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Canada

February 16, 2007

Our file:

A-2006/07-059

Mr. Jean-Paul Murray


17 Kingsmere Road
Chelsea, Quebec
J9B lR7
Dear Mr. Murray:
This is further to your request pursuant to the Access to Information Act (the Act) for the
terms of reference and preliminary report of the committee set up to examine options for
creating a regulatory or legislative framework for Gatineau Park. Your request was received
on January 19, 2007.
You will find enclosed a copy of the requested records. When you examine the documents
you will note some areas where information was removed and replaced with the notations
"23, 21(1)(a) & (b)". These notations refer to the provisions ofthe Act that authorize the
Commission to exempt this type of information. Copies of the relevant provisions of the Act
are enclosed for your convenience.
This completes the processing of your request. You are entitled to file a complaint with the
Information Commissioner of Canada within the next 60 days of this notice regarding the
processing of your request. If you decide to do so, your notice of complaint should be
addressed to the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada, Place de Ville,
Tower B, 112 Kent Street, 22nd floor, Ottawa, Ontario, KIA IH3.
Should you have any questions about the processing of your request, please do not hesitate to
communicate with the undersigned at 613-239-5198.
Yours sincerely,

;'

...~,.

Gilles Gaignery
Coordinator,
Access to Information and Privacy
Encl.

~~---------------I
National Capital Commission

Elgin Street, Ottawa, Canada


www.canadascapital.gc.ca
202-40

Commission de la capita le nation ale

K1P 1C7

rue Elgin, piece 202, Ottawa, Canada


www.capitaleducanada.gc.ca

40,

K1P 1C7

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Section 23-Solicitor-client privilege


23. The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested
under this Act that contains information that is subject to solicitor-client privilege.
1980-81-82-83, c. 111, Sch. 1"23".

Access to Information
Act

21. (1) The head of a government


institution may refuse to disclose any
record requested under this Act that
contains
(a) advice or recommendations
developed by or for a government
institution or a minister of the Crown,
(b) an account of consultations or
deliberations involving officers or
employees of a government institution,
a minister of the Crown or the staff of a
minister of the Crown,
(c) positions or plans developed for the
purpose of negotiations carried on or to
be carried on by or on behalf of the
Government of Canada and
considerations relating thereto, or
(d) plans relating to the management of
personnel or the administration of a
government institution that have not yet
been put into operation,
if the record came into existence less than
twenty years prior to the request.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in
respect of a record that contains
(a) an account of, or a statement of
reasons for, a decision that is made in
the exercise of a discretionary power or
an adjudicative function and that affects
the rights of a person; or
(b) a report prepared by a consultant or
an adviser who was not, at the time the
report was prepared, an officer or
employee of a government institution or
a member of the staff of a minister of
the Crown.

,"
..-.:-'.

Annexe B - Gabarit d'enonce des besoins


National Caoital
Commission

Iuformation

relative

a l'initiative

'\om:

Protection

Chef C~ projet :

A discuter
En fonction

Gestior.naire de
Dales c.; projet
~" de cossier :

Canada

Com""";s::;ion
de la capitale nationale

realemcntaire

et lesale du

de la structure

2005 - 2006
GPIOOO-35

de projet

(anorobarion

eeN

arc de la Gatineau

----a

discuter

voir etape 6 dans Principaux

jaions

: mars 2006 et Mise en C:U\Te 2006 et

r-

But

Icenrifier les options pour arneliorer les autorites legales et reglernentaires de la CCN afin dassurer la protection des
ecosysternes et de leurs composantes ainsi que de pouvoir exercer un conrrole approprie des activites humaines de
maniere a assurer la protection optimale du pare dans I'immediat et pour les generations futures.

Objectifs

1. Identifier les outils reglernentaires et legaux dont dispose acruellement la Commission et en documenter .
la portee et les lirnites.
2. Identifier les secteurs ou des autorites supplernentaires sont necessaires ou souhaitables pour perrnertre
la realisation du mandat de protection du pare pour lequella Commission sest engagee.
3. Identifier les options administratives, reg lementaires et / ou legales qui s ' offrent a la Commission en identifiant les
avantages et les contraintes de ces options
4. Associer des experts, ainsi que les groupes dmteret qui ont rnanifeste leurs preoccupations pour le sujet. et plus
particulierernent dans la poursuite des objectifs 2 et 3.
1'application,

Contexte

Suite a lentree en vigueur du plan directeur (revise) le 4 mai 2005, la Commission a pris l'engagement que dans
l':mm!e qui suivra l'approbation du plan directeur elle procedera aux etapes necessaires pour identifier les options
potentielles pour ameliorer I 'autorite de la CCNSllr tous les aspects du Pare afin de preserver sa perennite et sa

mission pour taus les canadiens et les generations futures. (Re(


Cene proposition

est parmi les quelquesunes

reitere.par le Conseil d'adrninistration

Prepare par Jean-Rcn,;

i,

Doyon, ebauchc

Plan dirccteursection

qui ont un echeancier

identifie

5,3.6. page 28)

au plan directeur.

Cet engagement

a ere

de la Commission lors de la rencontre avec les groupes d'interets en mai 2005.

1. 21 juin 1005

RELEASED

under

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.l,.iustement aux Prorocoies


-7

d'~nrente

2005-2006.

