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Local community participation in the establishment of national parks : planning for cooperation Octeau, Claudia 1999

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LOCAL COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL PARKS: PLANNING FOR COOPERATION BY CLAUDIA OCTEAU B.SC. BIOLOGY/ECOLOGY, UNIVERSITE DU QUEBEC A MONTREAL A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES WE ACCEPT THIS THESIS AS CONFORMING TO THE REQUIRED STANDARDS THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA FEBRUARY 1999 ©Claudia Octeau, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of % O J r C £ t ^ C ^ m O / v f Chd 6 r W C A f W ; k x \ S\vxlu&S The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT The planning and management of parks and protected areas has become increasingly complex. Parks can no longer be managed as islands of wilderness in light of the interconnectedness of the social, economic and biophysical systems. Many protected areas today are failing to reach their conservation mandate while the sustainability of others is threatened. Among the predominant threats to national parks are those associated with surrounding communities. The need to actively involve local communities in protected areas planning and management, in order to build cooperative relationships between communities and the park agency, has been recognized since the late 70's. However, the traditional centralized planning approach has created a challenge for many park agencies to engage iri effective public participation. This thesis is an evaluation of Parks Canada's approach to public participation. Nine criteria of effective public participation were selected from the literature for the analytical framework. The evaluation was carried out in two steps. The first consisted in a detailed evaluation of the public participation approach used in the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park (SSLMP) establishment process. The second step consisted in the analysis of the general approach to public participation and in the identification of the main constraints to effective public participation within Parks Canada. The evaluations were based on a series of interviews with Parks Canada personnel and other stakeholders involved in the establishment of national parks. In the SSLMP evaluation, it was found that most of the criteria were not considered in the development of a public participation approach. The main forms of public participation practiced consisted of public information sessions followed by public hearings. These forms of public participation contrasted significantly with the demand of the local communities for active involvement. The creation of the Consultation Committee towards the end of the establishment phase provided the communities with an opportunity for active involvement. The planners interviewed in both evaluations had limited knowledge of the theory and practice of public participation. The constraints identified by planners to the consideration of the criteria included time, money, the politics of the establishment process, and various technical and organizational limitations. As a result of the evaluation it was concluded that proposing criteria of effective public participation in order to assist planners in the development of a public participation strategy would not alone suffice to assure more effective public participation practices. Three areas of intervention were proposed to address 1) the skills development need 2) the development of an integrated planning approach which includes ii public participation, and 3) the disparity between the policies and the actual practice of public participation at Parks Canada. T A B L E OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT T A B L E OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 1. THESIS INTRODUCTION 1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT 1 1.2 GOAL AND OBJECTIVES 2 1.3 STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS 3 1.4 THESIS FOCUS AND ASSUMPTIONS 3 2. A RATIONALE FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN PROTECTED A R E A ESTABLISHMENT 2.1 INTRODUCTION 5 2.2 THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT FOR INCREASED PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 5 2.1.1 Public Participation and Democracy 6 2.1.2 Human Nature, Democracy and Public Participation 9 2.3 THE CONSERVATION CONTEXT FOR INCREASED PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 12 2.2.1 Sustainability Defined 12 2.2.2 The Central Notion of Interconnectedness 14 2.2.3 Increased Public Participation: A Prerequisite for Conservation Within Protected Areas.. 15 2.4 SUMMARY 28 3. METHODS AND ANALYTICAL F R A M E W O R K 3.1 INTRODUCTION 30 3.2 METHODS 30 3.2.1 Research Approach 30 3.2.2 Data Collection 33 3.2.3 Document Analysis 35 3.2.4 Data Analysis. 36 3.2.5 Data Validity/Research Limitations 36 3.3 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK. 38 3.3.1 Theoretical Foundation of the Analytical Framework 38 3.3.2 Criteria for Effective Public Participation .45 3.4 SUMMARY 59 4. BACKGROUND TO T H E INSTITUTION OF PARKS CANADA 4.1 INTRODUCTION 60 4.2 HISTORICAL PROFILE 60 4.3 ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY AND THE PRESENT STATE OF NATIONAL PARKS 62 4.3.1 The Auditor General's Evaluation of Parks Canada. 64 4.4 CREATION OF THE PARK CANADA AGENCY 65 4.5 PARKS CANADA'S ACTS AND POLICIES 66 4.5.1 The National Parks Act and the National Marine Conservation Areas Act. 66 4.5.2 The National Parks Policy 67 4.5.3 The National Marine Conservation Areas Policy. 70 4.6 THE SYSTEMS PLAN AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL PARKS 72 4.7 SUMMARY 77 iv 5. T H E ESTABLISHMENT OF T H E SAGUENAY ST. LAWRENCE MARINE P A R K 5.1 INTRODUCTION .78 5.1.1 Geographical Location of the Marine Park .78 5.2 HISTORICAL PROFILE 80 5.2.1 A Grassroots Initiative 83 5.2.2 The Feasibility Study 83 5.2.3 The 1986 Workshop 85 5.2.4 The January 1987 Information Sessions 86 5.2.5 Creation of the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay Saint-Laurent_ 87 5.2.6 Consultations on the Marine Park Boundaries 89 5.2.7 Creation of Two Observer Seats of the Harmonization Cornmittee. 91 5.2.8 Creation of the Consultation Committee. 92 5.2.9 Consultations on the Management Plan 92 5.2.10 Creation of the Harmonization Committee and the Co-ordination Committee 93 5.2.11 Establishment of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park in Legislation 94 5.2.12 Perception of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park's Establishment Process 95 5.3 SUMMARY 96 6 . EVALUATION OF T H E SAGUENAY ST. LAWRENCE MARINE P A R K ESTABLISHMENT 6.1 INTRODUCTION 97 6.2 EVALUATION OF THE CASE STUDY 98 6.2.1 Defined Roles 98 6.2.2 Self-Design 102 6.2.3 Objective-Driven 108 6.2.4 Inclusive H I 6.2.5 Equal Opportunity. 112 6.2.6 Flexibility/Iterativeness 123 6.2.7 Promote-Leaming 125 6.2.8 Building Trust 130 6.2.9 Neutral Third Party.... 133 6.3 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS __ ...134 7. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF PARKS CANADA'S APPROACH TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 7.1 INTRODUCTION 141 7.2 REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION APPROACH 141 7.2.1 The Definition of public Participation. 141 7.2.2 The Evolution of Public Participation at Parks Canada. 143 7.2.3 Differences Between the East and West Coast. 144 7.2.4 An Ideal Model of Public Participation 145 7.2.5 The Development of a Public Participation Plan. 146 7.2.6 The Contrast Between Public Consultation Policy and Practice 149 7.2.7 The Perception of Uniformity. 150 7.2.8 Parks Canada's Perception of the Success of the Establishment Process 150 7.2.9 The Limited Opportunities for Learning 151 7.2.10 The Role of a Third Party 152 7.3 REFLECTIONS ON PLANNERS ROLE IN PARK ESTABLISHMENT. 154 7.3.1 Differences between Planners 154 7.3.2. The Power of the Planner 154 7.3.3 Planners Knowledge of the Professional Field of Public Participation 154 7.4 CONSTRAINTS TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 157 7.3.1 Time 157 7.3.2 Money 157 v 7.3.3 The Public 7.3.4 Dealing with the Province. 7.3.5 Dealing with Politics 7.3.6 Technical Challenges 7.3.7 The Planner 7.3.8 Consensus Processes. 7.3.9 Internal Challenges 7.5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 8. CONCLUSIONS AND REFLECTIONS 8.1 SUMMARY 8.2 MAIN CONCLUSIONS 8.2.1 The Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park 8.2.2 Parks Canada's General Approach to Public Participation 8.3 REFLECTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REFERENCES ..... APPENDIX A: APPENDIX B: APPENDIX C: Questionnaires Proposed Public Participation Framework by the Canadian Ecology Advocates. System's Approach to Marine Conservation Area Establishment Proposed by James Dobbin LIST OF TABLES 2.1 Levels of Public Participation in Relation to the Bipolar Theory of Democracy 7 2.2 Reasons for the Present Demand for Increased Public Participation in Decision-Making 8 3.1 Comparison of Traditional and Principled Negotiation 45 3.2 Principles of Effective Public Participation 46 3.3 Analytical Framework 47 4.1 Fundamental Principles of Public Participation 68 4.2 Summary of the Public Participation Stages in the Establishment of National 77 / and National Marine Conservation Areas. 5.1 Chronology of Events Leading to the Establishment of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park 81 LIST OF FIGURES 2.1 Illustration of the Concept of Interconnectedness 15 2.2 Various Boundaries Involved in the Concept of Parks as Microcosm 20 2.3 Guiding Principles of Cooperation as Found Mainly in the Protected Areas Literature 27 2.4 Heuristic Concentric Model of Protected Areas'Decision-Making Context 29 3.1 Illustration of the Conceptual Framework of the thesis 32 3.2 Illustration of Two Paradigms Regarding the Relationship Between a Project/Activity 40 and the Comunity 3.3 Illustration of Various Pathways for Negotiative Approaches in Decision-Making 42 5.1 Map of the Saguanay St. Lawrence Marine Park 79 7.1 Ideal Public Consultation Model as Developed by a Planner for the Feasibility Stage of the Establishment Process 145 8.1 Recommended Areas of Intervention for the Practice of Effective Public Participation 171 at Parks Canada B O X 4.1 Facts About National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas 62 vii ACKNOWLEDGMENT Have you ever felt that your life is somehow guided and that the unfolding of events is so perfectly orchestrated that you can't be all alone making plans for yourself? I think that this thesis was a plan devised by the universe to get me to Vancouver so that I could experience my life in a totally different way. I feel transformed, or better yet relieved of the weight of what was my limited and externally determined vision of life. I now feel accepting, faithful, creative, excited, and so grateful. I have many people to thank for all the learning I have done and all the support I have had in these last years. First and foremost I thank my family. I have always felt unconditional love from my parents and unlimited support for my choices, even if those have often driven me away from the nest. My sister Lisa has taught me a lot about acceptance and patience these last years. She's an inspirational mom and my little nephew is in the image of her joyful spirit. I dedicate this thesis to my family! With regards to the harsh process of focusing my thoughts on a realizable thesis project I thank my supervisor Tony Dorcey. I have learned much from his organizational skills. My other committee members have each in their own way provided me with valuable help. In addition to her valuable guidance with the thesis, what I have learned from Julia Gardner (Dovetail Consulting) is the importance of genuine curiosity. Through her curiosity she seems to have mastered the difficult balance between being assertive yet remaining totally approachable. Barry Olsen (Parks Canada) has offered me much of his time and suggestions which have been key in deterrnining the focus of my thesis. A special thank you to Les Lavkulich, the department's director whose door is always open to the inquisitive or confused students. His dedication to us is remarkable. He has been very supportive of my long thesis process and I am grateful. I would like to thank all those at Parks Canada who have given me their time for the interviews. A special thank you to Doug Yurick and Nelson Boisvert who have been my guides at Parks Canada. I have met amazing people in these last years which have acted as reminders of who I want to be, and of how I want to combine work, play, creativity and relationship in my daily life. Thank you to Maire Watson, Michael Dunn, Jon Lien, Jimi Merkel, Jeffrey Armstrong and Julia Gardner. Adding to this list are long time friends and new friends which have supported and inspired me in many different ways. Thank you to Cathy Shupplie and Sabine Tamm (my two patient editors), Anick Boileau, Anne Laliberte, Isabelle Gagnon, Claude Tremblay, AnneMarie De Andrade, Antoine St-Louis, France Blouin, Suzanne Demers, Tonya Wilts, Peter Abrams, Nelson Boisvert, Brigitte Rhan, Michel Lefbvre, Cara, Ned and viii Causta. I am grateful to all the friends and students in the department including Jim Vanderwal who has been so generous with his time to help me out with computer problems, Gary Kofinas who has given me even more things to consider for my thesis! Daniella Kalikoski my office mate and friend who has heard my moaning and groaning more than her fair share, Carrie Dean Saviers my creative friend, Peter Tyedmers my official good conversation partner, Steve Mackinson, thank God you were there the first year!, and Scott, Nathalie, Bob, Evan, Gevan, Sandy, and company. A special thank you to Nancy Dick, the department secretary for all her help and kindness. My deepest gratitude and love to Kirk Balfour who has given me the most challenging opportunities to learn in the last couple of years and Gila Golub Dwor who has provided me with the tools to take on life's challenges with love instead of fear. Having met and shared incredible moments with all these people I find myself now, a masters degree in hand, more idealistic and optimistic then ever. I love it! THANK YOU! ix CHAPTER 1 1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT INTRODUCTION Go to the People Live with them Love them Learn from them Work with them Start with what they have Build on what they know And in the end When the work is done The People will rejoice: 'We have done it ourselves!' Stan Burkey The portrayal of parks and protected areas as 'pristine wilderness' is essentially based on a myth (McNeely 1996). The myth that has permeated protected area planning and management is that nature is separate from people. Over the last 30 years or so, our increased understanding of the widespread impacts of human activities on the planets' ecosystems is now dissipating this myth. At the 1982 third World Congress on National Parks held in Bali, the interconnectedness of parks with the broader social, economic and cultural realities was thoroughly acknowledged and protected areas were declared essential tools of sustainability. The 1980's also marked an increased awareness of the threats affecting the sustainability of parks and protected areas themselves. (Machlis and Tichnell 1985). Among the predominant threats that continue to affect parks today are those associated with surrounding communities such as inappropriate land use, poaching, and conflicting relationships. As a result of these ongoing pressures, protected areas have often failed to reach their conservation mandate. Many authors (Stankey 1989; Raval 1994; McNeeley 1990; Nelson 1993) have pointed to the lack of integration of social realities in the planning and management of parks as the central cause of this failure. Social realities, such as traditional lifestyle and non-material needs, can no longer be considered externalities to protected areas if they are to be instruments of sustainable development. To integrate these social realities, many authors advocate expanding cooperation and partnerships with local communities through their active participation in planning and management. Indeed, the cooperation of local communities has been identified as essential to the sustainability of parks 1 and protected areas (McNeeley 1995, Raval 1994, Nelson 1993, Mondor 1988). "It has become clear that the management of protected areas in the 21st century is necessarily the management of people" (Machlis 1995:45). Despite the acknowledgment of the need for local community participation and cooperation, there is a long history of a centralized approach to protected area planning. More particularly, in Canada the approach to national park planning has typically been top-down and it's approach to public participation paternalistic (Stankey 1989). Canada's national parks are facing numerous threats to their ecosystem integrity, many of which are associated with adjacent land use (Canadian Heritage 1997). Considering the importance of local community cooperation for conservation within parks, how effective is Parks Canada public participation process in creating cooperative relationships with local communities? 1.2 THESIS G O A L AND OBJECTIVES The goal of the thesis is to evaluate Parks Canada's approach to local community participation in national parks and national marine conservation areas establishment. The focus is on assessing the ability of the present approaches to enable the development of cooperation between the park agency and local communities. The 'local community' is defined in this thesis as the neighboring communities impacted socially, economically and culturally, by the establishment of a national park. Specific objectives related to this goal are to: 1. Define a rationale for public participation in protected area establishment. 2. Develop an analytical framework to evaluate Parks Canada's approach to public participation. 3. Document Parks Canada's approach to national parks and national marine conservation areas establishment and identify the relevant policies guiding public participation practices. 4. Evaluate the effectiveness of Parks Canada's approach to public participation 4.1 Evaluate the public participation approach of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park establishment process. 4.2 Analyze Parks Canada's general approach to public participation 5. Identify the constraints to effective public participation. 6. Offer recommendations to Parks Canada for improving the approach to public participation. 