Operating Context and Key Risks

Operating context

As the first national park in Canada, the Battlefields Park Historic Site consists of an area developed as an urban park that is sensitive from an archaeological point of view and includes a rich built heritage that it is responsible for maintaining and conserving.

In 2018-19, the NBC continued to work to promote its heritage by offering individual and group clientele activities, theme days and historical and cultural exhibitions.

Year after year, the NBC receives various land use requests from event organizers. Compliance with the Policy for Using the Grounds and specific agreements is ensured through rigorous supervision by the Institutional Affairs Directorate. In 2018-19, the Plains of Abraham were the host site for major events such as the Quebec City International Summer Festival, the Grand prix cycliste de Québec, cross-country skiing competitions as part of the 2019 Quebec Winter Games, the 2019 FIS Cross-Country Skiing World Cup Finals, etc. Monitoring of events ensures respect for the unique, prestigious, historic and heritage site in the heart of downtown Quebec City, in keeping with the NBC's mandate.

The NBC has had discussions with certain partners for projects that have an impact on the Plains. For example, it met with Quebec City to discuss work, property charges and maintenance. Discussions also continued with the Department of National Defence on the construction of a temporary ramp to provide emergency vehicles with access to the Citadel. Meetings were also held with Parks Canada for work on the St. Louis Bastion and the West Ravelin of the fortifications. The NBC plans to implement mitigation measures for all events or work sites on the periphery of its territory.

Visitation to the park is based on many factors such as weather conditions, land use, unfavourable economic or social conditions, etc. The park is used for a number of reasons. The NBC maintains an annual attendance of about 4 million visitors. This reality inevitably gives rise to the risk of accidents and damage to park property, which it tries to remedy in order to meet its objectives of conservation and development of the land and its infrastructure. Holding the G7 in the Greater Quebec City area resulted in a 5.9% drop in group bookings at the Plains of Abraham Museum, in addition to requiring the investment of human and financial resources for the preparations in which the NBC was involved with Quebec City and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

During the fiscal year, the NBC met its statutory revenue forecasts in order to maintain its operations. However, because revenues are limited, they do not allow for the development of its programs or the carrying out of major renovations to its capital assets. As part of the Canadian Heritage portfolio, the NBC, through its Director of Administration and its Chairman, has strengthened ties with the Department in order to rebalance the operating budget and ensure the NBC's sustainability so that it can pursue its mission.

In 2018-2019, the NBC underwent major changes within its board of directors and senior management, particularly with the appointment of a new chairman and four new commissioners.

Key Risks

The number of visitors to the park depends on climatic, economic and social conditions and has a direct impact on NBC revenues.

The NBC must anticipate the risk of an imbalance between its historic vocation and that of an urban park, particularly by determining the type of land use it allows, preserving the site's accessibility, conservation and development.

The risk of accidents and damage to NBC property is always present. To prevent these risks, the NBC maintains its assets in good condition by carrying out repairs and maintenance of the premises, while complying with health and safety standards and the Building Code.

RisksMitigation strategy and effectivenessLink to Departmental programsLink to Mandate Letter commitments and Government-wide and Departmental Priorities

1. Imbalance between historical and urban park vocation

(existing risk)

  • The NBC analyzed all land use requests under the Policy for Using the Grounds and ensured rigorous follow-up in the field to ensure that the site was respected.
  • The NBC promoted the activities it organized that were related to its mandate.
  • The NBC ensured that users could enjoy the Plains without too many obstacles related to the presence of activities by partners or external organizations.
  • Conservation
  • Fulfilling the NBC’s mandate
  • A healthy environment

2. Accidents in the Park and damage to NBC property

(existing risk)

  • The NBC carried out general maintenance of first quality of sites and regular repair work. Its Security Service carried out preventive work, particularly through various forms of patrols (bicycle, golf cart, on foot, by car and snowmobile).
  • The risk mitigation strategy was effective since the NBC maintained its infrastructure in good condition and did not receive any complaints about accidents in the park.
  • Conservation
  • Fulfilling the NBC's Mandate
  • Investing in infrastructure
  • A healthy environment

3. Autonomous revenues

(existing risk)

  • The risk mitigation strategy was effective since the NBC achieved its revenue objectives.
  • Internal services
  • Promotion of Heritage
  • Fulfilling the NBC's Mandate
  • Keeping within budget