Parks Canada
Parks Canada also known as the Parks Canada Agency (French:Agence Parcs Canada), is an agency of the Government of Canada
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

 mandated to protect and present nationally significant natural
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 and cultural heritage
Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations...

, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative
Commemorative may refer to:*Commemorative coin*United States Commemorative Coin*Commemorative issue - a special edition of a book, magazine, or other item released around, or in memory of, a special event or occurrence.*Commemorative stamp...

 integrity for present and future generations. Parks Canada manages 42 National Parks (including seven National Park Reserves), four National Marine Conservation Areas
National Marine Conservation Areas
National Marine Conservation Areas is a Parks Canada programme responsible for marine areas managed for sustainability and containing smaller zones of high protection. They include the seabed, the water itself and any species which occur there...

, one National Landmark
National landmark
A National landmark is a site identified by a national authority as one possessing nationally–significant natural, historic, or scientific resources...

, and 167 National Historic Sites of Canada. The agency also administers the Canadian Register of Historic Places
Canadian Register of Historic Places
The Canadian Register of Historic Places is an online, searchable database that includes listings of historic places important to communities, cities, provinces, territories, and the nation...

, a registry of historic sites in Canada.


Parks Canada was established on May 19, 1911, as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior, becoming the world's first national park service. Since its creation, its name has changed, known variously as the Dominion Parks Branch, National Parks Branch, Parks Canada, and the Canadian Parks Service, before a return to Parks Canada in 1998. The service's activities are regulated under the provisions of the Canada National Parks Act, which was enacted in 1930, and amended in 2000.


The Parks Canada Agency was established as a separate service entity in 1998, and falls under the responsibility of Environment Canada
Environment Canada
Environment Canada , legally incorporated as the Department of the Environment under the Department of the Environment Act Environment Canada (EC) (French: Environnement Canada), legally incorporated as the Department of the Environment under the Department of the Environment Act Environment...

. Before 2003, Parks Canada (under various names) fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Canadian Heritage
Department of Canadian Heritage
The Department of Canadian Heritage, or simply Canadian Heritage |department]] of the Government of Canada with responsibility for policies and programs regarding the arts, culture, media, communications networks, official languages , status of women, sports , and multiculturalism...

, where it had been since 1994. From 1979 to 1994, Parks Canada was part of the Department of Environment, and before it was part of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (1966 to 1978), and the Department of the Interior. With the organizational shifts and political leadership in Canada, the priorities of Parks Canada have shifted over the years more towards conservation
Habitat conservation
Habitat conservation is a land management practice that seeks to conserve, protect and restore, habitat areas for wild plants and animals, especially conservation reliant species, and prevent their extinction, fragmentation or reduction in range...

 and away from development. Starting in the 1960s, Parks Canada has also moved to decentralize its operations.

Parks Canada is currently headed by Alan Latourelle who was reappointed on August 7, 2007. As of 2004, the annual budget for Parks Canada is approximately $500 million, and the agency has 4,000 employees.

Prior to Latourelle's appointment on August 8, 2002, the Parks Canada CEO was Tom Lee.


Parks Canada employs Park Wardens to protect natural and cultural resources, campground patrols and to protect the safety of visitors to national parks and marine conservation areas. They are designated under section 18 of the Canada National Parks Act and have the authority of peace officers. They carry firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

 and other use of force
Use of force
The term use of force describes a right of an individual or authority to settle conflicts or prevent certain actions by applying measures to either: a) dissuade another party from a particular course of action, or b) physically intervene to stop them...


The Minister may also designate provincial and local enforcement officers under section 19 of the Act for the purpose of enforcing laws within the specified parks. These officers have the power of peace officers only in relation to the Act.

See also

  • List of National Parks of Canada
  • Pingo National Landmark
    Pingo National Landmark
    Pingo National Landmark is a natural area protecting eight pingos near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. It is in a coastal region of the Arctic Ocean which contains approximately 1,350 Arctic ice dome hills—approximately one quarter of the world's pingos.The Landmark comprises an area...

  • Parks Canada Players
    Parks Canada Players
    The Parks Canada Players theatrical troupe was founded in 2003 by Parks Canada to promote and preserve Canadian heritage through innovative theatre in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The theatre program educates and entertains visitors to Parks Canada historic sites. Hundreds of shows are performed each...

  • National Parks Service
  • Ontario Parks
    Ontario Parks
    Ontario Parks is the branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources that administers the provincial parks in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario Parks system covers over 78,000 square kilometres , about 10 percent of the province's surface area or the equivalent of an area approximately equal to Nova Scotia...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.