2 1.4 STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS The thesis is divided into eight chapters. This introductory chapter presents the problems facing protected areas, the goal and objectives, as well as the focus and assumptions of the thesis. Chapter 2 provides a rationale for the participation of the public and local communities in protected areas planning and management. The rationale represents an analysis of various fields of literature and provides a broader societal and conservation context for increased public participation. The analysis provides direction to the focus of the analytical framework presented in Chapter 3. The analytical framework represents a series of nine criteria for effective public participation. In this thesis effective participation is defined as enabling the development of cooperative relationships between governments and local communities. Chapter 3 also details the data collection and analysis methods used in this thesis. Chapter 4 is a background presentation on the institution of Parks Canada. This chapter presents the historical profile of Parks Canada, the present state and ecological integrity of national parks, the acts and policies relevant to public participation and the steps to new park establishment. A detailed description of the establishment of the case study, the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park, follows in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents the evaluation of the case study's public participation process. This chapter is divided into nine sections representing the criteria of the analytical framework and ends with a short discussion of the main conclusions of the evaluation. In Chapter 7, Parks Canada's general approach to public participation is analyzed based on interviews with planners. Because the analysis is more general in nature, this chapter is both an analysis and a discussion as it also includes findings from the case study evaluation and references to the literature. The constraints to effective public participation identified by planners are also presented and discussed in Chapter 7. Finally, Chapter 8 concludes the thesis with a summary of the main conclusions of both the case study evaluation and the analysis of Parks Canada's general approach to public participation. This concluding chapter also offers some further reflections and recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of Parks Canada's approach to public participation. 1.3 THESIS FOCUS AND ASSUMPTIONS The focus of the thesis, as mentioned in the goal statement, is on local community participation in national park establishment. While the general public is not addressed in this study, they are nevertheless important in the public participation process for new park establishment. The focus on local communities does not neglect the broader public since the case study is evaluated within the overall context of its establishment. 3 A second focus of this study is on national park establishment as opposed to park management. Public participation at this stage is more perilous for Parks Canada to the extent that political or public opposition can lead to the demise of a park proposal. It is in this phase of planning that important decisions regarding the parks' objectives and management orientations are made. These objectives and management orientations are the foundation to future park decisions and therefore can have significant impact on local communities. Because park establishment is the initial phase of contact with the public, it can also set precedents on the quality of the relationship between the local population and the park agency. Therefore, the effectiveness of the public participation approach at this first phase of contact is particularly important. The focus of the evaluation of Parks Canada's general approach to public participation is on the perception of employees of Parks Canada regarding the effectiveness of the public participation approach. Hence, interviews have been mainly conducted with employees involved in new park establishment. There are various assumptions that drive the overall approach to this study as well as the data collection and analysis. The following chapter presents largely the worldview on which this thesis stands. Other assumptions must however be presented here. First, both national parks and national marine conservation areas (NMCA) are considered in this thesis. The assumption is that the approach to the establishment of these two forms of parks is largely similar at Parks Canada. The description of the establishment process of national parks and NMCA in Parks Canada's Guiding Principles and Operational Policies (Canadian Heritage 1994) supports this assumption (see Chapter 4). Second, one of the working assumptions of this thesis is that public participation is both a means to an end and an end in itself. In the context of creating national parks for the long term benefits of humans and the maintenance of ecological integrity, the end is really one point on a continuum of arbitrary ends. The arbitrary end selected in this thesis and on which is based the analytical framework presented in Chapter 3 is public participation for the purpose of building cooperative relationships between Parks Canada and local communities. However, cooperation is really an ongoing process of relationship building and maintenance rather than a defined outcome. Therefore the evaluation of Parks Canada's approach to public participation is not circumscribed by any outcome (e.g. the creation of the park). 4 CHAPTER II THE RATIONALE FOR PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN PROTECTED AREA ESTABLISHMENT " The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has created problems that cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them." Albert Einstein 2.1 INTRODUCTION There is a trend in today's society towards increased public participation in decision-making1. This is well recognized by decision makers and planners and has led to new decision-making approaches. Nevertheless, simply calling for, or supporting increased public participation, is in itself futile. Not unlike many all-encompassing words such as conservation, or again sustainability, public participation needs to be precisely defined by those intending to promote its increased use. The objective of this chapter is to present a rationale for increased public participation in protected area planning. The arguments for increased participation are numerous in the literature. They are divided into two sections in this chapter. The first presents public participation within the wider societal context. Here, the relationship between public participation and democracy is made clear. The second section frames the rationale for increased public participation as a prerequisite to the conservation mandate of protected areas. Based mainly on a literature review of the relationship between protected areas and people, four main reasons are identified for increased participation of the public. Two concepts, sustainability and interconnectedness, drive the rationale and are discussed at the onset of the second section. As a result of this two section rationale, the reader will clearly understand the perspective from which increased public participation, and more specifically, local community involvement, is argued in this thesis. 2.2 THE SOCIETAL CONTEXT FOR INCREASED PUBLIC PARTICIPATION Why in a thesis with the purpose of evaluating approaches to public participation in protected areas planning have I chosen to present a discussion on democracy? The trend for increased public participation is associated with debates over the meaning of democracy since both notions are intrinsically linked. Hence, presenting this link clarifies the macro context of public participation in protected areas planning. Second, protected areas are social institutions which have changed and will continue to change in 1 Increased public parucipatkmin this thesis, refers ,to an increase mbathfi-equency and levels of public participation. The various levels of public participation are presented later in this chapter. 5 accordance with societal concerns and priorities. Indeed, parks are no longer considered islands2 separate from the rest of society and therefore societal concerns for natural resources, social equity, and environmental conservation, among others, are relevant to protected areas. Since democracy is about the representation of societal concerns and priorities, it is relevant to frame a rationale for increased public participation in parks planning within this wider societal context. 2.1.1 Public Participation and Democracy The ideal of democracy is to allow equal right of participation/representation in the political process. In one word, equity is the democratic ideal. The concept of democracy was originally conceived for governing city-states (Dahl 1982). The application of the ideal of democracy to nation-states starting in the 17th century is referred to as "one of the most far-reaching shifts in political philosophy in human history " (Dahl 1982: 8). This was made possible by joining the concept of representation with that of democracy. Within a representative democracy there are many ways to assess and represent public values. Examples are political elections, referenda, public interest groups, legal actions, and various forms of public communication such as public hearings. These approaches allow for different levels of public participation. There lies part of current debates in society: What constitutes an acceptable level of public participation? Furthermore, what are the appropriate approaches to effective public participation, as well as criteria from which to evaluate 'effectiveness'. The latter concern is the focus of chapter 3 whereas the former is considered in this chapter. What one person may perceive as a democratic level of public participation, another may deem undemocratic. The bipolar theory of democracy clarifies the relationship between public participation and democracy. The two main visions of democracy are: 1) representative and 2) direct3. Representative democracy is defined essentially as decision-making by elected and appointed officials. Witltin such a democracy, the public mainly expresses values and interests by means of its voting power. Direct democracy on the other hand, is defined as active participation of the citizens in decision making. Within nation-states, few argue for pure direct democracy. The empowering of elected officials as representative of the people is deemed necessary for the efficient and effective functioning of countries. However, in society today there is increasing interest in approaches to planning and decision-making which involve direct democracy within this larger representational system context. This entails decentralization 2 The reference to parks as 'islands' is common in the literature and is used to critique the narrow approaches to planning within protected areas. This is discussed in section two of this chapter. 3 Although these two visions are presented as dualities, each encompasses a continuum of viewpoints which intercept at a certain point. 6 of decision-making power and increased public participation. To clarify the relationship between public participation and democracy, the various levels of public participation are presented in Table 1 in relation to the bipolar theory of democracy. Table 2.1. Levels of Public Participation in Relation to the Bipolar Theory of Democracy. Representative Democracy Direct Democracy Information Persuasion Consultation Cooperation Control The decision is made and the public is informed The decision is made and effort is made to convince the public The problem is submitted, opinions are collected, the decision is made The limits are defined, the decision is shared with and made together with the public The decision is made by the public, which assumes a role of public responsibility Source: Modified from Eidsvik (1978) in Parenteau (1988) The first two levels, information and persuasion, represent non-participatory approaches (Arnstein 1969; Parenteau 1988). Parenteau comments that "these are ways to avoid genuine participation" (Parenteau 1988: 7). Consultation is defined as a level where participants are informed of a problem and invited to submit their comments (Parenteau 1988). However, consultation of the public does not necessarily imply an inclusion of the gathered comments into the final decision (Parenteau 1988; Dorcey and Riek 1987; Arnstein 1969). Cooperation represents a high level of involvement which may result in a higher level of influence upon decisions4. Lastly, citizen control gives full decision-power to citizens, reflective of direct democracy. Arnstein (1969) warns us against levels of participation other than citizen control using the following amusing example; je participe tu participe il participe nous participons vous participez ils profitent. Source: Arnstein (1969: 216) 4 Arnstein talks about partnership instead of cooperation. Both terms are used interchangeably in this thesis. According to Arnstein (1969), partnership does not necessarily imply greater decision-making power. She argues that partnerships can be ineffective if citizens do not have: 1) an organized power-base to which the leaders must be accountable; 2) financial resources to pay the leaders for their time and efforts; and 3) the resources to hire and fire specialized employees (e.g. community organizers). Hence, higher levels of participation do not necessarily equate to increased decision-making power. 7 With this example, Arnstein (1969) makes the statement that, at any other level of participation other than citizen control, the potential of the public to influence decisions should be questioned. The three first levels, information, persuasion and consultation, are traditionally practiced in representative democracies and are increasingly considered unsatisfactory. Looking beyond theoretical perspectives, the movement for increased participation is based on dissatisfaction with the governance system. Table 3 presents the main reasons claimed by various authors for the increased demands for public participation as well as its actual popularity within Canadian politics. These reasons have surely all played and continue to play, at various degrees, a role in provoking the call for more direct forms of participation. Table 2.2. Reasons for the Present Demand for Increased Public Participation in Decision-Making Reasons Source People are unsatisfied as consumers, they want to be participants. This represent the changing views of the concept of democracy. Rowson 1993 People are disillusioned with the elected officials. •Sadler 1978 •Webb 1990 •O'Riordan 1977 Smith and Ingram 1993 The public is experiencing increased alienation which leads, according to Marxist theory, to a struggle for power of the alienated group. •Nord and Weller 1983 There is a decrease in the perceived legitimacy of hierarchical authority which provokes a lack of confidence in institutions. •Inglehart 1977 ••Hoberg 1993 The positive feedback resulting from the success of environmental interest groups has fostered a demand for participation within other fields. •Tester 1992 ••Doern 1990 ••Hoberg 1993 The public's perception of scientific information as the objective arbitrator for decision making is questioned. This results in increased demands by the public for input into decisions. ••Jasanoff 1990 There is a shift in the balance of political skills between the elite and the people. The general public is getting more knowledgeable and thus demands more involvement in decision-making. • Inglehart 1977 Olsen 1982 * cited in Rowson 1993 ** cited in Petersen 1996 8 2.1.2. Human Nature, Democracy, and Public Participation According to Gibson (1975), it is the assumption that one makes of human nature that determines to a large extent what one will consider an acceptable level of participation. There are two main viewpoints: 1) humans are driven by their ever-expanding selfish needs and thus are competitors, and 2) humans are social and self determining and thus are cooperative. Gibson explains that those who characterize humans as consumers believe that we require a centralized government to "regulate the interactions of competing and conflicting individuals and to maintain continuous expansion of the production of commodities and the provision of services" (1975: 15). Such an assumption is central in neoclassical economics. In contrast, those who conceive of humans as self-detenruning regard representative democracy as unethical since it denies citizens power over decisions that directly or indirectly affect their lives (Gibson 1975). According to Goodwin (1987), human nature is often characterized from the observation of human behavior in society. This, she argues, is biased since society is a social construct, a product of human behavior, and therefore "...it does not necessarily reflect a fundamental 'human essence'...[it derives] from the assumption as to whether we are formed by heredity or environment, nature or nurture" (Goodwin 1987: 10). Many authors have observed cooperative, local-level management approaches to common property resources (Berkes 1994; Berkes and Feeney 1990; Berkes et al 1991). Examples range from aboriginal Pacific salmon rivers to sub-arctic beaver trapping areas (Berkes 1994), but they are not exclusive to aboriginal groups5 (Berkes and Feeney 1990). Numerous historical and current examples of cooperative approaches to resource management in Asian and Russian communities as well as in non native communities of Canada (Berkes and Feeney 1990) support the assumption that human nature may well be more cooperative than competitive. These examples also support the argument that human nature is a social construct rather than a hereditary outcome. Therefore, positive change in society is possible since human nature can be influenced through social changes (Goodwin 1987; Olsen 1982). How one views human nature is directly related to how one approaches decision-making in society. Goodwin states that, "[h]ow one defines it [human nature] has important implications as to what form a theory will take" (1987: 9). Based on people's assumption of human nature, as well as other assumptions not discussed here, many arguments are put forth in the literature in support of either representative or direct democracy. Some of these arguments are presented in the following paragraphs. See Berkes and Feeney (1990) for more examples and references of cooperative management of common resources. 