Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks

Chapter 2: Toward a Culture of Conservation
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(2-4) We recommend that Parks Canada develop a detailed and ongoing program for ecological integrity orientation and training, with initial delivery to be completed within 18 months by all current employees (including contract employees, co-operating associations, partners, and co-operators such as commercial operators within parks). Make this training part of every new employee's orientation package. Conduct a third-party audit of the orientation program after three years to assess the status and future needs for the program. Training for ecological integrity in the past was directed toward a relatively small number of staff in specialized functions (e.g. the Warden Service), within Parks Canada. UNDER WAY. An ecological integrity training and orientation program has been developed. Pilot testing of the program took place in December. All staff will participate in the program within the next 19 months. The program will be thoroughly evaluated following its implementation.
(2-5) We recommend that Parks Canada examine and evaluate the existing structure and its implications for achieving ecological integrity requirements for national parks. In any structural re-organization we suggest the following guiding criteria be used to achieving the objectives required of ecological integrity ...   UNDERWAY. The following actions have been taken:
  • Executive Director of Ecological Integrity, Project Manager, Ecological Integrity Implementation, and Chief, Ecosystem Science hired;
  • Heritage Presentation, education and outreach combined with External Relations to foster consistent visioning and messaging;
  • In the process of strengthening various accountability systems as recommended by Panel.
No further major structural changes are contemplated.
(2-6) We recommend that Parks Canada take steps associated with staffing and training to ensure that protecting ecological integrity becomes the primary concern of every person in the organization. Such steps include ... Protecting ecological integrity has not traditionally been seen as the primary concern for all staff in Parks Canada. Significant efforts over the long term will be required to bring about the changes envisioned. UNDER WAY. Parks Canada has strengthened the competency profile and Statements of Qualifications for senior managers' positions to more clearly reflect ecological integrity responsibilities.

Parks Canada will, where applicable:

  • strengthen job descriptions and recruitment criteria to reflect ecological integrity knowledge and expertise;
  • strengthen the evaluation of the ecological integrity element of job performance.

Scientists will be more directly involved in decision making with a priority put on bringing science advice to park management.

Parks Canada has created the position of Executive Director, Ecological Integrity. The Executive Director is a full member of the Parks Canada Executive Board and is the senior official on all executive decisions related to ecological integrity.

These actions will be coupled with orientation and training in ecological integrity for all staff as described above.

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