Nous recommandons
que ce projet fosse I 'objet cl 'un amendement aux Protocoles
!t) i .ies direction
touchees par cette initiative et cue l'oojeciif suivant sci: ajoute
.( Prodder

aux etapes necessaires

pour

identifier

les options potentielles

pour

d 'entente de I 'annee courcnte


:
ameliorer

(05-

I 'auto rite de la CCV sur

tous les aspects du Pare afin de preserver sa perennite et sa mission pour tous les canadiens et les generations
,
:::ec: implique que des ressources
additionnelles
devront vraisernblablernent
erre consennes ou reallouees de la parr de
Services juridiques

et des Directions

des Communications

ciu marketing

; 'Environnement
de

12.

gestion

et des tern ins et des pares de la Capitate


de limrnobilier.

Estimation d'ordre

de grandeur

amsi que de la Direction

.0

exterieures, de la Direction de

de I' Amenagernent

cie la canitale

des couts

Aucun budget ou provision


n 'existe pour la conduite de ce projet.
Cf"e ies ressources suivant es seront necessaires pour la realisation

o
o

et des relations

Une evaluation preliminaire


de cette initiative.'

des res sources suggere

Ressources liumaines
Expert/s)

conseil

Consultation

A Discuter

et communication

Principaux jalons (etapes)

Principales
I,
2.

etapes du projet

Documentation
et analyse des autorites existantes, leurs champs dapplication
ainsi que leurs limites ou leurs
contraintes
Identification
des protection
additionnelles
requises et souhaitables
pour la protection cl long terrne du
pare (qualification

3.
4.

de c~s protections

Identifications
des omions qui soffrent
additionnelles

.
Validation interne des options
Consultation
externe

5.
6. Plan de mise en ceuvre (approbation
7.

8.

additionnelles

Communication
Mise en ceuvre

a la Commission

;a,\ (\ )(0..)

~ ('b)
des ces protections

pour l'obtention

par la eCN)

du plan d'action

2
Preparr

par J~an-Rcn': Doyen, ebauche 2. 21 juin 200S

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C.llendrier

preiiminaire

.I uillet - Aout
o Planification

de realisation.

(:1 discuter pour eventuellernent

et mise en place des ressourees

l'inclure

dans I'enonce de projet)

(inclu:lnt formauon de l'equipe, echeancier

defimnf,

erapes du projet...

Septernbre - Novernhre
o Les deux premieres etapes pourraient etre rnenees en parallele et devraient pouvoir erre realisees en :2::-:OIS
cornpter de septembre 2005. (rl.uroriuis e:r:iSlQnles.LiSle des Drolecllons addilionnelles)
)iovembre - Decernbre
o La troisierne et quarnerne etape seront realisees (Ontions. et Validarion

I Janvier
I

::)

interne)

- Fevr ier
En fevrier on pourrait envisager une consultation cublioue. A not er que les gro upes d'interet seront
associes aLL'Cetapes 1,::.3 lors de fa realisation de ces phases.

Mars - Avril
o
L "etape 6 se terrninera

par 1'approbation

du scenario rete'nu (CHD, CeN)

, :YI:ii
o

Etape 7, (Communicarion

du olan)

2006 et ..:..
C
Etapes S, (Mise en O?Uvrej
Intervenants

externes

a consulter

etJ

ou

a associer

)} la demarche:

o' '.'CPAWS, CREDDO, Pares C~riada, Environnement


caucus regional, ... (Autres ?)
.-\ prendre

Canada, Gouvernement du Quebec,

en consideration:
o Rapport detape vraisemblablernent lors de lassemblee
(automne 2005)
o Retraite strategique et plan denrreprise

generate annuelle de la CC);

Les risques (preliminaires)


o
o
o
o

L 'echeancier serre (vs l'engagement pris)


La disponibilite des ressources specialisees requises (internes et extemes)
Les exigencesdu calendrier pour les phases de consultations (interne etexterne)
Les artentes et les agendas

des groupes

de pressions

(proposition

externe

d'imposition

dun

starut

. juridique)

3
Pr~p:lre

par Jean-Bene Doyon, cb;auche::.

Z 1 juin ZOOS

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Services

--

juridiques :
o

Direction

Responsables
des etapes 1 (..Juror/res ssusuuss). 3 ( Ontions ) et appui j 1'etane 4 ( Vaildarlon
uusins ) en plus d etre associe i toutes les autres eta pes et d' assurer la presentation du contenu
technique de la deCISIOn aupres du CHD. CCN et derre en appui lors des consultations puoliques
des possibles breffages techniques aLL'<. medias,
Responsable
de letane S (mise e.'! ()ellvre)
(si! sagrt daller chercher des autorites adminisrratives.
reglernentaires
ou legaies)

des Comrnu?i:~tions_
du marketin.g et des relations exterie,ulres.
.,
. . ,
o Appui a 1 etape ;) de i( Consll/[crlon
t?.'Clerne J) en plus d assister cans les consultations
specialisees
en cours d' elaboration
I
o
Communication
avec les medias en cours de projet et I 'etape 7 lors de la Commllnicc.rzon dll Dlan
d 'aclion retenu par la CCN

Direction
Direction

de I'amenagernent
de la Capitale
et de la gestion de l'imrnobilier
de l'environnement.
des terrains
et des parcs de la Capit::del
o
Gestion du projet (a discuter)
o
Responsable
de l ' etape 2, Ideminearion des DrOlecrions
o
Appui et suivi aux autres etanes

rre(l~r,; par .Jean-Rcne Doyon, ebauche 2. !I juin ~005

et

addilionnelles ))

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April 7, 2006

"Legal Protection" of Gatineau Park:


Is legislation necessarv?
1. Tntroduction

The :W05 Gatineau Park Master Plan approved by the National Capital Commission (the NCC)
proposes a new long-term vision for the park that emphasizes conservation of all key natural
areas and ecosystems, consistent with the policies of the Plan for Canada's Capital for the Park.
The 2005 Master Plan notes that recreational activities will continue to be an important vocation
of Gatineau Park, but will be guided by the new conservation focus contained in the Master Plan.