9 Representative Democracy Arguing for representative democracy, Paget (1990) contends that the general public does not have the competence to be involved in decision making. Similarly, other authors argue that community organizations are incapable of taking on such responsibility and thus, would be ineffective in dealing with, public policy problems (Smith and Ingram 1993). Furthermore, policy makers argue that ineffective, even regressive policies can also result if the wrong people are to be empowered (Ibid). On the other hand, Gibson (1975), arguing against representative democracy, claims that given the public has not been granted the opportunity to participate in political processes, it is understandable that it has been little inclined to do so. Conditioned dependency, believes Gibson (1975), results from a representative democracy. Therefore, the public's lack of interest in participation cannot be used to justify levels of participation reflective of representative democracy6. Direct Democracy In support of direct democracy, some authors claim that public participation is in itself an educational experience as well as a process for positive self-transformation (Warren 1992; Gibson 1975). Likewise, participative decision-making is a learning experience within which the participants will acquire the skills for effective decision-making (Pateman 1970). Olsen summarizes these arguments when he states that "participation performs a vital educational effect, teaching people to be informed, interested, and involved citizens who have a sense of control over their own lives and concern for the broader community" (Olsen 1982: 22). However, Qualter (1986) believes the general public is disinterested in participating in decision-making. This Liberalist view assumes that public alienation from political processes is a socio-psychological condition rather than an outcome of capitalists or industrial societies, as originally defined by Karl Marx7 (Olsen 1982). Hirst (1990) and Wengert (1976) for their part, come to the conclusion that society today is too complex for direct democracy to work. This is confounding because the movement towards increased public participation in environmental decision-making in British Columbia is associated with the inefficiency of policy makers to deal with the increased complexity, uncertainty, and demands, three 6 Refer to Table 2.1 for an illustration of the relationship between representative democracy and levels of public participation. 7 Marx's definition of alienation is inferred from the following quote: " Thus alienated labor turns the species life of man.. .into an alien being and into a means for his own existence. It alienates from man his own body, external nature, his mental life, and his human life. A direct consequence of the alienation of man from the product of his labor, from his life activity and from his species life, is that man is alienated from other men..." (Marx 1963: 103). 10 fundamental characteristics of our changing world (Dorcey 1986)8. Because of the inevitability of conflicts arising from this increase in complexity, uncertainty, and demands, many have argued for decision-making approaches in which all viewpoints are considered, and in which trade-offs are made and understood by all stakeholders9. Consensus-based decision-making is an example of such an approach. The realization of the complexities and uncertainties surrounding decisions has generated widespread skepticism towards utilitarian (utility-maximizing), science-based decision-making traditionally practiced within representative democracy10. In addition to the reasons for limited public participation presented above, three other arguments are widely used by decision-makers today. The first two arguments present public participation as time consuming and costly. Both these arguments have been claimed to have little weight when the purpose of public participation is meaningful decision-making with the potential for successful long term implementation (Pretty 1995; Hough 1988). Finally, the third argument to oppose higher levels of public participation is loss of power for the traditional authorities (Pretty 1995; Olsen 1982). This was a major concern for Gordon Price, a politician at a debate organized by the University of British Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning in early 1996. He argued that, as a publicly elected official, his job is to make decisions for the public and thus, involving people more actively in decision-making would render him useless. Olsen (1982) calls this perceived loss of power 'the zero-sum game'. The loss of power, Olsen (1982) comments, follows from the assumption that the total amount of power is constant through time. Within such a mind set, social and political equality must result in the loss of power of some individuals for the purpose of redistribution (Olsen 1982). Yet, real social life is dynamic and involves changes in the amount of power available - it is a 'variable-sum game' (Olsen 1982). Coming back to the discussion on human nature presented earlier, it can further be argued that those who believe that human nature is cooperative would, in addition to supporting Olsen's variable sum-game, contend that the term 'power' itself changes meaning11. * The increasing demands on the resources is cause by various factors including population growth and resource availability. The interconnectedness of the biophysical world and the growing complexity of our socio-economic system results in a increasingly complex decision-making process. The additional knowledge of the various systems involved for natural resource decision-making has only pointed to the increasing uncertainty in decisions. 9 This argument will be presented more fully in the next section of this chapter. 1 0 See Landy (1993) and Stone (1993). 1 1 The traditional definition of power, I believe, refers to central (top-down) control over decisions, whereas power could also be defined as distributed power created by a process of shared learning resulting from a participative approach to decision-making. This was a strong point made by Rick A. Hankin, of the Greater Vancouver Regional District at the public forum entitled.- Working Together to Sustain Parks & Protected Areas held (April 1997). He defended that honest and transparent public participation and consensus decision-making was incredibly empowering to each individual as well as for the group as a whole and that this allowed for better decisions. 11 In summary, while traditional approaches to decision making remain dominant in many policy forums (Petersen 1996), the upsurge of participatory processes and policies in Canada reflect a shift in the governance system (Tester 1992). Representative democracy, as it has been traditionally practiced, no longer satisfies citizens today. How one defines human nature has been shown here to have important implications on approaches to decision-making. In arguing for levels of public participation reflective of direct democracy, many arguments also support the cooperative nature of humans, or at least, the capacity of humans to cooperate. The next section offers specific arguments for increased public participation as the discussion focuses on conservation, protected areas, and local community involvement in protected areas planning. 2.2 THE CONSERVATION CONTEXT FOR INCREASED PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 2.2.1 Sustainability Defined The purpose for a discussion of the concept of sustainability in this thesis relates to its centrality to the conservation goal of protected areas. Indeed, at the 1982 World National Parks Congress, protected areas were declared to make an essential contribution to sustainable development (McNeeley and Miller 1984). Sustainability is subject to numerous interpretations determined by context, audience (Redclift 1992), scale, values and priorities, and world view, among others. In spite of the complexity of the term, there is no doubt that the concept of sustainability has an important role in guiding society though the present environmental crisis (Norton 1992; Redclift 1992). However, because of its widespread use, both within the various sciences and the political mainstream, sustainability (or sustainable development) must be clearly defined within the context of its use (Pretty 1995). Two main views of sustainability can be identified from the literature, the 'social scientific', and the ' scientific contextualism' (Norton 1992). Although proponents of both views acknowledge that resources are finite, their outlooks on the environmental crisis differ significantly, resulting in paradoxical definitions of sustainability. The 'social scientific' definition presents a series of reinforcing arguments which more or less leads to the status quo. Indeed, sustainability is defined within the concept of 'human needs' and 'human limitations' while the 'natural' environment is marginalized. Central to the prioritization of human needs and limitations over limitations to the exploitation of the natural environment, is the underlying belief in the infinite intersubstitutability of resources (Norton 1992; Redclift 1992). This in turn, is made possible through technological advances which are believed to be able to overcome human 12 limitations (Norton 1992). Hence, sustainability implies meeting the needs of the poor and challenging our technological limitations, both of which are best achieved by a growth economy or within the mainstream economic paradigm (Ibid). The 'scientific contextualism' view reflects a more precautionary approach to the environmental crisis as the faith in, and the value of human technology are questioned. Fundamental societal change is needed to engage on the sustainability path (Berkes and Folkey 1994; Norton 1992; Redclift 1992; Gardner and Roseland 1989). A central aspect of this view is the belief in non-negotiable obligations towards the environment (Norton 1992; King 199312). There are however some disparities as to how various environmental groups define these non-negotiables. For instance, Norton (1992) defends them on the basis that they are necessary for the continuance of the human species. In contrast, many other authors would argue that these non-negotiables should not only be defined for human purposes but for the intrinsic rights of nature13. In short, the environment equates to more than a series of actual or potential commodities for humans benefits. The concept of conservation, which represents the overall goal of protected areas, implies concern for the long term health of the natural and socio-economic environment. Because of its similarity with the concept of sustainability, both terms are often used interchangeably in the literature (Olver et al. 1995). Therefore, to the extent that one agrees that conservation equates to a proactive approach to management, the status quo or social scientific view of sustainability, which equates to a 'laisse-faire' philosophy, is not discussed further in this thesis. Despite the inclusion of both socio-economic and biophysical systems in definitions of sustainability14 and conservation, socio-economic realities are often neglected at both the conceptual and practical level15. In reaction to this trend, Gardner and Roseland (1989) emphasize the notion of equity within sustainable development. By stressing equity, socio-economic realities, which expand beyond human beings' material needs, can be given due consideration in the tradeoffs involved in resource management decision-making. 1 2 King (1993) while not referring explicitly to non-negotiable obligations, separates natural assets into three categories, the first being those that have a central function in the environment and are irreplaceable. 1 3 Examples of movements advocating the intrinsic rights of nature are, among others, the Land Ethic of Aldo Leopold, Deep Ecology, and Animal Rights. 1 4 1 refer here to definitions belonging to the second view of sustainability presented above. 1 5 It is within the conservation literature that discussions on sustainability tend to neglect socio-economic realities. This contrasts with such a document as the Brundtland Report and Agenda 21 of the Earth Summit both of which emphasize the centrality of the socio-economic context for sustainable development. 13 Dorcey (1991) lists five ethical elements of sustainable development which are congruent with the concept of equitable sustainable development16. They are: 1) Mamtaining ecological integrity and diversity; 2) Meeting basic human needs; 3) Keeping options open for future generations; 4) Reducing injustice and; 5) Increasing self-determination. These principles represent the well accepted ethical nature of sustainability (Boothroyd 1991). They support a decentralized approach to sustainability and conservation. Indeed, both self-determination and human needs are principles which are specific to place. Hence, sustainability is a concept which, in practice, is specific to time and place (Pretty, 1995). Pretty demonstrates the decentralized nature of sustainability when he enumerates some of the questions that must be answered when addressing the concept: In any discussion of sustainability, it is important to clarify what is being sustained, for how long, for whose benefit and at whose cost, over what area and measured by what criteria. (Pretty 1995: 1248) Although these principles are not specifically used in this thesis to present the arguments for increased public participation, they should be kept in mind since they underlie or guide the rationale for increased participation presented in the following two sections of this chapter. 2.2.2 The Central Notion of Interconnectedness In the past two decades, the concept of sustainability and the increased understanding of natural and social systems have stimulated new ways of examining environmental problems. The result is new conceptual approaches to natural resource management and conservation. Examples of such approaches are integrated watershed management, adaptive management, and ecosystem management. Underpinning these new approaches is the notion of interconnectedness. According to Oppenheimer (1995), our focus on connectedness17 is allowing revolutionary approaches to problem solving. Figure 2.1 presents a simple model which illustrates the notion of interconnectedness. 1 6 Gardner and Roseland (1991) present similar elements which they identify as principles of equitable sustainable development. These are: 1) meeting material and non-material human needs, 2) maintaining ecological integrity, 3) attaining social self-determination, and 4) establishing social equity. 1 7 The terms interconnectedness and connectedness are used interchangeably in this thesis. 14 Social Economic Biophysical Figure 2.1. Illustration of the Concept of Interconnectedness Modified from Dorcey (1991: 550) The relationship between the biophysical, social, and economic systems defines the wider, all-encompassing notion of interconnectedness. However, the term is often used to refer to the relationship between biotic and abiotic components of the natural environment within specific fields of natural resource management, ecology, and conservation. Therefore, the reference to an integrated resource management approach may not necessarily imply the consideration of the economic and social systems or if so, more conceptually than in the actual process of planning and management. In this section of the chapter, the idea of interconnectedness drives the rationale for increased public participation. 2.2.3. Increased Public Participation: a Prerequisite for Conservation Within Protected Areas Four main interrelated reasons for increased public participation, or more specifically, local community participation, have been identified vrithin the conservation literature. They are summarized as follows: 1. The planning and management of protected areas are ultimately a question of values. (This first reason underlies the others and thus will be made clear at the end of this section). 2. Protected areas are not islands but microcosms wthin a larger regional context. Therefore, the responsibility of managers expands beyond park boundaries. 3. Threats to protected areas are to a large extent, human-caused. They are, more specifically, linked to the surrounding communities. Hence, dealing with those threats requires dealing with the local communities. 4. The future of protected areas depends on public support and the cooperation of local communities. Therefore, high levels of public participation are needed in park planning and management. In the following paragraphs, I expand on each of these four reasons. The arguments for increased local community participation presented in this section are advanced in the belief that community involvement is necessary for protected areas to meet their conservation goals. Hence^  the ultimate objective for increased 15 participation in the planriing of parks is the long-term conservation of the natural environment and the sustainability of protected areas. 1. The Value-laden Nature of Protected Areas The planning and management of protected areas are ultimately a question of values as all management paradigms are based on values and priorities (Eagles 1993; Cubbage and Brooks 1991). The management approach widely adopted by protected areas managers is ecosystem management (Agee 1996). Ecosystem management is widely accepted both within the social and natural sciences as well as within the political realm (Lackey 1994). Cornett's eloquent definition of ecosystem management is as follows: Ecosystem management defines a paradigm that weaves biophysical and social threads into a tapestry of beauty, health, and sustainability. It embraces both social and ecological dynamics in a flexible and adaptive process. Ecosystem management celebrates the wisdom of both our minds and hearts, and lights our path to the future. (Cornett 1993 in Lackey 1994: 3) As was the case earlier with definitions of sustainability or conservation, ecosystem management definitions have little operational meaning18 (Lackey 1994). Hence, ecosystem management has been defined and approached in many ways (Woodley 1993). Nevertheless, common to most conceptions of ecosystem management is the embrace of interconnectedness between social, economic, and biophysical systems. The definition of ecosystem, therefore, extends beyond the biophysical environment. Ecosystem boundaries are not 'truths' to be observable in the environment but instead, subjective boundaries reflecting particular management objectives. Hence, the most prominent challenge in ecosystem management rests in the determination of management goals (Lackey 1994) which is, by definition, value-laden. On that issue Eagles writes: Understanding the ecosystem, and the value placed on this knowledge, are inherent parts of management. The value put on the ecosystem and its parts underlie all resource allocation decisions. (Eagles 1993: 158) Because values and priorities inevitably change with time and space (Lackey 1994; Raval 1994), the challenge of identifying goals is considerable. Once goals are identified, the second challenge becomes the evaluation and selection of various management alternatives to reach these goals. Management is a continual process of identifying alternatives, assessing tradeoffs and ultimately, making decisions. The purpose of management "...is to maximize benefits19 by a mix of decisions within defined constraints" 18There are many definitions of ecosystem management in the literature (see Lackey 1994; Woodley 1993), some being more technical than the one cited above and, just as for the term sustainability, they may, or may not include socio-economic dimensions. Nevertheless, the argument holds that they offer little operational meaning. 