Operational context and key risks

Operational context

The number of visitors to Battlefields Park varies based on a range of factors. For example, bad weather or unfavourable economic or social conditions can affect Park attendance and lead to decreased revenues. To counter this risk, the NBC must continue to diversify its clientele. To do this, it must adapt its activities, events and exhibits to the market and continually promote them through its communications tools and the partnerships.

The NBC has very little financial flexibility with permanent fiscal restraint measures and new challenges or mandatory projects (emerald ash borer, special events, unsecured rental of a museum floor following the tenants’ departure, implementation of the 2018–22 Corporate Plan, repair work, management relocation, etc.). The NBC must continue to analyze its priorities in depth, exercise rigorous control over its budget and closely monitor its project-related expenses at every stage. It must continue to be able to quickly intervene in the event of cost overruns and, if necessary, quickly revise all budgets and priorities.

Battlefields Park welcomes around 4 million visitors every year. This makes it vulnerable to the risk of accident and property damage. Thus, the NBC will continue to pursue its conservation and development objectives also with a view to reducing the risks associated with the delivery of its activities and services. The NBC will continue to deploy efforts to minimize the risk to user and staff safety and ensure its facilities are compliant with safety standards. For its part, the NBC’s Security Service will continue working to raise awareness among Park visitors, intervening with either a preventive or a punitive approach, as circumstances dictate, and issuing tickets for offences when required.

The Park hosts a number of events every year: international competitions, cultural events, runs, walks, fundraisers, Fête nationale, and so on. The number of participants ranges from hundreds to thousands, depending on the event. Ensuring a balance between the site’s historical significance and its role as an urban park is still a challenge. To meet this challenge, the NBC must work hard to ensure respect for this prestigious, historic, heritage site by evaluating all land use requests through the lens of its mandate and Land Use Policy. Furthermore, the NBC must extend its efforts to raise awareness among event organizers regarding the importance of having consideration for this unique site in the city of Quebec. The NBC will ensure that agreements are respected by conducting rigorous, on-site follow-up, and it will continue to work in collaboration with its partners.

By virtue of its central location at the very heart of the city of Quebec, Battlefields Park needs to work in concert with its neighbours, partners and stakeholders. Some large-scale events and construction projects can have a direct impact on the site’s accessibility or integrity.

The NBC will therefore continue monitoring any events or construction projects near the Park and ensure that mitigation measures are put in place.

Key risks

Park attendance is affected by the weather as well as social and economic conditions, which, in turn, has an impact on the NBC’s revenue.

Due, in part, to the $599,000 permanent reduction in the 2013-14 operating budget under the government’s initiatives to reduce the deficit and, in part, to new financial issues that have arisen, including the increase in payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) in 2017-18, the NBC’s financial capacity for investment projects has been considerably reduced. The NBC will have to dip into its operating budget to cover increases in certain expenses, such as annual increases in the hourly rate for security guards hired through the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, increased fuel costs for vehicles, increased labour costs when different contracts are awarded (masonry, mechanical engineering, construction, IT, etc.) and the $90,000 annual increase in the PILT, due when the lease is up for the City of Québec, which occupied one floor of the Plains of Abraham Museum.

The risk of accidents or damage to NBC property must be reduced as much as possible in order to maintain open access to Park services without posing any danger to the health or safety of visitors or NBC staff. To reduce this risk, the NBC maintains and repairs its property to remain compliant with health and safety standards and the building code.

The risk of an imbalance between the site’s historical significance and its role as an urban park is a major issue for the NBC. A balance must be struck between the accessibility, conservation and development of the Park.

In 2018-19, some institutions will be doing major work on their facilities located in or around Battlefields Park. The NBC will ensure that effective mitigation measures are put in place to prevent environmental risks, damage to Park property or negative impacts on the accessibility, enjoyment or tranquillity of the site.


Risk response strategy

Link to department’s Core Responsibilities

Link to mandate letter commitments or to government-wide and departmental priorities (as applicable)

  • Bad weather, poor economic and social conditions

  • Promotional efforts to increase and diversify clientele

  • Development of new partnerships

  • Promotion of heritage

  • Internal Services

  • Achieving the NBC’s mandate

  • Budget reduction measures and new financial pressures

  • Rigorous budget control

  • Monitoring of actual expenses of different sectors in order to revise all budgets and priorities in a timely manner

  • Promotion of heritage

  • Conservation

  • Internal Services

  • Achieving the NBC’s mandate

  • Respecting the financial plan

  • Accidents in Park and damage to NBC property

  • High-quality general Park maintenance

  • Regular repair work

  • Prevention and patrols of grounds by Security Service

  • Conservation

  • Achieving the NBC’s mandate

  • Investing in infrastructure

  • A clean environment

  • Imbalance between Park’s historical and urban missions

  • Thoroughly analyze each land use request, based on Land Use Policy

  • Favour activities organized by the NBC that are linked to its mandate.

  • Ensure users can enjoy the Plains with few obstacles or activities by external organizers.

  • Rigorous monitoring of grounds to ensure greater respect for the site

  • Conservation

  • Achieving the NBC’s mandate

  • A clean environment

  • Environmental impacts and nuisances to users during construction work in the Park and its surroundings

  • Constant monitoring during construction

  • Regular meetings with involved parties

  • Implementation of mitigation measures to protect Park and reduce nuisances for users

  • Conservation

  • Achieving the NBC’s mandate

  • A clean environment