.
.
The ~CC is committed to implementing
Master Plan.
Z3,
2~(\)(o.).

.
the principles for Gatineau Park set out in the 2005
(b)

As a result, the 2005 Master Plan states that within a


year of the approval of the Plan, the NCe will "take the necessary steps to identify the potential
options to enhance its authority over all the aspects of the Park and the activities taking place
within [it], in a way that will provide for the long-term protection and integrity of the Park's
boundary and ecosystems." .

2,3

At the same time that the Nee is working to refine and make concrete its vision for Gatineau
Park, environmental groups are lobbying individual Parliamentarians to introduce bills that
propose new legislative measures with 'respect to Gatineau Park. These groups believe that the
NCe is not committed to preventing fragmentation of Gatineau Park and urban encroachment on
and development of the park land. Environmentalists point to recent construction of new roads
in the Park and the lack of a legal metes and bounds description as evidence that there is nothing
to stop the Nee from selling off partsof Gatineau Park or permitting development in the park.

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Legal protection of Gatineau Park: Is legislation necessary?

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21(t)(o)

April 7, 2006

4 ('0)

2. Evolution of the issue up to the present time

A. A short history of Gatineau Park


The organization responsible for the development of Canada's capital region, the NeC, is the
entity designated by the federal government to safeguard the forests in the Gatineau hills.
Numerous studies and recommendations with respect to these lands - including the Todd Report,
the Holt Report and representations such as the one made by the Federal Woodland Preservation
League, which was chaired by Roderick Percy Sparks - were made to the NCe's predecessor
organizations, the Ottawa Improvement Commission and the Federal District Commission. As a
result of these efforts, lands that were ultimately to form part of what is now known as Gatineau
Park were first acquired by the federal government in 1938.
Studies for the purpose of planning the development and management of the national Capital
region, including Gatineau Park, followed, in particular that of the National Capital Planning
Committee, created by the Federal District Commission in Match 1948. In 1950, the Committee
released its final report entitled General Report on the Plan for the National Capital (19461950), which is known as the Greber Plan. The Greber Plan stressed the importance of Gatineau
Park by confirming that theparkwas
composed of an area of approximately 83,000 acres (33,000
hectares).
...
. .
A number of sub-committees were created under the auspices oftheNational Capital Planning
Committee, including one respecting Gatineau Park. In May 1952, this sub-committee, also
chaired by Roderick Percy Sparks, submitted its Report on Master Plan for the Development of
the Gatineau Park, which recommended the adoption of a Master Plan for Gatineau Park.
In 1958, the NCC was created and it continued the acquisition oflands for and the planning of
Gatineau Park. A development plan that was completed in 1968 set the groundwork for uses of
the park's lands. Like most parks ofthat time, the tendency was to develop access to the park
and encourage recreational uses of park lands. Priority was given to recreational activities, the
park as a symbolic element of the Capital and the natural beauty of the park.

.-

A first master plan for Gatineau Park was approved in 1980. It divided the park into five sectors
and gave a dominant vocation to each sector. As a result, 70% of the area of the park was
considered a conservation zone, while the remainder was dedicated to interpretation and
recreational activities.
.

A further master plan for the park was approved in 1990, shortly after amendments were made to
the National Capital Act to enlarge the mandate of the Nee: In this context, the 1990 Master
Plan introduced strategic objectives to enlarge the visibility of the park and the contribution of
the park to recreation in the National Capital Region. The plan also maintained the objective of
the conservation of the natural environment, indicated the necessity of analyzing the legal status
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Legal protection

of Gatineau Park: Is legislation necessary?

of the park and announced a rationalization


area of the park.

April 7,2006

of the boundaries that did not diminish the overall

In 2005, the NCC approved the new Gatineau Park Master Plan. As part of this exercise, staff at
the NeC and a consultant undertook an exhaustive analysis of the issues pertinent to Gatineau
Park. including the state of the natural environment of the park, actions undertaken in the
previous 10 years in response to the proposals set out in the 1990 Master Plan, and the evolution
of new ways of thinking about the protection ofthe natural environment and the place of
recreational activities in a natural milieu. In addition, the impact on the park of the 1999 Plan for
Canada's Capital was considered. The Plan for Canada's Capital, which represents the principal
document setting out the federal government's policies with respect to the planning, management
and development of the National Capital Region for the next fifty years, identifies Gatineau Park
as a natural heritage area managed and protected first for ecosystem preservation and then for
recreation, as a World Conservation Union (Il.K'N) Category IT area.
This analysis underscored the necessity to orient actions with respect to the Park toward the
protection of significant ecosystems. This focus for the Park underlies the 2005 Master Plan,
which has as its goal the maintenance of a conservation-oriented park in the National Capital
Region in order to meet the park's mission to welcome Canadians and other visitors and to allow
them to discover Canada's natural environment, to visit sites that bear witness to the country's
history, and to engage in outdoor activities. This conservation-focussed orientation represents a
change from the 1990 Master Plan, which focused on balancing the protection of the
.
environment with the fostering of recreational activity in the Park. According to. the 2005 Master
Plan, putting the emphasis on the preservation of the natural milieu will. enable- the NCC to
continue to offer high quality recreational experiences that are respectful of the natural
environment.