1 9 Potential benefits can range from commodity yields, ecological services, intangible benefits such as preservation of endangered species, precautionary investment, maintaining a desired ecological status, and many others (Lackey 1994). 16 (Lackey 1994: 7). Among the constraints to the effective management of protected areas, economic and social conditions have been identified (Machlis and Tichnell 1985). Machlis and Tichnell (1985) also identify the government in place and the management team among the factors that can hinder the effective management of parks. These factors demonstrate the extent to which protected areas are value-laden and interconnected with the wider social fabric. This is inconsistent with the tendency of relegating the power to make management decisions to scientists and scientific knowledge. There are no such things as 'truths' typically defended by proponents of the positivist paradigm. Eisner writes " the 'truth' is ultimately a kind of mirage that in principle cannot be achieved because the worlds we know are those crafted by us" (Eisner 1990 in Pretty 1995: 1250). Although science can be a tool for decision-making, decisions ultimately involve value judgments which are beyond the scope of science20. Nevertheless, ecosystem integrity is widely referred to as the goal of conservation within parks 2 1 , 2 2. However, how integrity should be characterized, or more importantly, monitored remains a contentious matter. When acknowledging the centrality of values and priorities, ecosystem health ultimately can only be determined if a desired benchmark is identified. Ecosystem health is a socially detennined outcome (Lackey 1994). Whether sustainability is viewed as the goal of ecosystem management or ecosystem management as a tool of sustainability, "[sjelecting what is to be sustained is a societal choice"23 (Lackey 1994: 15). Inasmuch as values underlie 1) planning and management decisions, and 2) the effectiveness of these decisions, and that these values are time and space specific24, whose values should be considered in the planning and management decision-making process of protected areas? 2 0 The philosophical discussion of 'is' and 'ought' explains that science must limit itself to empirical statements or 'is' statements which can be descriptive, explanatory or predictive. When scientific information is used by scientists themselves for normative or 'ought' statements, in other words, recommendations (which involve value judgments) they commit the naturalistic fallacy. 2 1 Ecosystem integrity was assumed to be the ultimate goal of parks at the 1997 Public Forum Working Together to Sustain Parks & Protected Areas in B. C. and is explicit in the Guiding Principles and Operational Policies document of the Canadian Heritage Department, 1994. See also Woodley (1993). 2 2 The definition of ecosystem integrity for national parks is given in Chapter 4. In this chapter, the predominance of the biophysical system and the lack of consideration for the social system in the concept of national parks is apparent. 2 3 What is to be sustained is a societal choice to the extent that human beings ultimately make decisions. This does not preclude the inclusion of values which reflect the intrinsic right of nature (ecocentric). However, no matter whose interests are taken into consideration in natural resource management decisions, humans are the ones stating, defending and selecting these values. The morality of certain values can be questioned for their lack of consideration of species and ecosystems, but these values remain within the realm of human perception. 2 4 For example, 1) the social/economic and political context of parks change with time, 2) planners and managers rotate, 3) each park has it own management team which operates differently to any other. 17 Local people are those most directly affected by the establishment of a protected area (Raval 1994). The impact on communities can be positive, negative, or both. What is certain is that protected areas will have an impact on local communities. The issues are grave because the adopted resource management and land use policies of a national park affect both the landscape (defined as the total biophysical, socio-cultural and visual local environment) and the lives of the resident peoples. (Raval 1994: 306) Hence, there are ethical reasons for including the values of local communities in decision-making processes. There are also reasons which can be argued for the purpose of natural conservation within protected areas. The ethical reasons are important and are alluded to in this chapter. 2. Beyond Parks as Islands "Parks have become islands in a sea of change" (Dearden & Rollins 1993: 6). The common reference to parks as islands has two meanings. The first alludes to the pressure coming from the area surrounding a protected area. This idea renders the reference to parks as islands a consequence of the external pressures (Dearden and Rollins 1993). The second meaning refers to the concept of 'island' as an internal threat resulting from what some have referred to as the 'enclave mentality' (Sax 1988; Nelson 1985). This mentality results in planning and management approaches which are restricted to internal consideration and which, in turn, are dominated by positivist frameworks for research and decision-making. In the first meaning, human activities are threats rendering parks to islands of conservation, whereas for the latter, parks are conceived as natural islands or pristine wilderness to protect against external, human degradation. For both meanings, humans are external to parks. The assumption that humans are external to parks has long been recognized and criticized by academics and others (Raval 1994; McNeeley 1990; Stankey 1989; Lien 1988; Carton and Dunlap 1980). I view this as a manifestation of the nature/culture dualism. Some authors (Berkes and Folke 1994; Clark 1989; Stankey 1989) relate this dualism assumption to the positivistic approach we have with regard to the environment. On that issue Berkes and Folke write: A major impediment to the development of a full systems view of human/environmental relationships is our heritage of a reductionist science world view which excludes humans from the system to be studied. (1994: 135) A healthy ecosystem is therefore associated with human exclusion. Such an association dates back to the Romantic school of Rousseau, Thoreau and others which leads to the preservationist approach to conservation (Olver et al. 1995). However, considering the dynamic character of the environment, what is natural is the process of change rather than a fixed state (Lackey 1994). Nelson and Eidsvik (1990) 18 contend, in light of our knowledge of the distribution of pollutants on the planet for example, that "[n]atural and human processes are increasingly mtertwined and difficult to separate in our minds" (Nelson and Eidsvik 1990: 62). Therefore, what is natural? According to Stankey, we define 'naturalness' as though it was a "biologically dictated quality rather than only one of the social constructs we impose to bring order and structure to an otherwise chaotic world" (1989: 247). When referring to 'untouched nature', 'pristine wilderness', and so on, we inevitably exclude humans, and as a result, any human activity within or surrounding a protected area is perceived as a threat or, again, as an externality to the 'natural condition' of the area. As a result of the nature/culture dualism ideology, the natural state of the area or the potential to restore it to a natural state is a central criterion for the selection of candidate sites. The more effective the exclusion of human interference, the higher the degree of "naturalness", and the better the potential for conservation. In reaction to this long held assumption and its consequence for protected areas, McNeeley states: Small wonder that many national parks managers have developed a siege mentality as they suffer animosity from local people, insufficient budgets, encroachment, and insufficient land to maintain the resources the park was established to conserve. How to conserve wild islands in a sea of hostile local interests and incompatible uses of surrounding lands is the fundamental issue facing national parks today. (1990: 20) It is no wonder then that local communities often have strong feelings of resentment towards park planners. Indeed, even non native communities have a strong sense of place, particularly hinterland communities. Local communities, not unlike native communities, do not necessarily see themselves as separate from nature25 and therefore, inevitably feel alienated from their 'place' when a protected area is established with a preservationist management attitude in which they are treated as threats. The nature/culture ideology is paradoxical to the notion of interconnectedness that was presented above as underlying approaches to conservation. From discussions on integrated approaches to management and the status of parks as instruments of sustainability, it has been established that protected areas managers need to expand their responsibility beyond protected area boundaries (Raval 1994; Stankey 1989; Sax 1988; Foresta 1984). What do protected area boundaries represent? Making what seems to be an obvious statement, parks boundaries are politically determined. Although the selection of an area for conservation is aided by ecological information, the determination of the boundaries is an outcome of political compromises (Gardner 1990) (see Figure 2.2). Once the boundaries are determined, they represent geographic references within which 19 managers have explicit jurisdiction to control peoples' actions. What they do not represent is an ecosystem since they often are not big enough to encompass the distribution range of most wildhfe (Sax 1988). On that issue, Sax writes: ...parks problems are not coextensive with park boundaries. There is not a park manager anywhere so short-sighted as to believe that he or she can fulfill the mandate the public has given by concerning him or herself only with what goes on inside the borders of the park. (1988: 205) X - Gateway (local) communities Lines = Value-laden boundary delimitations Figure 2.2 Various Boundaries Involved in the Concept of Parks as Microcosm. Nevertheless, boundaries must be clearly defined when referring to an ecosystem, since because they are social constructs, they are not readily identifiable in the physical environment. Referring back to the definition of ecosystem management, both biophysical and socio-economic systems must be considered in the identification of boundaries. Defining boundaries is essential because, as Lackey (1994) mentions, the 'management optima' can only be deteiniined if the "boundaries of concern" are identified26. Lackey warns us of the dangers of not explicitly bounding an ecosystem when he states: ...to not define boundaries will lead to management strategies that are not intellectually rigorous, or result in debates over technical issues when the debates are really clashes over values and priorities. (1994: 9) Nash (1967) in his book on the evolution of the idea of wilderness, talks about the absence of duality between nature and culture in native culture. 2 6 Protected areas, as tools of sustainability, are for the benefit and enjoyment of not only the present generations but for the benefits of future generations. Hence, defining boundaries of concern for the planning and 20 Li an effort to define the boundaries of concern for protected areas, various alternatives to the present management paradigm have been proposed. The preferred alternative, as I have mentioned earlier, is ecosystem management (Agee, 1996). However, to represent an alternative paradigm rather than a new term to perpetuate old practices, it is essential that park managers expand their definition of the concept of ecosystem management to one that fully appreciates the significance of socio-economic and other social values and priorities. Indicators of ecosystem integrity should include indicators from as many different perspectives and systems descriptions, as practical. Those associated with human value judgments, like economics or aesthetics, should not be excluded by a prejudice for natural, ecological, or scientific perspectives. (King 1993: 27) The human ecological approach to protected area planning is another alternative that has also received much attention by academics (Nelson 1993; Slocombe and Nelson 1992; Machlis and Tichnell 1985). Bennett, in his book The Ecological Transition, refers to human ecology in the following way: The rational and purposive manipulation of the social and natural environments constitutes the human approach to Nature: the characteristics of this style of adaptation must, it seems to me, become the heart of any approach to human ecology that concerns itself with the question of what people want and how they go about getting it, and what effects this has on themselves and Nature. (Bennett 1976: 3) * Boyden (1992) defines the human ecological approach as a whole coherent system which considers both natural and human dimensions and their interactions and evolution. When applied in the context of protected areas, the human ecological approach transcends the nature/culture dualism and redefines parks as microcosm-fragments of our overall natural resource heritage (Slocombe and Nelson 1992; Sax 1988). The presence of a park, as well as the management approach practiced, has an impact on the surrounding systems (i.e. social, economic, and biophysical) and vice versa (Nelson 1993). In support of the human ecological approach, Stankey writes: All parks, be they in the United States, the United Kingdom, or in Indonesia represent a set of attributes and conditions that reflect a history of human use, occupancy, and association. There exist between such areas and the societies around them certain linkages, relationships, and dependencies. When these associations are disrupted, ...severe disruption can follow, and these disturbances can affect environmental, socio-economic, and cultural conditions, again to the detriment of area management objectives. (1989: 248) Since protected areas are interconnected with their surrounding environment, addressing issues within this wider regional environment becomes central to making decisions which will allow the effective management of protected areas. Central to this paradigm is the consideration of values. More specifically, management of protected areas is a particularly difficult task which requires hard tradeoffs. The issue of future generations is briefly discussed in Chapter 4 with relevance to national parks. 21 "[mjanaging a park using a human ecological approach depends at least as much on attitude, perspective, and process as on information, expertise, and technology"(Slocombe and Nelson 1992: 213). Whether one adopts the ecosystem management approach or the human ecological approach to protected area planning and management, common to both is the realization of; 1) the value-laden nature of conservation; 2) the interconnectedness of a park to its regional surrounding; and 3) the importance of identifying, understanding, and incorporating a breadth of values and priorities into decision-making. The responsibility of parks planners and managers involves expanding the concept of parks beyond the nature/culture dualism to allow a full integration of the surrounding social realties into planning. Machlis and Tichnell (1985) summarize the status of parks when they write: "Parks are the creation of a political process. Without stable societies, there can be no stable parks" (Eidsvik 1985: 4). It should be clarified here that calling for integrated approaches to the planning and management of protected areas, which give due consideration to social realities, does not necessarily imply that parks must include human activities and exploitation. What it means is that the goals of management for a specific park must be selected with due consideration of the regional and local realities within which the park is established. These realities involve the values, perceptions and priorities of those that will be, or currently are, affected by the park. It is not that the establishment and management of parks in which human activity is restricted or even prohibited is wrong or inappropriate; indeed, such steps must be undertaken in some circumstances so that other important values and needs, such as nature conservation or the establishment of baseline conditions, can be achieved. It is crucial to understand, however, that this conception of parks is only one instrument of conservation and that it is a model developed in a particular set of historical and cultural circumstances that may be of limited applicability in other times and places. The failure to realize this may jeopardize the very nature conservation objectives that such parks is intended to achieve. (Stankey 1989: 247) 3. The Threats to Protected Areas "What are conservation and sustainability, and are they always compatible?" (Hoag and Skold 1996). In the context of protected areas, it would seem that management for the conservation of natural areas does not necessarily engage parks onto the sustainability path. Indeed, reference to protected areas as endangered spaces is becoming more common. The IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas currently keeps a list of threatened national parks in the world which in 1990, contained more than 90 sites out of a total of 1164 (McNeeley 1990). It is safe to assume that, in addition to having been underestimated, these numbers must have augmented significantly since 1990. Hence, the concern for the future of protected areas is justified. 22 As a result of our understanding of the pressures on protected areas today and in the future, many authors have argued for the necessity of new approaches to planning and management27. Logically, the adjustment of the planning and management approach should address the threats to protected areas (Slocombe and Nelson 1992). Following an extensive survey of managers of protected areas around the world, Machlis and Tichnell (1985) came up with a list of 1,611 specific threats28. Among the principal threats identified were the removal of vegetation and wildlife, poor relations with local people, and conflicting demands for park resources. Among the more general threats to protected areas, climate change, the growing world population, the ever-rising demands for natural resources resulting in loss of habitat and natural areas, and more recently, significant financial cutbacks29 were identified (McNeeley 1990; Gardner 1990). Referring to the threats that have made the expansion of the park system difficult, Gardner questions the approach to parks planning in Canada: "This experience suggests that approaches to planning for park networks today must be less technocratic, more accessible to the public, more integrated with land use planning, and more flexible than has been the case with conventional system planning" (1990: 10). The threats enumerated above purport to show that parks are faced with the same realities that are confronting any resource management issue in society today: increased complexity, uncertainty, and demand. Because local communities have been identified as threats to parks, dealing with these threats means dealing with local communities. To the extent that support can only be given when there is a true understanding of the management issues, the support of local communities entails levels of participation which can facilitate the acquisition of such knowledge. However, since local communities, by means of their activities, are threats to parks, getting their support more importantly entails that planners and managers themselves be knowledgeable about the values and priorities of these communities. This leads us to the fourth argument for increased community involvement in protected areas planning and management: the need for cooperation. 