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Canada National Parks Act (S.C. 2000, c. 32)

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2019-09-04. Previous Versions

Canada National Parks Act

S.C. 2000, c. 32

Assented to 2000-10-20

An Act respecting the national parks of Canada

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canada National Parks Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this Act.

    community plan

    community plan means a land use plan for a park community. (plan communautaire)

    ecological integrity

    ecological integrity means, with respect to a park, a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes. (intégrité écologique)

    enforcement officer

    enforcement officer means a person designated under section 19 or belonging to a class of persons so designated. (agent de l’autorité)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency. (ministre)

    park

    park means a national park of Canada named and described in Schedule 1. (parc)

    park community

    park community means any of the following communities:

    • (a) the visitor centre of Field in Yoho National Park of Canada;

    • (b) the town of Banff in Banff National Park of Canada;

    • (c) the visitor centre of Lake Louise in Banff National Park of Canada;

    • (d) the visitor centre of Waterton Lakes Park in Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada;

    • (e) the town of Jasper in Jasper National Park of Canada;

    • (f) the visitor centre of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park of Canada; or

    • (g) the visitor centre of Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park of Canada. (collectivité)

    park reserve

    park reserve means a national park reserve of Canada named and described in Schedule 2. (réserve)

    park warden

    park warden means a person designated under section 18. (garde de parc)

    public lands

    public lands means lands, including submerged lands, that belong to Her Majesty in right of Canada or that the Government of Canada has the power to dispose of, whether or not such disposal is subject to the terms of any agreement between the Government of Canada and the government of a province. (terres domaniales)

    superintendent

    superintendent means an officer appointed under the Parks Canada Agency Act who holds the office of superintendent of a park or of a national historic site of Canada to which this Act applies, and includes any person appointed under that Act who is authorized by such an officer to act on the officer’s behalf. (directeur)

  • Marginal note:Aboriginal rights

    (2) For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing aboriginal or treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 2
  • 2002, c. 18, s. 30
  • 2005, c. 2, s. 7
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 18(F)

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

National Parks of Canada

Marginal note:Parks dedicated to public

  •  (1) The national parks of Canada are hereby dedicated to the people of Canada for their benefit, education and enjoyment, subject to this Act and the regulations, and the parks shall be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

  • Marginal note:For greater certainty

    (1.1) For greater certainty, nothing in this Act limits the authority of the Minister to fix fees under section 23 or 24 of the Parks Canada Agency Act.

  • Marginal note:Purpose of reserves

    (2) Park reserves are established in accordance with this Act for the purpose referred to in subsection (1) where an area or a portion of an area proposed for a park is subject to a claim in respect of aboriginal rights that has been accepted for negotiation by the Government of Canada.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 4
  • 2002, c. 18, s. 31
  • 2013, c. 28, s. 13

Marginal note:National parks of Canada

  •  (1) Subject to section 7, the Governor in Council may, by order, for the purpose of establishing or enlarging a park, amend Schedule 1 by adding the name and a description of the park, or by altering the description of the park, if the Governor in Council is satisfied that

    • (a) Her Majesty in right of Canada has clear title to or an unencumbered right of ownership in the lands to be included in the park; and

    • (b) the government of the province in which those lands are situated has agreed to their use for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Judicial finding as to title

    (2) If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that Her Majesty in right of Canada does not have clear title to or an unencumbered right of ownership in lands within a park, the Governor in Council may, by order, amend Schedule 1 by removing the name and description of the park or by altering that description.

  • Marginal note:No reduction of park area

    (3) Except as provided by subsection (2), no amendment may be made by the Governor in Council to Schedule 1 for the purpose of removing any portion of a park.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 5
  • 2002, c. 18, s. 31.1

Marginal note:Reserves for parks

  •  (1) Subject to section 7, the Governor in Council may, by order, for the purpose of establishing or enlarging a park reserve, amend Schedule 2 by adding the name and a description of the reserve, or by altering the description of the reserve, if the Governor in Council is satisfied that the government of the province in which the lands to be included in the reserve are situated has agreed to their use for that purpose.