B. Proposed legislation with respect to Gatineau Park


Many special interest groups have displayed an interest in Gatineau Park over the years. Perhaps
the most committed of these groups has been the Ottawa-Hull (now Ottawa Valley) Chapter of
the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CP AWS), which has been lobbying the NCC with
respect to Gatineau Park since the 1970s. In the intervening years, CP AWS has been
responsible, either directly by making submissions to the NCC or by providing support to the
preparation of private members' bills, for proposing a number oflegislative enactments
concerning Gatineau Park.

i) 1989 CPA WS bill


In 1989, the Ottawa-Hull Chapter ofCPWS issued a document entitled "Legislative Protection
for Gatineau Park". In this document, the Society canvassed three legislative options for
Gatineau Park: amendments to the National Capital Act, adding Gatineau Park to the national
parks system via amendments to the National Parks Act and a new Act entitled The Gatineau
Park Act. After assessing what, in the Society's view, were the relative advantages and
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Legal protection of Gatineau Park: Is legislation necessary?

April 7,2006

drawbacks of each option, the Society pr.esented The Gatineau Park Act as an appendix to the

document.
The proposed The Gatineau Park Act would "establish" Gatineau Park, attach a metes and
bounds description of the park as a schedule to the Act and would articulate a "general purpose"
for the park. The park would consist of both public and private lands. The Governor in.Council
would be given authority to add to the park where the Governor in Council is satisfied that clear
~:tie to the lands to be added is vested in Her Majesty in nght or Canada or where an agreement is
~eached with the province of Quebec that the lands are suitable for addition to the park.
The proposed Act would also establish the "Gatineau Park Commission" consisting of a
Chairman and six other members. At least three of the members of the Commission would have
professional expertise in areas relevant to park management or other designated specialities and
could not be employees of the Department responsible for the Commission, and two members
would be resident owners of private lands within the Park. The objectives and purposes of the
Commission would be to "formulate plans and implement strategies for the conservation,
administration and management of lands with Gatineau Park, as well as overseeing park
operations" .
All activities of the Commission would have tobe in keeping with the general purpose of the
park, which is to be for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people of Canada, subject to
the conservation and protection of all lands contained in the park, the protection and conservation
of indigenous flora and fauna, and the maintenance and preservation of the park so as to leaveit
unimpaired for future generations. The Commission would be responsible for the zoning-of all
public lands within the boundaries of the park, but would be required to establish at least four
land use zones: primary conservation zones, secondary conservation zones, extensive
development zones and intensive development zones. A description of the zones would form
part of the description of the park contained in the schedule and the Governor in Council, on the
advice of the Minister, would be given the authority to revise the zoning designations set out in
the schedule. Maintenance of ecological integrity through the protection and preservation of
natural resources would be the first priority when establishing park zoning designations.
The proposed Act would put limits on the disposal of public lands in the park, would require the
Commission to enter into negotiations to purchase private lands within the park when those lands
came up for sale and would authorize expropriation of land where the owner does not consent to
dispose of it. The proposed Act would also limit the uses to wfiich private land within the park
could be put and would require private land owners to give the Commission right of first refusal
on the sale of those private lands. The limitations on the use and sale of private lands would not
apply to private lands that were subject to a trust agreement approved by the Commission ..
The proposed Act would permit decisions of the Commission and trust agreements made under
the Act to supplant the application of provincial laws to private lands. The rights of the owners
of private lands with the park could also be supplanted by decisions of the Commission or trust
agreements made under the Act. Finally, the proposed Act would permit the Governor in
Council to make regulations respecting the park, would require the Commission to prepare
annual reports for the Minister on the state of the park and would require the Minister to table in

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Legal protection of Gatineau Park: Is legislation necessary?

April 7, 2006

Parliament a management plan for the park or amendments to an existing management plan every
five years.

ii) the 2004 Marc Assad private member's bill


CPAWS was also involved in a private member's bill that was drafted at the request of Liberal
Member of Parliament Marc Assad in 2004, but was never introduced in Parliament. This bill
takes much of its policy from the 1989 CPA WS bill and fleshes it out with provisions copied
directly from the National Capital Act (!heNCA). So, for example, the Assad bill establishes a
Gatineau Park Commission with the. same requirements for membership as the CP A WS bill and
appiies to that organization the provisions from the NCA relating to the appointment and salaries
of members, meetings of the NCC and rules with respect to the operation of the NCC
(subsections 3(3), (6) to (8), sections 4 to 8 and section 9 of the NCA with some modifications).
Sections 11, 12 and 12.1 from the NCA relating to the development of public lands and
subsection 10(2) of theAct which sets out the powers of the Commission are also repeated in the
Assad bill with the words "National Capital Region" replaced by the words "Garineau Park".
The Assad bill differs from both the CP A WS proposed Act and the NCA in that it contains
provisions with respect to the powers and duties of a superintendent of the park and of park
wardens, sets high maximum limits for fines for breaches of the Act or regulations, permits
offences under the Act or regulations to be summary conviction or indictable offences and sets
upa ticketirigscheme.
The bill also establishesavharmonization
committee" for the purposes of
"ensuring harmonization and implementing' the activities and programs. of the Government of
Canada and the Government of Quebec with respect to the park, in particular with respect to the
protection of ecosystems, planning, management, issuance of permits and other authorizations,
. consultation, the programming of activities, communications and the ways in which
infrastructures, installations and equipment are to be shared". Finally, the bill contains an
extensive regulation-making authority that permits, among other things, zoning regulations and
the establishment of a permit scheme.
iii) the 2005 EdBroadbent

private member's bill

Unlike the 2004 Assad bill, which would have created a new Act, the Gatineau Park Act, a bill
introduced in 2005 by NDP Member of Parliament Ed Broadbent would amend the National
Capital Act. According to the summary published with the bilf
This enactment amends the National Capital Act to
(a) establish the boundaries of Gatineau Park;
(b) provide a mechanism f(5"rchanging the boundaries of Gatineau Park;
(c) recognize that one of the objects and purposes ofthe National Capital Commission is to
acquire privately owned real properties or provincial properties situated in Gatineau Park; and

~.~

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Legal protection

<

of Gatineau Park: Is legislation necessary?