4. Cooperation - A Requirement for the Future of Protected Areas It is safe to say that in most, if not all, discussions on the future of protected areas, cooperation, partnership, as well as stewardship are addressed. Indeed, such notions are intrinsically linked with the present trend towards integrated approaches to plarming and management. The realization of the importance of community support has made the concept of cooperation an essential tool to create bridges 2 7 For example see Gardner (1990), Stankey (1989). 2 8 Other studies have being carried out to identify threats to protected areas. For more references see the State of the World Parks Report prepared by the U.S. National Park Service in 1980 or the IUCN register of Threatened Protected Areas of the World. 2 9 The budget cut to Canadian national parks is $ 98 million over a period of five years (Parks Canada 1997). 23 with local communities (Nelson 1993). Some have gone to the extent of declaring the cooperation of local people critical for the future of parks (Raval 1994, Mondor 1988). I argue that cooperation is defined within a series of principles outside of which reference to it can, at best, only serve to postpone conflict. More likely however, the misuse of these notions results in disappointment and distrust for the parties involved, ultimately ensuing in heightened conflicts and increased difficulty for cooperation and stewardship (Hough 1988). To a large extent it is because of the inevitability of conflicts with local communities that cooperation is prevalent in discussion on protected areas. Three main principles of cooperation have been identified from the kterature on protected areas: 1) ongoing communication; 2) power over decisions; and 3) a conflict resolution mechanism (Ibid). Conflict resolution is both a principle and a reason for cooperation since, as I mentioned earlier, conflicts are inevitable. Overarching these principles are the notions of trust and flexibility, both of which are central in any cooperative efforts. Each principle is discussed further in the following paragraphs. Ongoing communication Communication between stakeholders is of course, central to cooperation. To be successful as well as instill trust, communication skills are necessary (Ibid). Communication must also be two-sided, meaning that communities and planners must be willing to leam rather than typically taking on the role of teacher (Ibid). A shared learning process goes a long way in building the necessary trust between locals and park personnel. Face to face dialogue or personal contact has also been recognized as important in fostering trust30 (Ameyaw 1992; Hough 1988). Practicing effective communication is a learning process that requires time and must also be ongoing because management issues continually change and evolve. Communication between local communities and the park agencies should be initiated at an early stage in a planning process (Gardner 1990; Pretty 1995; De Lacy 1994). Involvement from the outset will facilitate cooperation efforts as stakeholders will be less likely to build resentment and take on rigid positions in discussions with park personnel. Early involvement will favor communications based on interests rather than positions (Fisher and Ury 1981). Fisher and Ury (1981) argue that negotiation should not be based only on trust between parties. However, it is widely accepted that trust between local communities and parks planners is essential if cooperation is to take place. Indeed, local communities need to trust that the intent of parks planners' in allowing local citizens to participate is not to manipulate them but is rather a genuine interest in representing their values and priorities. 24 Power over decisions To encourage local communities into cooperating with protected areas managers, they must benefit in return for their investment of time and energy. One basic benefit is the actualization of their values and priorities in planning and management decisions. Hough, commenting on the holding of public meetings writes: "[tjhough a significant first step, such token participation is unlikely to lead to lasting satisfaction or participation; it does not give the local community ownership" (1988: 131). Local people must feel that they have a certain power over the decisions to be made which in turn can give them a sense of responsibility. This sense of responsibility is important as the consequence of the lack of user's responsibility is often a worsening resource problem (Berkes and Feeney 1990). Although the level of power can be adapted to each situation, some argue simply that the control over resources should return to those who depend on them31 (McNeeley 1996, 1984). Giving a community power and responsibility implies a shift towards a more decentralized approach to parks planning. Traditionally however, park authorities have followed a top-down approach to planning. The relationship of park agencies with local communities has been paternalistic, selective, and unidirectional (Stankey 1989). The typical consultation model used for protected areas, referred to as the DAD approach (decide/announce/defend) offers little or no opportunity for local influence over decisions (Harris 1986). The adverse impacts of parks on commumties has led to violent reactions by local citizens, to the extent of the death of park managers (Hough 1988). In light of the consequences of the centralized approach, certainly overcoming distrust in park authorities is the biggest challenge facing cooperative efforts today32 (Berkes etal. 1991). Inconsistencies between the traditional management approach and the notion of cooperation are numerous. Under the preservationist mentality, parks are a natural oasis to protect from human intrusion, and the management approach is one of limited intervention in the natural process. Hence, this mentality, still very present today, is an extension of the nature/culture dualism presented earlier. This appears inconsistent with building cooperative relationships with local communities as well as promoting stewardship. Machlis and Tichnell point out that "...such a preservationist approach requires an essentially militaristic defense strategy and will almost always heighten conflict" (1985: 96). Some have gone further to state that the 3 1 Protected areas are established to protect natural areas for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Since future generations are not present to represent their interest and values, returning control to local communities, for this reason among others, becomes a contentious issue. This will be discussed further in Chapter 4. 3 2 Berkes et al. (1991) are more specifically addressing land-claims issues and the relationship between natives and the government but nevertheless, their argument is relevant to the situation between local communities and protected areas. 25 preservationist policy will ensure the destruction of parks (Marks 1984 in Machlis and Tichnell 1985). Opportunities for cooperation and stewardship are thus limited by a top-down, preservationist concept of parks as the stakeholders have very little power over decisions. Conflict resolution mechanisms Conflicts are inevitable (Ellsworth 1995), as explained earlier, because of the increasing complexity, uncertainty, and demands. People have different lenses through which they view the world. Differences in values and priorities, perceived33 or founded, are realities which any planning process must deal with. Because differences in values and perspectives can be positively channeled into developing creative management alternatives, some authors consider conflict a natural and even a necessary phenomenon34. Engaging in destructive conflict is a choice which can be substituted by shifting traditional attitudes towards differences in values, priorities or opinions (Maser 1996) and managing conflicts towards positive results (Chambers and McBeth 1992). Four key mechanisms have been identified to deal with conflicts between local communities and protected areas. These are interactive planning, holistic social impact assessment, synergistic multi-cultural interactions and mediation, and negotiation and joint problem solving (Bidol and Crowfoot 1988). Essential to successful conflict resolution is trust (Chambers and McBeth 1992; Hough 1988). Because conflict resolution approaches involve high levels of stakeholder participation, a commitment to deal with conflicts within protected areas supports the call for increased participation in parks planning. Reflecting on the need to deal with conflict in resource management, Pretty writes: The challenge is not just that these differences have to be recognized, but that the competing values need to be mediated so as to produce agreements between actors with very different agendas. This calls for better forms of active participation and new platforms for decision-making that engage wider public interest and social movements. (1995: 1250). Central to the process of cooperation are two elements, trust and flexibility. The vital role of trust for communication, decentralizing decision-making power, and successful conflict resolution, is well recognized in the literature. Flexibility has not been mentioned explicitiy in the above discussion, yet it underlies the shift towards a more decentralized approach to the planning and management of parks. For example, flexibility is necessary for park authorities to engage in two-sided communication, for permitting the delegation of power to local communities as well as for engaging in mechanisms of conflict resolution. 3 3 As a result of rniss-communication, stakeholders may think they have differences in values and priorities when in fact they have similar values but a different vocabulary or a different means of expressing these values. 26 In an analysis of the systems approach to protected areas in Canada, Gardner (1990) concluded that allowing for more flexibility was among the most pressing adjustment to the systems approach. Illustrated in Figure 2.3 are the guiding principles for cooperation as found mainly in the protected areas literature. Figure 2.3 Guiding Principles of Cooperation as Found in the Protected Areas Literature 3 4 See Maser (1996). 27 2.4 SUMMARY The traditional approaches to protected areas planning and management are currently being challenged. Indeed, the notions of 'pristineness' or 'naturalness' can no longer guide the planning and management of parks, considering the present understanding and definition of sustainability and of the interconnectedness between and within the three systems: biophysical, social, and economic. Protected areas are undergoing a shift from a preservationist and positivist paradigm towards an integrated, holistic paradigm. This process is reflective of social changes. One of these social changes is increased interest in, and demand for, participation in decision-making processes. This interest in participation is linked with the dissatisfaction in our governance system. Hence, the increased interest in participation represents a desire for involvement in which the participants have a real power of influence over the outcome of decisions. These levels were identified earlier as cooperation and citizen control. They represent the shift towards a governance system within which approaches to planning and decision-making are reflective of direct democracy35. Various theoretical perspectives for higher levels of participation than those typical of representative democracy have been presented in this chapter. They are: • Participation is an intrinsic right in a democracy. • Participation is a learning process - it is an end in itself. • Participation leads to successful conservation within parks and therefore can contribute to sustainability - participation is a means to an end. • Participation is an instrument of conflict resolution between park personnel and local communities. These four main perspectives on public participation have been presented in this chapter in light of the decision-making context of protected areas. Figure 2.4 presents a heuristic concentric decision-making model which summarizes the discussion of this chapter. The outer layer represents the realities of complexity, uncertainty, and demand that impinge upon all resource management decisions. The next layer refers to the notion of protected areas as microcosms, part of the larger social fabric. Therefore planning and management decisions must consider the three systems: biophysical, social, and economic, within which they operate. The third layer represents the three main groups of stakeholders which have an interest in the planning and management of parks: government, interest groups, and local communities. Each group has very different levels of power over decisions. Because local communities are directly affected by the establishment of a park and because their activities also have a direct impact on parks, 28 their part ic ipat ion i n protected area planning and management is central to the sustainabil ity o f parks . T h e f ina l layer represents a set o f interrelated realities w h i c h are a log ica l outcome o f the previous layers. Indeed, considering that the values o f the stakeholder groups differ wi th in and between themselves, conflicts are inevitable. Because the satisfaction o f a l l values and priorities is impossible , trade-offs must be made. S ince the trade-offs w i l l consider each stakeholder's values differently, conflicts m a y result as a n outcome. H e n c e , considering stakeholder's values from the onset is a proact ive a p p r o a c h to decis ion-m a k i n g . F i n a l l y , the f loating notions are principles considered important for the establishment o f cooperative relationships between p a r k personnel and loca l communit ies . T h e principles selected are: defined roles, self-design, objective-driven, inclusive, equal opportunity, accountabil i ty, flexibihty/iterativeness, shared-learning, bu i ld ing trust, and neutral th ird party. Deta i l ed definitions are prov ided i n the fo l lowing chapter as these f loating not ion constitute the basis o f the analyt ica l framework. Chapter 3 w i l l a lso prov ide explanations o n the selection process o f these principles . F i g u r e 2.4 Heur i s t i c Concentr i c M o d e l o f Protected A r e a s ' D e c i s i o n - M a k i n g Context . T h e f ramed elements represent dec is ion-making "realities" w h i c h have to be taken into account when developing a dec is ion-making process. T h e floating elements represent factors w h i c h must be considered w h e n one o f the goals o f protected areas is to contribute to sustainability. 35 See Table 2.1. 29 C H A P T E R III M E T H O D S A N D A N A L Y T I C A L F R A M E W O R K 3.1 INTRODUCTION There are two main sections to this chapter. The first presents the methods used to gather the data for the evaluation of Parks Canada's approach to public participation in new park establishment. The next section concerns the analytical framework which essentially consists of ten criterion considered in the literature as guiding principles for effective public participation. Prior to introducing the analytical framework is a discussion of some elements of the theoretical foundation underpinning the selection of the criteria. The discussion in section 3.3 further exposes the worldview on which this thesis is based. 3.2 METHODS 3.2.1 Research Approach "The design of a study begins with the selection of a topic and a paradigm" (Creswell 1994: 1). The topic for this thesis is public involvement in national park establishment and the chosen research paradigm is quahtative as opposed to quantitative research. While the demarcation between qualitative and quantitative research is subjective1, different assumptions for each paradigm have been defined in the literature (Creswell 1994; Denzin and Lincoln 1994). Among the list of assumptions provided by Creswell (1994) and Foddy (1993), three have been selected here which characterize this study: 1. Reality is subjective and multiple as seen by participants in a study; 2. The study is perceived essentially as value-laden and therefore biased by the researcher's perspectives and the value-laden nature of the data provided from the field and; 3. The methodology is context-bound and inductive. While the worldview of some researchers may lead them to choose either the quantitative or the qualitative research paradigm, the selection of one or the other or both may be determined simply by the nature of the problem. Creswell (1994) identifies four factors that support the use of the qualitative paradigm: 1. The exploratory nature of research; 2. The amount of variables unknown; 1 The dichotomy between the quantitative and qualitative paradigm is an illusion to the extent that both approaches share a strong common ground (Yin 1994). The two methods are indeed often used together (Patton 1987) or complement each other in different phases of research to achieve better results. Within the field of quahtative research itself, Denzin and Lincoln (1994) identify five historical moments, all active today, that define the various perspectives on qualitative research. The positivist paradigm is associated with the first historical moment and the postmodern with the last (i.e. the present moment). 