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The Federal Provincial Parks Council (FPPC) was established as a result of the 1961 Resources for Tomorrow conference. Conference participants recognized the need for improved dialogue on resources management and the benefits of improved liaison between Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial park agencies. The first meeting/conference of the Federal Provincial Parks Council (now the Canadian Parks Council) took place in Ottawa in 1962. The mission of the Council is to provide a national focus for coordinated intergovernmental leadership and action on park issues in Canada, to facilitate the exchange of technical information and expertise, and to foster joint development and support of parks initiatives and programs. Council members share the common interests of:
• protecting natural and cultural resources within provincial, territorial and national parks;
• encouraging the appreciation of the natural and cultural heritage resources in Canada’s parks systems;
• providing a range of outdoor recreational opportunities for the enjoyment and appreciation of nature within the parks systems; and
• encouraging tourism for the good of the economy.
The Canadian Parks Council is comprised of the heads of park agencies within Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions. The Council directors appoint a chairman and set up an Executive Committee that is responsible for the overall administration of the Council. Originally, the Council was split into two Committees: The Policy Committee, made up of Deputy Ministers and Assistant Deputy Ministers, and the Technical Committee, made up of Parks Directors. The Council focuses on major park management and policy issues, prepares papers and briefs on topics of national interest, and organizes meetings of senior government officials and park ministers. In 1972, the Council recommended that a secretariat be established to administer the business of the Council and to provide for the collection, collation and dissemination of information to member agencies. A secretariat was established in 1975, staffed by a part-time coordinator/national manager. The national managers to date have been: Johnny Jackson (1975-1976), Don Coombs (1977-1985), Walter Danyluk (1986-1987), Charles Velay (1988-1995), Eugene Murphy (1996-2001), and John Good (2001-present).
A number of meetings are held throughout the year. Annual conferences have been held since 1962 in a wide variety of locations across Canada, and conference proceedings are published annually. There are also Ministers’, Deputy Ministers’, and Directors’ meetings, as well as Executive Committee and other committee meetings as required.
Two initiatives undertaken by the Council have had long-reaching effects. In 1973 the Parks Officers’ Course in Park Management and Administration (later called the Parks Management Course) was established to provide an opportunity for broadening and upgrading park personnel in park operations. Offered annually in the fall at the Alberta Environmental Training Centre in Hinton, Alberta and intermittently in Fredericton, New Brunswick, this well-respected course has been taught to hundreds of Parks Officers, Parks Managers, District Managers, Park Wardens and Park Rangers. The second major initiative was the creation of Parks Day in 1990, a national event that showcases parks and historic sites in every province and territory. Held the third Saturday in July, Parks Day is celebrated in parks across Canada, and numerous activities are planned to promote the awareness and appreciation of Canada’s parks. In the early years, different provinces took the lead in coordinating Parks Day each year; however, the Federal Provincial Parks Council entered into a five-year agreement with the Canadian Parks Partnership in 1997 for the coordination of Parks Days and the implementation of a marketing communications strategy.
In addition to the above two initiatives and the work carried out by the various committees, the Canadian Parks Council has undertaken a number of special projects. The Council prepares the Agency Highlights Reports, as well as various statistical reports. The Strategic Framework project was undertaken in 1995, which identified a number of high priority initiatives. In 1998, the Federal Provincial Parks Council began the Economic Framework Project that was undertaken to help members speak with one voice when talking about the economic benefits of protected areas within their jurisdictions. There were several reports commissioned in connection with the Economic Framework Project. In 2002, the Strategic Framework was again reviewed, the vision and mission statements were renewed, and the new name Canadian Parks Council (CPC) was adopted to more fully recognize the diversity of its member agencies.
The Council has established relationships with a number of related organizations, including the Canadian Council of Resource and Environment Ministers (CCREM), the National Association of State Parks Directors (NASPD), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the IUCN/World Heritage Union, and the Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA).
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The fonds consists of records created or received by the staff of the Canadian Parks Council. These include correspondence and administration files related to the organization and maintenance of the Council, including the structuring of the secretariat and the coordinator’s position. Many of the records relate to the annual Canadian Parks Council conferences that have been held since 1962. There are also minutes and other records pertaining to Ministers’, Deputy Ministers’, and Director’s meetings, as well as a variety of committee meetings. The fonds also includes records pertaining to special projects and initiatives undertaken by the Canadian Parks Council including the Parks Management Course, Parks Day, as well as the liaison with other related organizations.
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The fonds has been arranged into the following series: Administrative files Conference proceedings, seminars, and related reports Ministers’ Deputy Ministers’, Directors’ and Executive committee meetings Committees Special projects, events and initiatives Related organizations
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Some of the records are in French.