  • Marginal note:Reserve lands becoming park

    (2) Where a claim referred to in subsection 4(2) is settled, the Governor in Council may, by order,

    • (a) amend Schedule 2 by removing the name and description of the park reserve or by altering that description; and

    • (b) if the settlement provides that the park reserve or part of it is to become a park or part of one, amend Schedule 1 by adding the name and a description of the park or by altering the description of the park, if the Governor in Council is satisfied that Her Majesty in right of Canada has clear title to or an unencumbered right of ownership in the lands to be included in the park.

  • Marginal note:Judicial finding as to title

    (3) If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that Her Majesty in right of Canada does not have clear title to or an unencumbered right of ownership in lands within a park reserve, the Governor in Council may, by order, amend Schedule 2 by removing the name and description of the reserve or by altering that description.

  • Marginal note:No reduction of reserve area

    (4) Except as provided by subsections (2) and (3), no amendment may be made by the Governor in Council to Schedule 2 for the purpose of removing any portion of a park reserve.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 6
  • 2002, c. 18, s. 31.2

Marginal note:Amendment to be tabled and referred

  •  (1) Before an amendment is made to Schedule 1 or 2 for a purpose referred to in subsection 5(1) or 6(1), respectively, the proposed amendment shall be tabled in each House of Parliament, together with a report on the proposed park or park reserve that includes information on consultations undertaken and any agreements reached with respect to its establishment, and an amendment so tabled stands referred to the standing committee of each House that normally considers matters relating to parks or to any other committee that that House may designate for the purposes of this section.

  • Marginal note:Disapproval by committee

    (2) The committee of each House may, within 30 sitting days after the amendment is tabled, report to the House that it disapproves the amendment, in which case a motion to concur in the report shall be put to the House in accordance with its procedures.

  • Marginal note:Amendment allowed

    (3) A proposed amendment to Schedule 1 or 2 may be made if 31 sitting days have elapsed after the tabling of the amendment in both Houses and no motion referred to in subsection (2) has been proposed in either House.

  • Marginal note:Amendment not allowed

    (4) A proposed amendment to Schedule 1 or 2 may not be made if either House passes a motion referred to in subsection (2).

Administration

Marginal note:Management by Minister

  •  (1) The Minister is responsible for the administration, management and control of parks, including the administration of public lands in parks and, for that purpose, the Minister may use and occupy those lands.

  • Marginal note:Ecological integrity

    (2) Maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes, shall be the first priority of the Minister when considering all aspects of the management of parks.

Marginal note:Park communities

 Powers in relation to land use planning and development in park communities may not be exercised by a local government body, except as provided in the agreement referred to in section 35.

Marginal note:Agreements — general

  •  (1) The Minister may enter into agreements with federal and provincial ministers and agencies, local and aboriginal governments, bodies established under land claims agreements and other persons and organizations for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

  • Marginal note:Agreements — particular

    (2) The Minister may enter into agreements

    • (a) with any person for the development, operation and maintenance in a park of hydro-electric power pursuant to the Dominion Water Power Act for use in a park;

    • (b) with a local or aboriginal government having jurisdiction on lands adjacent to a park for the supply of water from the park to any place on those adjacent lands; and

    • (c) with any person located on lands in or adjacent to a park for the supply of water from the park to those lands for domestic purposes or for use in establishments providing services to park visitors.

  • Marginal note:Traditional water supply

    (2.1) An agreement entered into pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) must take into account any traditional supply of water from the park.

  • Marginal note:Use of land

    (3) An agreement entered into by the Minister with a provincial minister or agency may authorize the use of public lands in a park, but the Minister may terminate the agreement if those lands cease to be used as authorized.