30 3. The importance of the context and; 4. The lack of theoretical base for the study. With regard to the assumptions and the nature of the problem, this research on the involvement of the public in the establishment of national parks clearly falls within the qualitative research paradigm. The research assumptions presented in Chapter 1 support those identified by Creswell (1994). As for the nature of the problem explored in this thesis, no recent study has been found which analyses Parks Canada's approach to public participation. The conceptual framework of this study does not lend itself to a controlled research approach. Indeed, an individual's worldview or paradigm drives the topic of public participation. The impact of one's worldview on the perception of the value of public participation was explored in Chapter 2 with the discussion on Democracy. The selection of a 'better' model is a choice that can only be justified within a certain worldview. In this sense, the study proposed here is not 'fact finding' as is required in a typical positivist research. The importance of the context is central for the analysis of the case study. Certainly Parks Canada's organizational culture, its policies, and its specific establishment process bounds the thesis in various levels of contexts. The theories around public participation are widespread and, as mentioned earlier, worldview driven. The analytical framework developed for the evaluation is based on substantive literature and is therefore not purely derived from the field. According to Yin (1994), it is really the ethnographic research paradigm that tends to avoid any commitment to a theoretical model prior to data collection. The purpose of the thesis is to evaluate the approaches to local community participation in the establishment of national parks in Canada. More precisely the intent is to analyze Parks Canada's approach to local community participation. The general subject of inquiry in this thesis is public participation and more particularly, local or regional community participation. In selecting Parks Canada as the system in which to inquire about public participation, I have chosen a case study. However, to provide a more in depth look at Parks Canada's approach to public participation I have chosen the establishment of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park (SSLMP) as another case study. Two purposes for studying case studies are identified (Stake 1994). The first, the intrinsic case, occurs when there is interest in the specific information of the case. The second is the instrumental case study which is used as a tool to provide insight into an external interests (Ibid). There is however no distinctive line between the two (Stake 1994). This study encompasses both an interest in the specific park establishment process and in a broader understanding of Parks Canada's approach to public participation. Figure 3.1 illustrates the conceptual framework of the thesis and presents the various research methods used within each component. These methods are further detailed in the following section. 31 \ \ I Figure 3.1. Illustration of the Conceptual Framework of the Thesis The development of the conceptual framework was dynamic and evolved throughout the research and analysis process. However, its development was driven by the thesis objectives or research questions identified in Chapter 1. The first objective was to provide a rationale for the increased public involvement in the establishment of national parks. Fields of literature selected include democracy, public participation, sustainable development, parks and protected areas, people and parks, ecosystem management, and conservation. The process of defining a rationale provided direction for a new set of literature for the development of the analytical framework. Sources of literature from the fields of negotiation, public participation, conflict resolution, co-management, cooperation, collaboration, community development and consensus were surveyed. Case Study Selection The SSLMP is located in the province of Quebec. A detailed description of the case study location and establishment context is provided in Chapter 5. The SSLMP was selected following informal phone interviews with planners at Parks Canada. Planners were asked to suggest recent establishment processes in which there had been significant local community involvement. Among the parks suggested were Bruce Peninsula National Park, Wapusk National Park, and the SSLMP. The SSLMP was selected based on the following reasons: 1. The establishment process is recent and therefore reflects the present approach of Parks Canada to public participation. 2. The park has been established and therefore renders a complete picture of the various phases of establishment. 32 3. The SSLMP establishment is considered progressive by Parks Canada with regards to the level of involvement of the regional population. 4. The park is located in the Southern portion of the country where many communities are present and the competing demands for the land are numerous. Because it is assumed that such a context will characterize new park establishment in the future, only Southern parks were considered. 5. There was no First Nations focus in the SSLMP. Because I did not want to mix First Nations issues around land claims with park establishment, a park with no major First Nations issue was selected. 6. The SSLMP is located in a region most familiar to myself. This factor facilitated the understanding of the establishment context. 3.2.2 Data Collection Interviews Interviews were carried out for both the case study evaluation and for the general analysis of Parks Canada's approach to public participation. The interviews were semi-structured and questions were developed for each of the criteria selected for the analytical framework. The interview questions were developed to meet five goals. The first goal was to gather background information relevant to the case study. In the case of the SSLMP, the bulk of factual information was accessed prior to the interviews. The second goal was to elicit basic information about the career profile of planners at Parks Canada and with regards to his or her training in public participation or related field (e.g. consensus, conflict resolution). A third goal was to gather planners' perceptions of the application of the various criteria in the specific establishment process. Questionnaires2 for the SSLMP case study were developed based on the contextual information provided by the various government documents and numerous briefs submitted by the public during the various phases of consultations. The questionnaire developed to analyze Parks Canada's general approach to public participation was more general and was not based on any previous information on other establishment processes. This information was limited to that provided at the onset of the interview. The fourth goal was the identification of opportunities and constraints to the application of the criterion in establishment processes3. In the SSLMP case study interviews, planners were asked to identify the constraints to the application of the various criteria to the SSLMP process. The other planners interviewed were asked to identify constraints to the application of the criteria based on their overall experience at Parks Canada. Finally, the fifth goal was to illicit planners' general perceptions of the relevance of each criterion in the development of a public participation strategy in the establishment of new parks. 2 See Appendix A for the interview questionnaire. 3 Although both constraints and opportunities were initially sought in the interviews, only constraints were identified by the first three planners interviewed. Because the interviews were long I decided to abandon the questions regarding the identification of opportunities. 33 The interview format followed the basic interview strategies proposed in the literature (see Fontana and Frey 1994; Foddy 1993). Following introductions, an overview of the thesis objectives was provided as well as the interview process. General background questions about planners' career at Parks Canada and training relative to public participation were then asked. These questions also served to establish a relaxed and non-threatening atmosphere (Fontana and Frey 1994; Berg 1989; Patton 1987). Prior to engaging in the substantive questions of the interview, the list of criteria and their definitions was handed to the interviewee. These definitions were provided in order to rninimize the differences in perception of the meaning of the criteria between the various interviewees and myself and between the interviewees themselves (Foddy 1993). The definitions were read out loud with the planner before engaging in the questions relating to any one criterion. When there was difficulty in comprehending the criteria, time was taken to clarify the definition (Foddy 1993). While planners occasionally asked for clarification, no fiirther concerns were raised. The questions were categorized in two parts within each of the criterion. Part one consisted in the exploration of the application of the criterion in the establishment process. Part 2 consisted in the identification of constraints to the application of the criterion in the establishment of national parks. Not all interview questions were addressed in a systematic format as answers provided in the course of the interview made some questions irrelevant. Most interviews were conducted in Parks Canada's offices and on one occasion at the residence of an interviewee. A total of three Parks Canada employees were interviewed for the SSLMP case study and an additional two interviews were conducted with two key regional community members involved from the onset of the establishment. A separate interview questionnaire was developed for these informants with only objectives 2 and 3 in mind. All the interviews were conducted in French. Five Parks Canada employees were interviewed for the analysis of the general approach to public participation. Those interviewed for both the SSLMP case study and the general analysis were either planners directly involved in the establishment process, or employees with a position granting them specific knowledge of the establishment process. Four interviews were conducted in English and one in French. Because of the limited number of planners involved in the establishment branch of Parks Canada and because the other Parks Canada employees interviewed occupy specialized positions, no further detail is provided here about the interviewee to maintain their anonymity. To reduce unneeded text, Parks Canada employees will be referred to as 'planners' in the remainder of the thesis. The interviews were carried out in December and January of 1997-98 respectively. With the permission of those interviewed, all the interviews were recorded and later transcribed verbatim. Each interview lasted between one to three hours. Some interviews were conducted over two separate meetings. Interviewees 34 were provided with the list of criteria with their respective definitions in both French and English. The questionnaire for the SSLMP was initially written in English and translated and revised in French only. The questionnaire for the general Parks Canada analysis was written in English and translated to French. A coding system was developed to reference the use of the quotes in the preliminary thesis chapter submitted for review. However, to maintain the anonymity of those interviewed, the coding reference system was removed for the final thesis document. Because of the small number of interviewees, a coding system would have jeopardized confidentiality. The interview process was conducted with the approval of the UBC Ethics Committee. 3.2.4 Document Analysis Case Study The SSLMP establishment process was well documented with regards to the main public participation events. The primary public documents were accessed from the Quebec or the Ottawa government libraries. Other internal documents including the verbatim public hearings transcripts were also accessed. The key public documents used for the evaluation of the SSLMP case study were: • The 1987 workshop summary (Pippard 1987); • The feasibility study, Final Report (Environment Canada-Parks 1988a); • The 133 briefs submitted by the public in the 1990 and 1993 consultations (Canada-Quebec 1993a; 1990a); • The public information documents provided to the public prior to the three consultations (Canada-Quebec 1993b; 1990b) and; • The government(s) summaries of the three consultation processes (Canada-Quebec 1993c; Canada-Quebec 1991; Environnement Canada 1988b). The 133 briefs were first skimmed for an understanding of their general content. Prior to revisiting the briefs, an initial level of analysis of each criterion was done using the interviews with the planners. Thereafter, each brief was read again at least twice and manually coded. Additional information concerning the SSLMP was gathered from the Canadian Ecology Advocates (CEA) documents. These documents were gathered both at the government libraries and directly from Leonne Pippard, the director the CEA. These non-governmental documents proved central for a more complete understanding of the SSLMP establishment. Together these various sources provided information on the establishment context, the chronology of events leading to the establishment of the marine park, Parks Canada's perception of the various public participation events, and the public perception of the establishment process as it unfolded. Based on a first 35 reading of this information, interview questions were developed to assess planners' perception of the public participation approach. 3.2.5 Data Analysis There are two main analysis sections in this thesis. The first pertains to the evaluation of the SSLMP public participation process during its establishment. Data used for this included interviews, briefs and other sources of documentation. These sources were used in an integrated manner to: 1) describe the establishment process and the public participation approach; 2) compare planners' perceptions of the process among themselves; and 3) compare planners' perceptions to the factual information and the regional population's perception of the process (based on the briefs and the two interviews). The analysis of the SSLMP was essentially based on identifying patterns within the data gathered for each criterion. However, because of the interelatedness of the criteria, responses provided within one criterion were sometimes used within the analysis of another. The second analysis section concerns Parks Canada's general approach to public participation. Contrary to the analysis of the SSLMP, this was not based on the criteria of the analytical framework. Instead, the interviews were analyzed to find key repetitive points raised by planners. Based on the identification of these points, other sources of information were brought into the analysis such as the policy information, the data from the SSLMP case study, and the theoretical literature. 3.2.6 Data Validity and Research Limitations The discourse around data validity in qualitative research is far from presenting a united front (Creswell 1994). While there may be disagreement as to what factors should detennine validity, internal and external validity is nevertheless seriously addressed within qualitative research (Creswell 1994; Foddy 1993). Internal validity refers to the representation of reality of the data, whereas external validity refers to the capacity to generalize the research findings (Creswell 1994). Foddy (1993) identifies a series of factors that can influence the validity of data. These can be categorized as those relating to the formulation of the questions, the interviewer's skills, and the interviewees responses. Certain measures where taken to alleviate the biases that would affect the validity of the data. These are presented in the following paragraphs. Pertaining to the questionnaire development, the topic of the research was clearly identified along with the identification of the kind of information necessary to address the research interest (Foddy 1993). The 36 order of the questions was also considered, as mentioned earlier; to limit the influence of certain questions on others (Ibid). In the analysis presented in Chapters 6 and 7 the responses of the various interviewees are compared. According to Foddy (1993) qualitative data are not necessarily comparable if the meaning of the question is not understood equally by interviewees. To counteract this limitation the provision of a "response framework" is suggested (Ibid). The response framework for the case study was the case study itself which is bound by a series of factual events. The quasi-exclusive interview of Parks Canada employees and their substantive knowledge of the organization and the establishment process were other response frameworks resulting from the nature of the study. Finally, the provision of defined criteria to the interviewee also helped reduce the potential for multiple interpretation of the questions asked. Factual information based on interviewee's recollection of events has often proven to be highly unreliable (Ibid). Factual information on the SSLMP establishment process was mainly collected from written sources. When an informant provided information it has been referenced to as a personal communication in the thesis. Pertaining to the interview of planners for the general Parks Canada analysis, the park establishment process was almost exclusively documented based on informants recollection of the events. This information should therefore be considered unsubstantiated. Triangulation was used as a means to increase the internal validity of the data4. Methodological triangulation refers to the use of different methods of data collection (Patton 1987). In this study, interviews and document analysis were used. Data triangulation was conducted through the use of multiple interviews with Parks Canada employees and through the analysis of 133 briefs submitted by the public for the SSLMP establishment. In addition, the format of the interview itself provided for triangulation of the data. Questions were developed for each criterion and since these criterion are highly interrelated, planners were provided multiple opportunities to comment on their perception of the public participation. Research Limitations Qualitative research requires numerous skills to limit the potential biases in data collection and analysis. It would be misleading for me to pretend to have had all the required skills to engage in both the interview 4 According to Denzin and Lincoln, "triangulation is not a tool or a strategy of validation but an alternative to validation (Denzin and Lincoln 1994: 2). 37 and data analysis without some basic novice biases. Among the biases relative to the interview process, the following were identified: 1. Answers provided by the interviewee where not systematically checked during the interviews to see if the question had really been answered (Foddy 1993). 2. While verbal probes were used to gather more details on brief answers (Berg 1989), I was sometimes satisfied with an interesting point made by the interviewee without making sure it really addressed the question. 3. On various occasions two questions within one were asked leading to the need to reformulate the question. This happened on occasions when the interviewee explored issues not precisely within the confines of the questionnaire. 