Values and operating principles


Revitalization of values and operating principles

I am pleased to introduce these final recommendations, as endorsed by the Senior Management Committee – Human Resources committee, for the revitalization of Parks Canada’s values and operating principles.

Values and operating principles have been in place at Parks Canada since 1999. They are reflective of the Agency’s mandate, and foundational for Parks Canada’s Human Resources (HR) management and provision of services to the public.

Parks Canada led an extensive stakeholder engagement strategy that involved over 390 individuals and 22 committees at all levels of the organization, representing employee networks, the union, National Office and Field Units.

The proposed amendments to the values and operating principles are based on a balanced view, informed by the extensive feedback received during the engagement sessions as well as consultations conducted as part of the Values and Ethics Code refresh exercise.

I am grateful to all Parks Canada team members who participated and collaborated with the project team.

Ron Hallman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Parks Canada Agency


Parks Canada is a separate agency devoted to protecting and presenting national historic sites, national parks, national marine conservation areas and a national urban park. It is also important to recognize that the lands, waters, and ice on which we all live, work, and care for are the traditional territories, treaty lands, and ancestral homelands of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.

Values and operating principles are reflective of the Parks Canada’s mandate, and foundational for the management of human resources and provision of services to the public (section 16 (1) of the Parks Canada Agency Act). Amendments were made to these values and operating principles based on a fair and transparent consultation process, representative of the Parks Canada workforce.

Core values of the Agency’s newly updated Values and Ethics Code have been endorsed, thereby establishing one set of values for Parks Canada. These core values – respect for people, equity, diversity and inclusion, integrity, engagement and excellence – will provide a common framework for the choices, actions, attitudes we adopt as Parks Canada team members.

Core values are the enduring beliefs that determine our actions, attitudes and the choices we make, whereas operating principles are guides that accompany our actions and decisions.

Operating principles were revitalized to reflect an understanding of our enduring mandate and the distinctive circumstances in which we work. Collaboration and dialogue were also highlighted and deemed critical to our collective success. These operating principles apply to all employees at all levels of the organization, and will be brought to the attention of third parties as well as the public.

Together, core values and operating principles are the basis for ensuring the integrity of our Human Resources policies, practices, and procedures as well as the provision of services to the public. They reinforce our obligations and commitments to respect and adhere to all relevant legislation.

Thus, our actions and decisions will be aligned with these core values and operating principles.

Core values

(Refer to the Code implemented in 2023: Living our Values - Values and Ethics Code)

Respect for People

Treating each person we meet with respect, fairness, dignity, empathy, sensitivity and kindness contributes to a healthy and respectful workplace and a welcoming environment for the partners we work with and the public we serve. This also ensures the safety and well-being of employees and promotes collaboration, openness and transparency.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Being a successful and innovative agency is rooted in our ability to create inclusive spaces where staff and visitors with a variety of perspectives and experiences feel a sense of belonging. This also means providing fair and equitable access to opportunities for under-represented people including: Black, Indigenous, people of colour, the Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ (2SLGBTQ+) community, and people living with disabilities.


We work in an open, honest, fair and ethical manner that bears the closest public scrutiny, ensures public trust and is consistent with the Parks Canada Values and Ethics Code. We help ensure Parks Canada’s accountability to Canadians and our Minister by carrying out our duties in accordance with legislation, policies and directives in a non-partisan and impartial manner free from political influence and following the direction of Parks Canada management.


Parks Canada’s success requires a collective and concerted effort that happens when we facilitate team building and collaboration, to develop and share knowledge and expertise. Parks Canada team members are passionate and engaged.


Our collective success depends on creating a supportive and inclusive work environment that promotes teamwork, learning and innovation. As stewards and storytellers of Canada’s natural and cultural resources we design, deliver and continually strive for excellence to improve the quality of our policies, programs and services.

Operating Principles

The core values of Respect for People, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity, Engagement and Excellence, along with the following operating principles will be implemented in human resources policies, programs and procedures. They will also serve as guidance for interaction with the public and Parks Canada team members.

These operating principles are interrelated and therefore should be considered collectively and in a balanced fashion.


Accepting responsibility for our actions and our decisions are carried out in a fair, ethical, and impartial manner that ensures public trust.


Adjusting to a changing work environment, while embracing innovation and creativity.


Fostering a workplace that encourages diverse perspectives, collaboration, team building, and mutually beneficial working relationships.


Ensure continuous learning and skill development that include elements of diversity and inclusion, reflecting Indigenous cultural competencies to promote effective knowledge sharing that drives improved performance of individuals and teams.

Creating Value

Making the best use of resources in achieving Agency priorities, aligned with the needs of communities, stakeholders and rights holders.


Acting in a consistent manner, in accordance with the Agency’s policies and standard practices, while allowing flexibility for respectful and equitable approaches.


Delivering information in an open and timely manner, that fosters a culture of respect and trust.

Date modified :