April 7, 2006

(d) require owners of real property situated in Gatineau Park to give the National Capital
Commission a right of first refusal on the sale of the property.

In fact, the bill would do much more than is described in the summary. It would also make a
number of changes to the structure and function of the NCe. The bill would require that the
:::airperson, Vice-Chairperson and all members of the NCC be appointed by "open
competition", which is defined as "a competition that is open to persons who are employed in the
public service as well as to persons who are not employed in the public service". In addition, the
ciil would change the composition of the Commission by reducing the number of members, other
than the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, from thirteen to seven, reducing the number of
.nembers who must be residents of the Ontario portion of the National Capital Region from three
to two and requiring that at least one member be a resident of the City of Ottawa, rather than at
least two members as is required by the current Act. Mr. Broadbent's proposed bill would not
permit the chief executive officer of the NCC to be the same person as the Chairperson and
would require that all meetings of the NCe, other than those dealing with contracts or personnel
.matters, be open to the public.
The bill would also introduce the notion of "the Quebec Minister" which is defined as "the
Minister of Government of Quebec designated by that Government for the purposes of the Act".
The duties of the Quebec Minister under the Act would be to consult, in conjunction with the
Minister responsible for the Nee, with the public before changing the boundaries of Gatineau
Park and to cooperate with the Minister responsible for the Nee in providing opportunities for
public participation at the national, regional and local levels in the development of the policy and
. management plans for GatineauPark and any other matters that the Minister responsible for the
NCC considers relevant.
As indicated in the 'summary reprinted above, the bill would add to subsection 10(1) of the Act a
third purpose for the Nee: to acquire privately-owned real property or provincial property
situated in Gatineau Park. Persons wishing to transfer or dispose of real property situated in the
park would be required to give a right of first refusal to the Nee by submitting to the NCe an
unconditional offer for sale of the property at fair market value. The property could then only be
, transferred or disposed of to a party other than the NC~ if the owner of the property received
from the NeC written confirmation that the NCC was declining the offer or if the NCC had not
accepted the offer within sixty days after receiving it. As well, under the bill, no public lands
owned by the Government of Canada in Gatineau Park could be sold.

The bill would establish the boundaries of the park by using the metes and bounds description
contained in a provincial regulation, the Regulation respecting the pore de la Gatineau Game
Sanctuary, which would be "reproduced" in the Act as a second schedule to the Act. Changes to
this boundary could be made by order, of the Governor in Council, but would require the
agreement of the Government of Quebec, following a public consultation. lithe intention were
to be to reduce the area of the park, a notice of intention to make such an order would have to be
tabled in the House of Commons and referred to a committee of the House. The committee
would be required to report to the House of Commons as to whether it approves or disapproves
the change and the proposed change could not be made ifthe House of Commons concurred in a

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report disapproving the proposed order or if the House did not concur in a report approving the
order,
The bill would also change the short title of the NCA to "the National Capital and Gatineau
Act" and the long title to "An Act respecting the development and improvement of the
National Capital Region and Gatineau Park", Wherever the words "National Capital Region"
appear in the current Act, the bill would add the words "Gatineau Park". The NCC would be
required, within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, to submit to the Minister responsible for
::-:e NeC an annual report on the NCe's activities and findings with respect to the park, which
report would be laid by the Minister before both houses of Parliament. Finally, the bill would
add a "basket clause" to the regulation-enabling section, permitting the Governor in Council to
make regulations "generally, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act",
Park

3. How'is Gatineau
A. Legislative
i)

Park currentlv

defined and "legallv" protected?

enactments

National CaDitai Act

The National Capital Act makes specific reference to Gatineau Park only in subsection 16(3) of
the Act., That provision permits the NCC to make grants in lieu of municipal and school taxes to
"the appropriate authorities" in respect of real property of the NCC situated in Gatineau Park.
There is no metes and bounds description of Gatineau Park contained in the National Capital
Act.
The Nee relies on its objects and purposes set out in the National Capital Act, as well as the
activities in which it may engage for the purposes of the Act, to establish and maintain Gatineau
Park. For example, paragraph 10(1)(a) of the Act indicates that the objects and purposes of the
Nee are to, among other things, "prepare plans for and assist in the development, conservation
and improvement of the National Capital Region in order that the nature and character of the seat
of the Government of Canada may be in accordance with its national significance", while
paragraph 10(2)( c) permits the NCC to construct, maintain and operate parks. '
The National Capital Act limits the ability of the NCC to unilaterally dispose ofland or an
interest in land, but these are general restrictions that affect all NCe property. By virtue of
section 15 of the Act, the NCC must have the approval of the Governor in Council in order to
enter into a lease enduring for a period of more than five years or to grant an easement enduring
for a period of more than forty-nine years. Section 15 also places restrictions on the disposition
of rea 1property by the NCC for a consideration in excess of$10,000. In addition, pursuant to
section 12 of the Act, the NCChas established a land use approval process that applies to all
projects involving federal lands in the National Capital Region, including Gatineau Park. Land
use approval is not given by the NCC unless the project complies with all NCC land use plans
and applicable Acts and regulations.