4. In the case of one interviewee, numerous conversations prior to the selection of the case study had occurred. The interviewee therefore had an understanding of my worldview, which may have affected his response. However, because of the case study's factual context and the delimitation of the question within criteria, this factor may have had a limited impact on the answers provided. The goal of the interviews was to 'understand'. Fontana and Frey (1994) consider that, particularly in unstructured interviews, building a rapport with the interviewee is paramount. The challenge lies in building a balanced rapport within which the research questions can be met. 5. Too much explanation was provided in some instances when planners seemed to lack understanding of the question or the criteria. Prominent biases of data analysis and research conclusions identified in the qualitative methods literature are: the salience of first impressions, selectivity, overconfidence in some data, and the unreliability of the information from the sources (Huberman and Miles 1994). Triangulation of information and personal verifications were practiced to minimize these biases. 3.3 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK 3.3.1 Theoretical Foundation of the Analytical Framework Beyond the Assumption of Duality It is a common practice in our society to think in terms of dualism. Simple examples are the strong sense of right and wrong, objective and subjective, feminine and masculine or, as addressed in the previous chapter, nature and culture. In the case of public participation, dualistic thinking occurs when we perceive the project as separate from the community and when we refer to the involved parties in terms of separate competing groups each associated with power levels (e.g. the community/the planner, the governed/the government, etc.) (Abbott 1996). A dualistic approach for looking at issues can be quite limiting if the components of the dualism are perceived hierarchically and as separate or mutually exclusive. A contrasting view would be to perceive the components as two elements of the same system or continuum, with no hierarchy. Within the public participation literature, dualistic thinking has lead to two opposing paradigms (Ibid). The traditional paradigm still dominant today is the position that the goal of projects or 38 activities dominate and determine the participation process3. Although this may seem quite acceptable, advocates of public participation "as an end" strongly disagree with this dominance structure (Moser 1989). As a result, an alternate paradigm proposes the opposite; the dominance of the participation process over the goal of the project/activity (Moser 1989). Power relations underlie most dualistic thinking. Arnstein (1969) in her still widely referred to Ladder of Citizen Participation, presents public participation as a continuum of power transfer from the government to the people. As presented in Chapter 2, her conclusion is that effective participation can only be achieved at the last step of the ladder, (i.e. citizen control) (Arnstein 1969). Moser (1989), in defense of participation as 'an end', dismisses the value of various levels of power sharing on the basis that those that are affected by a project/activity should be the ones making the decisions. Both are idealistic, and neither offer guidance for planning or evaluating public participation processes in a complex world (Abbott 1996). Abbott (1996) proposes that both paradigms are flawed because they are dualistic and therefore reductionist. Each attempts to reduce public participation to a, "clearly identifiable ideal" (Abbott 1996:131). In reality, argues Abbott, both the project (or activity) and the community (or beneficiaries) are complex and interrelated processes. As a result of such a perception, the community and the planner, or the project and the community cannot be seen as separate components. They form a 'symbiotic relationship' which develops into a specific dynamic. Depending on the nature of the project, this interaction can occur between the activity and the community, or, as in most environmental resource management cases, the activity and a larger body of stakeholders (e.g. NGOs, industry, governments) (Ibid). Driving the development of Abbott's alternative paradigm is his acknowledgment of the interconnectedness6 of activities, actors, and interests (see Figure 3.2). 5 Thomas (1995) makes such an assumption in his book Public Participation in Public Decisions which I use in this thesis to develop the evaluation framework. I expand on his assumptions later in the chapter. 6 Abbott talks about inter-relatedness. For the purpose of consistency and clarity with the previous chapter, I use the term interconnectedness. 39 Abbott's Alternative Paradigm Project/Activity * * Community or Project/Activity •* p. Community NGO Governments Figure 3.2 Illustration of two Paradigms Regarding the Relationships Between a Project/Activity and the Community Systems-Thinking Abbott (1996) identifies two types of decision-making paradigms: 1) scientific reductionism; and 2) systems thinking. The latter follows from his alternative paradigm presented above which concerns the relationship between a project and public participation process. "Systems thinking is at the heart of ecosystem-based management" (Daniels and Walker 1996: 77). As mentioned in Chapter 2, this systems approach expands beyond the biophysical environment to include all factors which may be social or cultural, that together create the environment in which we live. Therefore, systems thinking should also be at the heart of approaches to public participation. Indeed, their purpose is, particularly in consensus processes, to bring together all the 'facts', all the perceptions of reality and all the values, to make more informed trade-offs based on the consideration of the interrelated systems (biophysical, socio-cultural, economic). Defining Cooperative Approaches Criteria for effective public participation were selected mainly from consensus, negotiation, conflict resolution, and cooperation literatures. The terminology used within these various literatures is very similar and therefore created difficulty in the selection of an umbrella term to represent the analytical framework criteria. The term Cooperative approaches was chosen over other terms such as negotiative approaches, partnership, or shared decision-making criteria, all of which could have been defended equally. The rationale for and definition of the umbrella term cooperative approaches is straightforward. First, the term cooperative approaches, as used in this thesis, encompasses different forms and mechanisms of public participation. The criteria selected for the analytical framework are principles that can be used to develop very different frameworks of public participation, explaining the reference to "approaches" rather Traditional Paradigms Project/Activity community participation 40 than "approach". Contrary to the use of public participation criteria, active involvement of the public is mtrinsic in the term cooperative. It is assumed in this thesis that active involvement of the public is necessary for effective public participation. This however does not exclude the use of information meetings in a public participation strategy. It does however mean that an information meeting, in and of itself, does not constitute public participation. The building of cooperative relationships between park agencies and local communities is the recurrent recommendation of authors on protected areas from both the social and conservation standpoint, as presented in Chapter 2. Parks Canada itself states on numerous occasions in the Guiding Principles and Operational Policies (Canadian Heritage 1994), the importance of building cooperative relationships with local communities. Additional clarity is provided in the following section regarding the breadth of meaning of the term cooperative approaches. Negotiation: A Central Concept in the Development of Cooperation As mentioned earlier, numerous umbrella terms could have been selected to characterize the evaluation criteria. The literature on negotiation was pivotal in the development of the analytical framework and deserves special attention. Indeed, within all of the various literature fields explored, negotiation principles are, to various degrees, addressed. Dorcey and Reik (1987) present an interesting picture of the governance system and the place of negotiation within it. Three modes of decision-making are identified by these authors: authoritative, consultative, and negotiative. 1. Authoritative decision-making occurs when an individual or group makes trade-off alone and imposes the decision on others. 2. Consultative decision-making occurs when an individual or a group consults with other individuals or groups before making the trade-off and imposing the decision. 3. Negotiative decision-making occurs when individuals or groups make the trade-off together and adopt an agreement. Of course in reality these modes are not easily differentiated. Indeed, within each of these, negotiation occurs. As Fisher and Ury (1981) mention, we are all negotiators and we negotiate every day. Within natural resource management, where different levels of government have jurisdiction over the management of an area or a resource, negotiation takes place all the time. 41 Figure 3.3 illustrates the various pathways for negotiative approaches in decision-making. Regardless of within what mode of decision-making negotiation takes place, various mechanisms may be used, each varying in the intensity of involvement and authority of a third party. Third party intervention ranges from unassisted negotiations to conciliation, facilitation, mediation, and arbitration7. Again, within each mode of decision-making, negotiation can take place at the project, multiple-use, policy, and rights levels. Finally, negotiation within any of these levels and situated in whichever of the three modes, can be either comprehensive, or it can address only sub-components of overall issues within a project. MODES MECHANISMS Unassisted 1 Authoritative Consultative Negotiative Arbitration Imposed decision Recommendation Agreement SCOPE Comprehensive Sub-components Figure 3.3 Illustration of Various Pathways for Negotiative Approaches in Decision-Making Principled Negotiation Negotiation is a term with a history and a reputation. Negative response to the practice of negotiation is a product of the traditional negotiation approaches. Hence, a clear distinction must be made between the two main forms of negotiation, i.e. traditional and principled negotiation (Fisher and Ury 1981). The understanding of these differences is pivotal for the recognition of negotiation as a valuable tool in the development of public participation processes. 7 Conciliation occurs when the role of the third party is to "assist negotiators in searching for accommodation, usually proceeding unilaterally". Facilitation occurs when the third party "assists the negotiating parties in coming together, taking care of the logistics of meetings and possibly the implementation of agreement but stopping short of getting involved in the actual negotiation.". In mediation, the role of the mediators is to "encourage and assist them [the negotiators] to settle their differences through compromise and negotiation". Finally, arbitration occurs when a third party is given the responsibility to hear the arguments of the different parties and then give their conclusion on the issue. The decision of the arbitrator can be binding or non-binding (Dorcey and Reik 1987:10-11). 42 Principled negotiation is widely accepted as the approach to resolve environmental disputes. In order to understand the distinctiveness of principled negotiation, a comparison with the traditional form is useful. Four main principles characterize principled negotiation (Fisher and Ury 1981), These are: 1. Separate the people from the problem There are two aspects to deal with in a negotiation: the 'people problem' and the substantive issue to resolve. These two, although related, must be dealt with separately. Fisher and Ury explain: "We are creatures of strong emotions who often have radically different perceptions and have difficulty communicating clearly. Emotions typically become entangled with the objective merits of the problem. Taking positions just makes this worse because people's ego become identified with their positions". The authors go on to explain that when negotiating, "[figuratively if not literally, the participants should come to see themselves as working side by side, attacking the problem, not each other" (Fisher and Ury 1981: 11) Because traditional negotiation approaches do not make an explicit effort to separate people from the problem, the process is hard on the people and yet soft on the problem. In other words, the issue to be resolved and the interests underlying the conflict are not explored fully. Principled negotiation allows the negotiators to see themselves as people and to tackle the problem fully. 2. Focus on interest, not positions Here lies one of the main differences between the two forms of negotiation. Within principled negotiation the focus is on the merits of the arguments rather than, in the case of traditional negotiation, a strength of wills. The arguments in the first form of negotiation require the identification and clarification of interests. This contrasts with traditional negotiation in which positions are defended without acknowledgment for the interests that underlie positions. The outcome of this latter form is a contest of wills leading to a compromise between positions. The clarification of stakeholders interests is an opportunity for them to learn from, and challenge each other. Susskind and Cruikshank (1987), write: "It is not enough for the parties to reach an accord with which they are willing to live, ... contending interests must examine the merits of all the arguments and evidence being put forward, including their own". 3. Invent options for mutual gain This third principle is an acknowledgment of the pressure associated with negotiation, especially when the stakes are high. To offset the limitations of pressure on the creative minds of the participants, stakeholders are challenged to invent alternatives to the options first identified by all participants. This creative exploration of alternatives results in new options that can meet all the interests of the stakeholders. 4. Insist on using explicit criteria Once alternatives are created, one or a combination of alternatives must be selected. Because every person will have their own frame of reference from which to evaluate the options, it is essential to select objective criteria for evaluation. Not doing this could seriously compromise the implementation of the agreement when the various parties involved in the agreement realize their differences in interpretation of the chosen alternative. Selecting options must not be based on the strength of the will of some stubborn negotiator. Identifying criteria acceptable to all parties, also prevents the bias of the discussion towards more verbal and determined negotiators and prevents unnecessary conflicts of wills. 43 The traditional negotiation approach is based on the belief that the gains available from any agreement are limited, and moreover, that they are limited to those on the table at the onset of negotiations. Negotiation is seen as a zero-sum game. Susskind and Cruikshank (1987) explain that: "Whatever one group wins, the other groups lose. Thus, the pluses to one side are balanced out by the minuses for the other side, yielding a total of zero - a zero sum". Such an assumption has a tremendous impact on the attitude of the parties at the negotiation table. The outcome is a win/lose situation but more precisely it is compromise which doesn't meet most of the parties interests. The negotiation field is a battle ground, each party searching in their bags of tricks for ways to 'force' the others to change their position. Because positions and people are not seen as separate in traditional negotiation, tactics to convince others to adopt 'your' positions are complicated by the need, in some instances, to maintain a working relationship or friendship with an 'adversary'. Table 3.1 summarizes the differences in principles of the two forms of negotiation. 44 Table 3.1 Comparison of Traditional and Principled Negotiation TRADITIONAL NEGOTIATION Soft I Hard PRINCIPLED NEGOTIATION Participants are friends. The goal is agreement Make concessions to cultivate the relationship Be soft on the people and the problem Trust others Change your position easily Make offers Disclose your bottom line Accept one-sided losses to reach agreement Search for the single answer: the one they will accept Insist on agreement Try to avoid a contest of wills Yield to pressure Participants are adversaries The goal is victory Demand concessions as a condition of the relationship Be hard on the problem and the people Distrust others Dig in your position Make threats Mislead as to your bottom line Demand one-sided gains as the price of agreement Search for the single answer: the one you will accept Insist on your position Try to win a contest of will Apply pressure Participants are problem-solvers The goal is a wise outcome reached efficiently and amicably Separate the people from the problem Be soft on the people hard on the problem Proceed independent of trust Focus on interests, not positions Explore interests Avoid having a bottom line Invent options for mutual gain Develop multiple options to choose from: decide later Insist on using objective criteria Try to reach a result based on standards independent of will Reason and be open to reason; yield to principle, not pressure Source: Fisher and Ury (1981) 3.3.2 Criteria for Effective Public Participation Various sources in the literatures proposed similar principles of public participation. Table 3.2 presents this list of principles in relation to the field from which they have been identified8. Many of these principles were found in a publication by the National Round Table on Environment and the Economy (Cormickera/. 1996). The purpose of Table 3.2 is to show that the principles for effective public participation are similar in various literature fields. However, there was no effort invested in carrying out an exhaustive review of each of the literature fields. Therefore, a principle unmarked within one field does not necessarily indicate that it has not been considered in that field. 45 Table 3.2. Principles of Effective Public Participation Principles Community uivoht invnt Negotiation ConHict Resolution Consensus (co* management) 1 Defined roles X X X X 2 Self-design X X 3 Objective-driven X X X X 4 Inclusive X X X X 5 Equal opportunity X X X 6 Accountability X X X 7 Flexibility X X X X X 8 Promotes-learning X X X 9 Building trust X X X X X 10 Neutral third party X X X X 11 Respect for diverse interests X X X X 12 Voluntary participation X X X 13 Implementation X X X X From this list a total of nine were chosen as criteria to evaluate Parks Canada's approach to public participation in the establishment of national parks based on several factors. First, certain criteria were considered irrelevant for the evaluation of the establishment process of national parks (i.e. Implementation). Second, it was considered that certain criteria would have been difficult to evaluate separately because of their close link to others and because of the focus of the interviews on planners rather than the public (i.e. Respect for diverse interests, Voluntary participation and Accountability). The criteria are briefly defined in Table 3.3 and further detailed in the following pages. The criteria are highly interrelated. For example the building of trust between the local population and the government agency is closely related to the provision of complete and understandable information (i.e. Equal opportunity), which in turn is closely linked to the provision of opportunities for learning. 