of Operations and Notes 2022–23.

The net debt is calculated as the difference between total liabilities and total net financial assets. It represents liabilities for which Parks Canada will require future appropriations. Parks Canada’s net debt increased by $61 million, which resulted from the following factors:

  • an increase in environmental liabilities following a re-evaluation of contaminated sites
  • an increase in the Asset Retirement Obligation due to accretion expense to reflect the time value of money
  • an increase in accounts payable following the reactivation of the payment on due date initiative (suspended temporally during the COVID-19 pandemic) and the return to pre-COVID operating activities
  • offset by an increase in the dues from the Consolidate Revenue Fund

The net financial position is calculated as the difference between net debt and total non-financial assets and consists mainly of tangible capital assets, such as roads and bridges, equipment, land, and buildings. The decrease of $38.3 million under non-financial assets is largely due to a decrease in acquisition of tangible capital assets and an increase in amortization following the commissioning of new assets and assets under construction.


Corporate information

Organizational profile

Appropriate minister

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, P.C., M.P.

Institutional head

Ron Hallman, President & Chief Executive Officer

Ministerial portfolio

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Year of incorporation/
commencement

1998


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

“Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do” is available on Parks Canada’s website.

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


Operating context

Information on the operating context is available on Parks Canada’s website.


Reporting framework

Parks Canada’s departmental results framework and program inventory of record for 2022–23 are shown below.

Core Responsibility Protecting and Presenting Canada’s Natural and Cultural Heritage
Description

Establish national parks and national marine conservation areas; designate places, persons, and events of national historic significance; protect and conserve natural and cultural heritage guided by science and Indigenous knowledge; provide opportunities to visit, experience and enjoy Canada’s natural and cultural heritage; and work with the public, other federal departments, provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and stakeholders to carry out these responsibilities.

Departmental Result 1

Canada’s natural heritage is protected for present and future generations

Indicators

  • Percentage of terrestrial regions represented in the national park system
  • Percentage of marine regions represented in the national marine conservation area system
  • Percentage of national park ecosystems where ecological integrity is maintained or improved
  • Number of natural heritage places managed cooperatively with Indigenous peoples
Departmental Result 2

Canada’s cultural heritage is protected for present and future generations

Indicators

  • Number of persons, places and events of importance to Canadians that are formally recognized
  • Percentage of the historical and archaeological collection, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites in Parks Canada’s care that are safeguarded
  • Number of cultural heritage places managed cooperatively with Indigenous peoples
  • Percentage of heritage assets in good or fair condition
Departmental Result 3

People connect to and experience Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in ways that are meaningful to them

Indicators

  • Number of visitors experiencing Parks Canada places
  • Percentage of Canadians that support the protection and presentation of Parks Canada places
  • Number of places where Indigenous peoples use land and waters according to their traditional and modern practices
  • Percentage of contemporary assets in good or fair condition
Program Inventory
  • Heritage places establishment
  • Heritage places conservation
  • Heritage place promotion and public support
  • Visitor experience
  • Heritage canals, highways and townsites management
Internal Services

Supporting information on the program inventory

Financial, human resources and performance information for Parks Canada’s program inventory is available in GC InfoBase.



Federal tax expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals, and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures each year in the Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs as well as evaluations and GBA Plus of tax expenditures.


Appendix: definitions


appropriation
(crédit)

Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


budgetary expenditures
(dépenses budgétaires)

Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.


core responsibility
(responsabilité essentielle)

An enduring function or role performed by a department. The intentions of the department with respect to a core responsibility are reflected in one or more related departmental results that the department seeks to contribute to or influence.


Departmental Plan
(plan ministériel)

A report on the plans and expected performance of an appropriated department over a 3 year period. Departmental Plans are usually tabled in Parliament each spring.


departmental priority
(priorité)

A plan or project that a department has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired departmental results.


departmental result
(résultat ministériel)

A consequence or outcome that a department seeks to achieve. A departmental result is often outside departments’ immediate control, but it should be influenced by program-level outcomes.


departmental result indicator
(indicateur de résultat ministériel)

A quantitative measure of progress on a departmental result.


departmental results framework
(cadre ministériel des résultats)

A framework that connects the department’s core responsibilities to its departmental results and departmental result indicators.


Departmental Results Report
(rapport sur les résultats ministériels)

A report on a department’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Departmental Plan.


full-time equivalent
(équivalent temps plein)

A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. For a particular position, the fulltime equivalent figure is the ratio of number of hours the person actually works divided by the standard number of hours set out in the person’s collective agreement.


gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus)
(analyse comparative entre les sexes plus [ACS Plus] )

An analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs and other initiatives; and understand how factors such as sex, race, national and ethnic origin, Indigenous origin or identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic conditions, geography, culture and disability, impact experiences and outcomes, and can affect access to and experience of government programs.


government-wide priorities
(priorités pan-gouvernementales)

For the purpose of the 2022–23 Departmental Results Report, government-wide priorities are the high-level themes outlining the government’s agenda in the November 23, 2021, Speech from the Throne: building a healthier today and tomorrow; growing a more resilient economy; bolder climate action; fighter harder for safer communities; standing up for diversity and inclusion; moving faster on the path to reconciliation; and fighting for a secure, just and equitable world.


horizontal initiative
(initiative horizontale)

An initiative where two or more federal organizations are given funding to pursue a shared outcome, often linked to a government priority.


Indigenous business
(enterprise autochtones)

For the purpose of the Directive on the Management of Procurement Appendix E: Mandatory Procedures for Contracts Awarded to Indigenous Businesses and the Government of Canada’s commitment that a mandatory minimum target of 5% of the total value of contracts is awarded to Indigenous businesses, an organization that meets the definition and requirements as defined by the Indigenous Business Directory.


nonbudgetary expenditures
(dépenses non budgétaires)

Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.


performance
(rendement)

What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.


performance indicator
(indicateur de rendement)

A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.


performance reporting
(production de rapports sur le rendement)

The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.


plan
(plan)

The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally, a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead to the expected result.


planned spending
(dépenses prévues)

For Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports, planned spending refers to those amounts presented in Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their Departmental Plans and Departmental Results Reports.


program
(programme)

Individual or groups of services, activities or combinations thereof that are managed together within the department and focus on a specific set of outputs, outcomes or service levels.


program inventory
(répertoire des programmes)

Identifies all the department’s programs and describes how resources are organized to contribute to the department’s core responsibilities and results.


result
(résultat)

A consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.


statutory expenditures
(dépenses législatives)

Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.


target
(cible)

A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.


voted expenditures
(dépenses votées)

Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an appropriation act. The vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.


Organizational contact information

Parks Canada National Office
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
Canada
J8X 0B3

Email: information@pc.gc.ca

Telephone:888-773-8888 (General inquiries)

Telephone — international:819-420-9486 (General inquiries — international)

Teletypewriter:866-787-6221 (TTY)

Parks Canada Agency

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