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ii) regulations made under the National Capital Act


There are three regulations made pursuant to the National Capital Act: the National Capital
:ommission Traffie and Property Regulations, the Leamy Lake Navigation Channel Regulations
and the National Capital Commission Animal Regulations. The Leamy Lake Navigation
Channel Regulations, as their name suggests, govern the navigation channel at Leamy Lake in
the City of Gatineau and, therefore, have no application to Gatineau Park. The other two
regulations apply generally to property of the Commission, which includes Gatineau Park, and in
some provisions make specific reference to the park.
The National Capital Commission Traffic and Property Regulations make only one specific
reference to Gatineau Park. Subsection 21(2) of the regulations states that "[t]he Superintendent
of Gatineau Park may order the erection or removal of traffic signs and devices within the area of
the Park". The remainder of the regulations apply to Gatineau Park in general because it is
property of the Commission and because of the subject matterof some of the regulations. For
example, there are prohibitions in the regulations with respect to the lighting of fires, the cutting
or breaking ofrocks, turf, trees or other plants, and disturbing or injuring wild animals or birds.
As for the National Capital Commission Animal Regulations, it is only in Schedule 1 to that
regulation that specific mention is made of Gatineau Park. The locations in Gatineau Park where
one may bring a domestic animal that is res~aiI!-ed in the prescribed fashion are setout in
Schedule L Otherwise, the provisions of these regulations. apply to Gatineau Park in the same
fashion that they apply to other property of the Commission. .

ill) Kingsmere Park Act

...

The Kingsmere Park Act governs administration of Kings mere in Gatineau Park. Kingsmere
consists of property that was bequeathed to the Government of Canada by the Honourable
William Lyon Mackenzie King as a public park in trust for the citizens of Canada. In making
the bequest, Mr. King expressed several wishes. Firstly, he asked that the lands at Kingsmere be
maintained as nearly as possible in their then present state. Secondly, he wished the lands to be
developed as parkland. Thirdly, he requested that the lands form a wildlife sanctuary and that the
lands continue to have the character of a natural forest reserve.
iv) A Regulation respecting the pare de la Gatineau Game Sanctua1~
This is a regulation of the province of Quebec made under the Wildlife Conservation Act
(regulation 47 of chapter C-61 of the revised statutes of Quebec). The regulation designates as a
"game reserve" an area called the "pare de la Gatineau Game Sanctuary" and prohibits hunting in
that area, including on private property in the area. A metes and bounds description of the game
reserve is set out in the schedule to the regulation. The current boundaries of Gatineau Park, as
established by the NCe, do not correspond exactly with the metes and bounds description in this
.regulation.

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VI environmental

laws and reQUlations of general aDplication

Any laws and regulations of general application that apply on federal lands, including

environmental enactments, apply to Gatineau Park A brief description of some of the various
applicable enactments follows. (Except where otherwise indicated, the text that follows is
reproduced from the document entitled "Gatineau Park Natural Resources Management Program
2004".)
Federal enactments
(a) Canadian Environmental Protection Act (the following text is reprinted from Environment
Canada's websitewithpermission)
.
.
The goal of the renewed Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPAj is to contribute to
sustainable development through pollution prevention and to protect the environment, human life
and health from the risks associated with toxic substances. CEP A also recognises the
contribution of pollution prevention and the management and control of toxic substances and
hazardous waste to reducing threats to Canada's ecosystems and biological diversity. It
acknowledges for the first time the need to virtually eliminate the most persistent toxic
substances that remain in the environment for extended periods of time before breaking down
and bioaccumulative toxic substances that accumulate within living organisms.

(b) Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the following text is reprinted from Environment
Canada's website with permission)
""'
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act requires federal departments, agencies, and crown
corporations to conduct environmental assessments for proposed projects where the federal
government is the proponent. 'It also requires environmental assessments when the project
involves federal funding, permit or license.
.
(Note that the NCC will be subject to this Act as of June 11, 2006; however, since January 1995,
the NCC has voluntarily complied with the spirit of the Act.)
.

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(c) Migratory Birds Convention Act and. the Migratory Birds Regulations
The Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Migratory Birds Regulations govern the
preservation and protection of migratory birds. Among other things, these enactments prohibit
the disturbance, destruction and taking of the nest, egg, nest shelter, duck shelter or duck box of a
migratory bird, as well as the possession of a live migratory bird or the carcass, skin, nest or egg
of a migratory bird, without an appropriate permit.

(d) Fisheries Act


Under subsection 35(1) of the Fisheries Act, "no person shall carry on any work or undertaking
that results in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat". Where habitat
loss is inevitable and acceptable, Fisheries and Oceans Canada may grant authorization under
section 35(2) for the work or undertaking, conditional upon a compensatory project designed to
ensure no net habitat loss.

Ce) Species at Risk Act


The Act's general purpose is to prevent the extinction of animal and plant species in Canada, to
allow for the recovery of species that have become extirpated or may become extirpated or
extinct as aresult of human activity, and to manage species at risk to ensure that they do not
become endangered or extirpated/extinct in the future. The Act applies to all federally-owned
land, aquatic species and migratory birds covered by the Migratory Birds Convention Act; 1994,
wherever they are located.

Provincial enactments
(a) Act respecting threatened and vulnerable species
The Act is designed to prevent the extinction of species in Quebec, to avoid a reduction in the
populations of designated threatened or vulnerable plant and animal species, to preserve habitats,
to restore populations and habitats of designated threatened or vulnerable species and to prevent
other species from declining to threatened or vulnerable levels.I'Among other things, the Act
prohibits habitat alteration and the killing or harvesting of species at risk.
(b) Act respecting the conservation

and development of wildlife

Wildlife species designated as threatened or vulnerable, along with their habitats, are governed
by the Act respecting the conservation and development a/wildlife,' subject to the provisions of
the Act respecting threatened and vulnerable species. The Act respecting the conservation and
development of wildlife prohibits the alteration of biological, physical or chemical elements of
animal habitats.

