Federal Agencies Responsible for the CHRS
The Parks Canada Agency Act states that it is in the national interest for Parks Canada to “provide leadership and support to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System.”
A Canadian Heritage Rivers Secretariat is maintained within Parks Canada to:
- provide support and assistance to participating jurisdictions and the CHRS Board for the preparation of studies and documents required for the nomination, designation and monitoring of Canadian Heritage Rivers,
- develop communications and promotional products,
- prepare annual reports, and
- organize Board meetings.
Parks Canada is also directly responsible for six Canadian Heritage Rivers:
- The Alsek River, in Kluane National Park
- The Rideau Waterway, in Rideau Canal National Historic Site
- The Athabasca River, in Jasper National Park
- The Kicking Horse River, in Yoho National Park
- The North Saskatchewan River, in Banff National Park
- The South Nahanni River, in Nahanni National Park Reserve
The minister responsible for Parks Canada (the Minister of Environment Canada) gives final approval for nominating and designating each Canadian Heritage River.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
AANDC participates on the CHRS as a Board member. River nominations and designations in Northwest Territories and Nunavut must be jointly approved by the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the responsible territorial minister.
Provincial/Territorial Agencies responsible for the CHRS
The following provincial and territorial agencies are responsible for the CHRS. Each agency has a seat on the Canadian Heritage Rivers Board. Key roles for each province/territory include supporting the nomination and designation and monitoring activities of rivers within their own jurisdiction.
Newfoundland & Labrador Parks and Natural Areas (part of the province’s Department of Environment and Conservation).
Nova Scotia Environment (Protected Protected Areas & Wetlands division).
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Ontario Parks Branch).
Saskatchewan Parks (part of the province’s Department of Environment).
British Columbia Ministry of Environment – BC Parks
Northwest Territories Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (Tourism and Parks division).
The Province of Quebec has developed its own network of Aquatic Reserves to protect and promote rivers. This network is complementary to the CHRS.
Contact the Board member in your province or territory.