Operational context

Operational context

As the first historic national park in Canada, Battlefields Park is a historical, natural and recreational site located in the heart of the Old Capital, for which the founding intention was based on a desire to make it "a national park worthy of commemorating the great events that took place there". In this respect, the territory managed by the National Battlefields Commission (NBC) has characteristics that combine to define its specificity. Among these is the fact that, because of its historical imprint, it is a site of great significance in the collective memory. In addition, the Park has archaeological potential, as well as vestiges, including a blockhouse, a temporary citadel, buildings of heritage value, etc. The NBC has a mandate to preserve this historic Canadian legacy for future generations. It must ensure the preservation of the characteristics of its territory and its historical and heritage resources, including monuments, statues, busts, and interpretation panels, among others. As part of its mandate, the NBC must also preserve and develop its arboreal heritage, floral arrangements, green spaces, and their physiognomy.

In 2021‑22, the NBC's financial leeway is limited to current operations. The NBC must therefore conduct a careful review of its priorities, maintain strict control over its budget and closely monitor project-related expenditures at each stage of development. It must be equipped to intervene immediately in the event of a cost overrun and, when required, to review all budgets and priorities. The NBC is obliged to not carry out any new projects for the period 2021‑22.

The NBC will continue its core responsibilities, on the one hand, to conserve the park through routine maintenance and the safety aspect and, on the other hand, to promote the heritage through enhancement, particularly by providing its activities and services, in compliance with the prevailing health measures. The NBC will make efforts to minimize risks to the safety of users and staff and to ensure that its facilities and services meet safety standards. For its part, the NBC's Security Service will maintain its awareness work with park visitors by intervening with a method adapted to the circumstances, either preventive or punitive with the issuance of statements of offence.

In addition, several factors may contribute to the attendance of the Park. For example, favourable meteorological, economic or social conditions have an impact on park attendance and result in increased revenues. The current experience of the COVID‑19 pandemic has an inverse impact on the NBC's revenues (unfavourable conditions) and on attendance. To offset this type of disadvantage, the NBC must continue to focus on diversifying its visitors and the form of its services. It must be innovative and creative in making certain activities virtually accessible. It must adapt to the market in order to maintain its range of activities and exhibitions and promote them through its promotional tools and the partnerships it has developed.

As an urban park, the site of the Plains of Abraham is a coveted location for event organizers to make it the host site for their activities. These include international competitions, cultural events, races, marches, fundraisers, Fête nationale, etc. The number of participants in these events varies from hundreds to thousands, depending on the case. Considering the NBC's mandate, it is essential to maintain a balance between the historical vocation and the urban park vocation. In order to respond to this, the NBC must rigorously ensure that the characteristics of this prestigious, historic and heritage site are respected by evaluating all requests for use of the land and by taking into account its mandate and Policy for Using the Grounds.

The accessibility and integrity of the territory can be affected by certain construction sites or major events. The NBC must continually adapt to the various changes on the periphery of the park and reach agreement with its neighbors, partners and stakeholders. It will continue its efforts to raise awareness among the latter about the importance of protecting and conserving this unique site in Quebec City and will ensure that mitigation measures are implemented. In a spirit of co-operation, the NBC will continue to monitor and supervise any event or work site in the park.