Marginal note:Management plans

  •  (1) The Minister shall, within five years after a park is established, prepare a management plan for the park containing a long-term ecological vision for the park, a set of ecological integrity objectives and indicators and provisions for resource protection and restoration, zoning, visitor use, public awareness and performance evaluation, which shall be tabled in each House of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Review of management plans by Minister

    (2) The Minister shall review the management plan for each park at least every 10 years and shall cause any amendments to the plan to be tabled in each House of Parliament.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 11
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 324

Marginal note:Public consultation

  •  (1) The Minister shall, where applicable, provide opportunities for public participation at the national, regional and local levels, including participation by aboriginal organizations, bodies established under land claims agreements and representatives of park communities, in the development of parks policy and regulations, the establishment of parks, the formulation of management plans, land use planning and development in relation to park communities and any other matters that the Minister considers relevant.

  • Marginal note:Progress reports

    (2) At least every two years, the Minister shall cause to be tabled in each House of Parliament a report on the state of the parks and on progress made towards the establishment of new parks.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 12
  • 2017, c. 26, s. 32(F)

Park Lands

Marginal note:No disposition or use without authority

 Except as permitted by this Act or the regulations,

  • (a) no public lands or right or interest in public lands in a park may be disposed of; and

  • (b) no person shall use or occupy public lands in a park.

Marginal note:Wilderness areas

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, by regulation, declare any area of a park that exists in a natural state or that is capable of returning to a natural state to be a wilderness area.

  • Marginal note:Maintaining character

    (2) The Minister may not authorize any activity to be carried on in a wilderness area that is likely to impair the wilderness character of the area.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) but subject to any conditions that the Minister considers necessary, the Minister may authorize activities to be carried on in a wilderness area for purposes of

    • (a) park administration;

    • (b) public safety;

    • (c) the provision of basic user facilities including trails and rudimentary campsites;

    • (d) the carrying on of activities in accordance with regulations made under section 17; or

    • (e) access by air to remote parts of the wilderness area.

  • Marginal note:Time limit for declaration

    (4) Where a new or amended management plan sets out an area of a park for declaration as a wilderness area, the Minister shall recommend such declaration to the Governor in Council within one year after the plan or amendment is tabled under section 11.

Marginal note:Disposition of public lands

  •  (1) The Minister may

    • (a) enter into leases of, and easements or servitudes over, public lands in a park that are used for

      • (i) the right-of-way of an existing railway line or the site of a railway station,

      • (ii) the right-of-way of an existing oil or gas pipeline or the site of a tank, reservoir, pump, rack, loading facility or other installation connected with such a pipeline, or

      • (iii) the right-of-way of an existing telecommunication or electrical transmission line or the site of an exchange, office, substation or other installation connected with such a transmission line;

    • (b) enter into leases of, and easements or servitudes over, public lands in a park that are required for any alteration to or deviation from a right-of-way referred to in paragraph (a) or for the relocation of any station or installation referred to in that paragraph; or

    • (c) enter into leases or licences of occupation of, and easements or servitudes over, public lands in a park for the installation and operation of radio and television repeater stations, microwave towers, weather and telemetry stations and cosmic ray and other scientific monitoring stations.

  • Marginal note:Use of lands

    (2) Public lands in a park in which a right or interest is held for any purpose under this Act remain part of the park and, if those lands cease to be used for that purpose, the right or interest reverts to the Crown.

  • Marginal note:Termination, etc.

    (3) The Minister may terminate, or accept the surrender or resiliation of, a lease of public lands in a park and may terminate, or accept the relinquishment of, a licence of occupation of such lands or an easement or servitude over such lands.

  • Marginal note:Expropriation if interests

    (4) The Expropriation Act applies in respect of the taking or acquisition of an interest in public lands in a park for the purposes of this Act where the holder of the interest does not consent and there is no cause for termination under subsection (3).

  • Marginal note:Meaning of terms

    (5) For the purposes of subsection (4), the Minister is deemed to be a minister referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition Minister in section 2 of that Act and the Parks Canada Agency is deemed to be a department named in Schedule I to the Financial Administration Act.

  • Marginal note:No other expropriation

    (6) Notwithstanding the Expropriation Act, Her Majesty in right of Canada may not acquire any interest in land by expropriation for the purpose of enlarging a park or establishing a new park.

  • 2000, c. 32, s. 15
  • 2009, c. 17, s. 2
 
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