What is a management plan?

    A park management plan guides management decisions in each heritage place, and serves as a key public accountability document. Management plans are a legislative requirement of the Canada National Parks Act.

    Management plans are strategic in nature, based on a long-term vision, with clear direction for a 10-year period, including key strategies, objectives and targets to achieve results.

    How are management plans developed?

    Management plans are developed through extensive engagement and input from organizations, including Indigenous peoples, community members and visitors.

    Parks Canada ensures that management planning is done in an open and transparent manner, reflects sound financial management, contributes to Government of Canada and Parks Canada Agency’s priorities, and is results-based to allow for assessment and inform future decision-making.

    The Management Plan review process begins with a “State of” assessment, a scoping process, and discussions with Indigenous groups, stakeholders, youth and the public before the plan is developed, approved and implemented. These discussions help to identify the vision, key issues and opportunities to be considered in the park’s draft management plan.

    Parks Canada will develop a draft management plan for further review and input during the second stage of public engagement expected in early 2020. Feedback collected during the second stage will be considered as the management plan is finalized, which will be tabled in Parliament in late 2020.

    An important part of the development of any management plan is understanding the perspectives and aspirations of interested Indigenous partners, stakeholders, youth and other Canadians. It is only by engaging with the public that Parks Canada can make sure that the future direction of national parks reflects the perspectives and aspirations of Canadians.

    What role does the public play in the management plan process? How can the public get involved in the management planning discussions?

    Parks Canada is committed to undertaking meaningful engagement on its management plans, and strives to ensure that Indigenous communities, partners, stakeholders, youth and the public have opportunities to influence and contribute to Parks Canada’s priorities and direction.

    Parks Canada encourages all Canadians, including youth and newcomers, to get involved and help influence the future of the mountain national parks. Members of the public are invited to get more information about the individual management plans and opportunities to discuss their interests and desired future direction for the national parks, which will include interactive, online discussions.

    What will Parks Canada do with the feedback it receives?

    Relevant comments and input received will be considered in the development of individual management plans for the mountain national parks. Input received from the first phase of consultation is summarized in the What We Heard report. Interested Canadians should check back regularly for updates on the management planning process, and further opportunities to help shape the future of the park.  

    How will environmental concerns be factored in?

    Ecological integrity is Parks Canada’s first priority. Parks Canada has always been committed to maintaining and restoring ecological integrity.

    A strategic environmental assessment must be undertaken on the draft management plan during the development of a management plan. This strategic environmental assessment helps ensure that the impacts of what is proposed in the plan are understood and mitigated as required. All management plans must include a summary of the strategic environmental assessment and make it publicly available.

    The Species at Risk Act outlines requirements for managers of protected areas with species at risk. The management plan for these places must include provisions for meeting legislative obligations for species-at-risk.

Management Planning Guiding Principles

    Moving forward, not starting anew

    The new plans build on existing policy and plan direction, and will be updated to better address emerging issues, new knowledge and engagement process results. The new plans will provide: more clarity; respond to government priorities and Parks Canada Agency strategic direction; and reaffirm ecological and commemorative integrity as the first priorities.

    A platform for relationship building

    Parks Canada will use the management planning process to continue working with the public, partners and Indigenous groups to advance common goals of conservation and enjoyment of the mountain national parks. Engagement on plan development presents opportunities to incorporate principles and actions respecting the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

    Decision making that is guided by science and Indigenous traditional knowledge

    Parks Canada will use the management planning process to reaffirm ecological integrity as its first priority in national park management. To ensure it can respond to the challenges of climate change, impacts to ecological integrity, and development and commercial pressures, Parks Canada will advance and make the best use of conservation science and Indigenous traditional knowledge. This framework will safeguard these parks as treasured places for generations to come.

    Openness and transparency

    The management planning process provides an opportunity for increased public and Indigenous involvement and for Parks Canada to demonstrate transparency in its decision making.