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(c) Environmental

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Quality Act

The purpose of the Environmental Quality Act is to preserve the quality of the environment,
promote environmental cleanliness and prevent deterioration. Under the Act, a certificate of
authorization is required for, among other things, activities likely to alter the quality of the
environment and for all structures or activities in or on watercourse or lakes.
(d) Regulations respecting the quality of drinking water
The standards and controls established by Quebec's Regulation respecting the quality of drinking
water are among the strictest in North America. Under the Regulations, disinfection and
filtration are mandatory for all public and private community distribution networks obtaining
their supplies from surface water deposits. In addition, all water intended for human
consumption (including individual wells) must meet drinking water quality standards. Drinking
water in the park is sampled and analysed in accordance with the standards set out in the
Regulations.

vi) International conventions and areements (the text contained in this section is reproduced
from the document entitled "Gatineau Park Natural Resources Management Program 2004")
(a) Convention on Biological Diversity
The Conv~ntion on Biological Diversity (1992), signed and ratifiedby Canada in 1992,'addresses
biodiversity in terms of genetic components, species and ecosystems. Its three major objectives
are the preservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of biological resources and a fair
and equitable division of the benefits of genetic resource use. Signatories to the Convention are
required to identify and monitor elements of biological diversity and supervise all processes and
activities that have or may have a negative impact on the preservation ofbiodiversity. They must
also prepare strategies, plans and programs for the management of biological resources of
importance to the preservation of biological diversity.
(b) Convention on Wetlands
In 1981, Canada committed itself to ensuring the rational use of its wetland areas by signing the
Convention on Wetlands (the Ramsar Convention, 1971). The-Convention is designed to ensure
rational and sustainable use of wet land resources through, among other things, the designation of
internationally important wetland areas and a commitment to protect wetland resources, both
now and in the future. Signatories to the Convention must encourage research into wetland areas
and their plant and wildlife populations, and must foster rational use ofwetlands within their
territories.
(c) Protocol for the Protection of Migratory Birds
The Government of Canada and the United States Government are committed to the long-term
preservation of certain shared migratory bird species that have nutritional, social, cultural,
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spiritual, ecological, economic or aesthetic value. Preservation is achieved by means of an


international cooperative framework that allows for joint management of bird populations and
governs issues such as killing migratory birds, the protection of land and water resources, and the
exchange of research and survey data. The commitment was set out in the Protocol Between the
Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America Amending the 1916
Convention Between the United Kingdom and the United States of America for the Protection of
Migratory Birds in Canada and the United States, which recommends among other things, the
development of scientific information (Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994). The Protocol
allows for joint management of bird populations in accordance with certain conservation
principles, namely the identification and protection of the habitats required for the conservation
of migratory birds, the recovery of depleted migratory bird populations, sustainable use, and so
on.
(d) Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Framework Convention on Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol, 1992), signed and ratified by
Canada in 1992, acknowledges the importance of scientific research 'on the climate system in
order to understand the causes, effects, scope and extent of climate change (United Nations,
1992).
I
I

(e) Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards


The AgreementonInternational Humane Trapping.Standards, signed by the European
.
Community, Canada and the Russian Federation, identifies measures to prevent cruelty towards
animals. The signatories must take steps to ensure that traps and trapping methods comply with
proper standards, prohibit the use of non-certified traps and force manufacturers to identify
certified traps by means of a mark.

B. Plans and policies


i) Plan for Canada's Capital
The Plan for Canada's Capital, which was approved by the NCC in 1999, is the federal
government's lead policy statement on the physical planning and development of the National
Capital Region over the next fifty years. Approved by the Board of the NCC, this document
responds directly to the obligations set out in section 10 of the National Capital Act.
The plan sets out policies and principles to guide land use decisions in support of the key
functions of the Capital and includes guidelines for the various components of the capital. .
including Gatineau Park. It designates the Park a "natural heritage area" and more specifically as
a protected area managed first 'for ecosystem protection and then for recreation and it should be
managed as an IUCN Category Il Area. Other principles apply to the Park. The NCC has put in
place a planning framework that determines that more planning on specific areas of the capital is
done. Master plans, like the Gatineau Park Master Plan, provide detailed land use policy
guidance.
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I
I

Following from the Plan for Canada's Capital, the NCC reviewed the inventory of lands
contained
the National Interest
Land Mass (NlLM). NILM lands areI lands that are considered
.
essential to the long-term symbolic importance of the National Capital Region. A NILM
designation indicates a formal expression of the federal government' siinterest in the long-term
use of the lands in a manner that supports the capital. The NCC is th~ agency responsible for
maintaining the NILM on behalf of the federal government, but any significant change to the
.NlLM must be approved by Treasury Board. All the lands in Gatineau Park are part of the
~M.
I

in

ii) 2005 Gatineau Park Master Plan


The 2005 Gatineau Park Master Plan flows from the 1999 Plan for Canada's Capital and presents
a renewed orientation and more specific objectives for the planning and management of Gatineau
Park. The Master Plan is approved by the Nee Board of Directors. It contains a series of
general and specific principles with respect to the management of the park, as well as a fairly
detailed system of zoning for the park that addresses all uses of park'Iands.
The objectives set out in the Master Plan are implemented in a number of ways. One aspect of
the implementation of the Master Plan is the land use approval process for all projects involving
federallands. This approval process is mandated by section 12 of the National Capital Act and
applies
all projects involving federallands, including NCC projects.

to

Another facet of the implementation of the Master Plan is the ecosystem conservation plan. The
analysis of the state of the park undertaken in support of the creation of the 2005 Master Plan
produced the following conclusions: contained within the park are rich and diversified
ecosystems; the ecological integrity of some of these ecosystems is threatened; the quality of
certain habitats appears to be deteriorating. The growth of recreational activities in the park and .
the diminishing number of ecological corridors are other factors that are making the park's
ecosystems more fragile.
In order to better understand the park's ecosystems, their ecological integrity and their
importance for the overall health of the park, the NCC is proposing to create an ecosystem
conservation plan. To be completed within the nextthree years, the conservation plan will
establish conservation priorities and guiding principles for the protection of significant
ecosystems. It will bring precision to the measures necessary to manage the ecosystems and will
orient recreational activities in respect of the enviromnent. This document will pass through the
approval process established by the Nee.

iii) otherNCC

plans, program; and policies

In addition to the Plan for Canada's Capital and the 2005 Gatineau Park Master Plan, there are
general NCC plans, programs and policies that apply to the park. These include the Corporate
Policy on Environmental Sustainability, the Corporate Environmental Management Strategy, the

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Corporate Natural Resources Research Program, the Environmental Action Plan and the
Strategic Transportation initiative.

iv) other federal policies and strategies


Other more general federal policies and strategies apply to Gatineau Park. These include: the
Wildlife Policy for Canada, the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation, the Policy for the
Management of Fish Habitat, the Federal Water Policy, the Recreational Fisheries Policy and
the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy. For more information on these policies, consult the
document entitled Gatineau Park Natural Resources Management Program 2004.

v) provincial policies and strate2ies


There are also policies and strategies of the province of Quebec that apply to Gatineau Park. In
particular, the Policy for the Protection of Lakeshores, Riverbanks and Littoral Zones includes
measures such as the preservation of environmental quality and biological diversity, and control
of interventions in riparian and aquatic environments. Every project, activity and work covered
by the Policy must be authorized in advance by the Ministere de 1'Environnement, and must also
comply with municipal by-laws. The Quebec Strategy on Biological Diversity (1996) was
developed as an implementation mechanism for the Convention on Biological Diversity. It
contains a number of specific recommendations concerning the need for researchand.new
knowledge on natur~l resources, along with measures such as the protection of endangered
elements ofbiodiversity through surveys, research and the development of conservation and
restoration plans.

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5. What deficiencies
interest groups?

in the current

"legal protection"

have been identified

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bv special

Special interest groups like CP A WS argue that the absence of a metes and bounds description for
Gatineau Park means that the NCe can unilaterally alter the boundaries of the park, in order to
sell parcels of land or develop what would otherwise be property within the park. These groups
also believe that the lack of a legislated guiding vision or purpose for the park may cause the
NCe to succumb to local development pressures with respect to lands in the park. Although
.nere are general limitations set out in the National Capital Act on the sale of land or an interest
in land by the NCC, special interest groups note that there are no specific limitations and
prohibitions on the use and disposal of lands in Gatineau Park, unlike the case for the national
parks created under the Canada National Parks Act. Finally, CP A WS believes that the general
powers given to the NCe in the National Capital Act and the regulation-making authority set out
in the Act are not sufficiently clear to permit the NCC to engage in the conservation and
protection activities that it is proposing for the park. CP A WS would like to see a strengthened
regulation-making power and a robust permit system enacted with respect to Gatineau Park.

6. Future evolution

of the issue without government

intervention

The orientation of the 2005 Master Plan, which puts the accent on the conservation of the natural
environment, fits well with current thinking in North America with respect to.the planning of
nature spaces. As an example, in the case of the national parks in Canada, the necessity to .
protect the natural environment was reflected in an amendment to the National Parks Act in 2000
in order to give priority to the preservation of ecological integrity over all other aspects of park
management.
As for Gatineau Park, the analysis of issues affecting the park that preceded the approval of the
2005 Master Plan demonstrated that keepirt~ to the status qUO in tenns of park management
would involve some serious risks. Urban growth in the areas encircling the park poses nSKs of
habitat loss, interruption of natural processes and the isolation of ecosystems. The great
popularity of the park among residents of the National Capital Region and tourists risks
decreasing the quality of recreational activity, increasing automobile traffic and increasing
conflicts among users.
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7. What objectives would the NCC be hoping to attain through enhanced "legal
protection" for Gatineau Park?
The NCC would be seeking to attain the objectives that follow by altering the current legislative
framework governing Gatineau Park.
- follow through on commitments made in the Master Plan
to protect biological diversity and ecological integrity, and
to protect the park's boundaries
z,-.3
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(b)

- make it a legislated requirement that the NCCprepare a Master Plan for Gatineau Park, define
the purpose of the Master Plan and set out rules for its preparation, evaluation and revision;
- create a legal statement of the mission and objectives of the park (a natural park created for the
benefit of Canadians - present and future - for their enjoyment, appreciation and enrichment);
- provide legal tools to link the objectives for the park with the overall vision for the National
Capital Region;
- legally enshrine guiding principles for management of the park, including land and natural
resources management, and the context in which this management will occur in the park;
- use legal tools to ensure that the primary focus of the park is protection of the environment,
with the recreational aspects of the park being a secondary focus;

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- assuage special interest groups' fears that development will occur in the Park and undermine
conservation efforts;
- retain the NCC's authority over the park;

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