46 Table 3.3 Analytical Framework 1. DEFINED ROLES A clear definition of roles for each representative is necessary to provide clarity to the process and therefore avoid distrust between parties. 2. SELF-DESIGN The parties are involved in the design of the participation process. 3. OBJECTIVE- DRIVEN One or more objectives have been identified and these motivate the development of the participation approach. The participants are informed about and understand the objectives of the public participation. 4. INCLUSIVE All parties with significant interest in the project are involved in the public participation process. 5. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY All parties have equal access to relevant information and the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the public participation process. 6 . FLEXIBIL1TY-ITERATIVENESS Because of uncertainty about 'facts', the absence of information, external events, etc. the process of looking at alternatives, and looking at the potential for implementation is an iterative one. Therefore the participation process is flexible and allows the parties to be involved in this iterative process. 7. PROMOTE LEARNING Participation processes are learning opportunities for all participants. Training in communication, organization, and/or negotiation skills is a necessary component of public participation. 8. BUILDING TRUST Parties must acquire trust in the process and in the other parties' commitment to a fair process. 9. NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY The active involvement of parties in participation processes is a difficult task and can lead to numerous stalemates. The presence of a mediator for training, planning the process, keeping the momentum, dealing with conflicts, etc. is significant for the success of the process. 47 The analytical framework does not represent the modus operandi of Parks Canada. How then can an evaluation of their approach to public participation be based on such an analytical framework? Justification of the analytical framework is based on two factors. The first regards the stated need for local community cooperation in the establishment and management of national parks and national marine conservation areas (NMCA) in various documents of Parks Canada (e.g. Canadian Heritage 1994; Canadian Heritage 1995). The second is the overwhelming evidence from various studies on protected areas of the importance of involving local communities in park planning and management if protected areas are to be sustainable and contribute to sustainability9. If cooperation between local communities and the park agency is central for protected areas, then an evaluation must be based on criteria that have been identified to build cooperative relationships between groups. Evaluating Parks Canada based on the limited criteria they have identified, though not defined, would not have permitted an assessment that could provide insights into how to strengthen or transform the present public participation to meet the stated goal. Criterion #1: Defined Roles The role of the various stakeholders can change significantly with different approaches to public participation. Particularly in the case of stakeholder committees, roles can vary and therefore must be clarified. Who will present the technical or scientific information? Will it be the scientific stakeholders at the table or an independent source? Are the meetings going to be assisted and if not, will the proponent act as the facilitator? Identifying the roles of the stakeholders is an important first step to clarify in the ground rules10. Associated with the identification of roles on stakeholder committees is the determination of the ground rules or the rules of procedure of the group. Of particular interest for the definition of the criterion is clarifying the role of the planner in decision-making today. Many authors call for the redefinition of the role of planners11 (Abbott 1996; Cormick et al. 1996; Daniels and Walker 1996; Thomas 1995; Forester 1982). According to Cormick et al. (1996), in consensus processes, planners should not play multiple roles (i.e. participants, facilitator, and educators). The risk in playing multiple roles is to lose the trust of the stakeholders. It seems safe to say 9 See Chapter 2 for more on this subject. 1 0 Ground rules are defined by Cormick et al. (1996) as establishing a constitution that specifies the following: how the parties will interact (rules of procedure), why they are interacting, who should be at the table, and when and where they should meet. 1 1 The term 'planner' is defined here as those working for a government agency with a specific mandate. An example is planners at Parks Canada who have a clear interest in the outcome of the establishment process of a national park. 48 that such a risk is also possible when applying other approaches to public participation. The role of the planners, as defined by Thomas (1995), is to represent the public's preferences rather than be a technician separated from the public. Planners must be proactive in soliciting public opinion instead of reacting to public outcry. Summary Points • Roles vary with different approaches so- they must be defined wthin the specific public participation context. f \.f:' • Because planners often play a leading role; (e.g. Parks Canada) in the development of the process, clarification of their role is particularly important. • Planners playing multiple roles take the risk of significantly raising distrust in the process. • In the formation of multistakeholder committees, the establishment of ground rules is central. The definition of roles is a key step in this process. Criterion #2: Self-Design Cormick et al. (1996) identify self-design as a principle for consensual multistakeholder committees. In this thesis however, the value of the criterion expands beyond its use for consensus committees. The development of a public participation strategy itself requires a thorough understanding of the context within which it will be applied. The acquisition of such an understanding calls upon the involvement of those affected by the project. Another term increasingly used to refer to self-design is pre-consultation. Within the value-focused approach developed by Keeney (1992), the identification of objectives by all stakeholders is the starting point in the development of a strategy. In the case of national parks this would include the development of a feasibility assessment framework. Designing a specific framework for the case at hand is important for the success of the participation process. Indeed, each situation is different with regards to the players involved, their level of power, the level of technicality of the issue under consideration, whether such a situation has been dealt with before, and so on. It is a risk to detennine the structure, the agenda, and the rules of the game without the involvement of those affected by the project. If what has been developed does not meet the needs or interests of those affected, there may be resistance, conflicts, extra costs involved, and so on. The participants are more likely to cooperate in the process and obey the rules if they have been involved in developing the framework. How the stakeholders are involved in this pre-participation phase can vary significantly. The process of identifying the conduct and procedural rules and designing the participation framework are important, if not essential, learning phases. They provide opportunities for the key stakeholders to get to 49 know one another as well as to gain an understanding of the organizational or community culture from which they come. This learning phase is a valuable exercise in building trust, and offers the lead agency the opportunity to demonstrate their cornmitment to the public's involvement in the decision-making process. Within a stakeholder committee, the importance of the participants' involvement in the design is emphasized (Cormick et al. 1996). The learning phase described above is also often a time of great tension between the stakeholders12. Understanding that such tension is normal, if not inevitable, discussing rules rather than substantive issues at that stage is essential. Cormick et al. (1996) suggest the following list of issues that should be discussed in the establishment of conduct and procedural rules. • How they will interact: This includes deciding upon the standard conduct of behavior, confidentiality, media relations, provision and sharing of expertise, records of discussion, and the assessment of collective and individual financial need to assure the complete participation of all participants. • Why they are interacting: determine the objectives of the negotiation. This includes an agreement on the working definition of consensus. • What they will interact about: determine what issues will be discussed and those that will not be. • Who will be at the table: This will be discussed earlier in the Inclusiveness criteria. • When and Where they will meet. Summary Points • Each public participation process is different and the establishment of objectives, the acquisition of contextual, site specific information is necessary for the development of a public participation strategy. • The acquisition of the contextual information should be done in the presence of those affected by the outcome of the project or decision. • The involvement of the stakeholder in the design of a public participation strategy is a valuable learning opportunity and can provide the foundation for the establishment of trust between parties. • In the case of advisory committees, self-design is a learning phase where stakeholders go through the first phase of cooperation and get to know and understand their differences while discussing process issues rather than substantive issues. Criterion #3: Objective-Driven Whether explicit or not, project development is driven by objectives. In the case of protected areas establishment, there are two main areas for which objectives need to be identified: 1. The objectives for the potential establishment of the park and; 2. The objectives for the public participation approach. "In various literatures on cooperation, collaboration and community development, phases of group dynamics are described. Venter and Breen (1998) identifies them as follows: forming, storming, norming and performing. 50 Although presented here as separate, the process for the identification of objectives is interrelated. Indeed, as defended in Chapter 2, an integrated approach to management involves a joint consideration of ecological and socio-economic factors, for which the involvement of the local population is essential. Examples of objectives are: those relative to the general objectives of national parks, the objectives for a specific park regarding management goals or tourism development, and the level of public involvement desired by the park agency as well as the local communities in the establishment and management process (who will be involved, how will they be involved, and at what stage of planning). As argued in Chapter 2, objectives are value-laden. According to Keeney (1992), the identification of values for the development of objectives is the basis for allowing the creative identification of alternatives. Typically, the approach used when decisions are being made is to focus on the alternative choices already available, thus limiting the options. This approach is driven by the need of those involved to feel or measure progress (Keeney 1992). Keeney refers to this as alternative focused thinking. The risk in opting for quick progress in creating a cooperative environment is that local communities may feel a lack of ownership of the project, a weakened desire to get involved, a feeling of powerlessness, and a lack of trust in the agency's motivation to meaningfully involve the public. Another way to proceed towards decisions is to focus on values. These values, translated into objectives, allow for the exploration of alternatives far beyond what would have been expected at the onset of the process. According to Chambers and McBeth (1992) reactions of powerlessness are common responses to potential change brought by a proposed project. As mentioned in the previous criterion, conflicts are inevitable in the initial stages of building a cooperative relationship. Surmounting these initial difficult stages requires the establishment of trust for which the identification of clear objectives is a contributing factor (Keeney 1992). Clear and realistic objectives can prevent disappointment from over expectation by the public. By identifying objectives, the public is also inevitably involved in the process of making and understanding tradeoffs. The identification of objectives requires the provision of shared-learning. It was stated earlier that objectives are based on values and that the values of the stakeholders should be considered in planning or decision-making. However, if these values are collected without the provision of repeated interactions between the various public groups/individuals and between the public and the proponent, these objectives may not lead to decisions that meet the needs of either the proponent or the communities. The identified values must be shared and discussed so that participants can assess them based on more complete knowledge about the situation at hand. Such knowledge could include a better understanding of other 51 stakeholders' realities and a more complete understanding of broader societal considerations (i.e. social, economic and ecological). Stakeholders have a responsibility to reflect on their own and others' values in order to integrate and translate these into objectives that will drive a project like the management of a national park which is of local, regional, national and international significance. This can be achieved with a dedication to shared-leaniing in public participation processes (see criterion 8). Summary Points • In the context of protected area establishment, two main sets of objectives should be identified: 1) objectives regarding the potential establishment of the park (e.g. park mandate, management objectives, tourism development); and 2) objectives regarding public participation in the establishment process. Both sets of objectives should be determined in conjunction as they are interrelated. • The identification of clear objectives is an important factor in the establishment of trust between the government agency and the communities. • The identification of objectives is based on sound knowledge of the values in the communities. • The process of identification of objectives requires a commitment to sliared-learning between the government agency and the communities. Criterion #4: Inclusive "All parties with a significant interest in the issues should be involved in the consensus process" (Cormick et al. 1996). Generally there is resistance to the inclusive involvement of affected/concerned parties in negotiative processes. The arguments presented to support exclusive involvement refer to the cost of inclusiveness, the potential for ineffective processes, the lack of interest of some parties, and the undemocratic nature of inclusive participation13. The cost of the process is however outweighed by the learning involved when going through the cooperation building phases, by the potential strength of the agreement reached and, by the decrease in future conflicts (Cormick et al. 1996). 'To suggest that a consensus process usurps what would otherwise be the thoughtful direct involvement of elected official ignores the nature of bureaucratic decision-making in Canada today" Cormick et al. (1996: 29). Indeed, it is not the elected officials that make decisions but employees at provincial or regional branches. It must be clear to government agencies and their representatives that an advisory or decision-making committee, even when working by consensus, does not undennine the exercise of their legitimate mandate. Direct participation through committees is not the only way for parties to be involved. Where issues of particular concern to marginal groups are addressed, their interest can be brought in at this particular time. An effective process is flexible and inventive. All interested parties can be involved directly on a 1 3 See Chapter 2 for more details. 52 committee or indirectly through special sessions, subcommittee formation or public meetings (Cormick et al. 1996). Summary Points • The advantages to involving all interested parties outweigh the potential cost. • The inclusion of stakeholders on advisory cornmittees or decision-making committees does not undenrune the mandate and responsibilities of the decision-making agency. On the contrary, inclusiveness insures that these considerations are integrated in overall decision-making or planning processes. • Inclusiveness does not mean gathering everyone around a table all the time but is rather a guiding principle that can be met by various forms of involvement in a public participation strategy. Criterion #5: Equal opportunity Equal opportunity is a criterion that includes the consideration of many factors: 1. Equal capacity to participate meaningfully - Quality and quantity of information - Timing and forms of participation available - Skills capacity 2. Equal power of influence - Equal consideration of interests 3. Equal access 1. Equal capacity to participate meaningfully The provision of sufficient and quality information is of primary importance for the equal capacity of the various publics to meaningfully participate. Sufficient information is needed to cover the breadth of the issue at hand and quality information is needed for the reader to understand the language used to convey the information. If the main goal of the public participation process is to build a cooperative relationship between the agency and the stakeholders, the public should be well informed about the pros and cons of a project in order to meaningfully contribute to the planning and decision-making process. This contrasts with providing one sided information that favors the lead agency's agenda. The extent of the understanding of the decision-making or planning context by the stakeholders depends on their level and breadth of involvement. According to Abbott (1996), key stakeholders involved on a committee are responsible actors in the participation process and therefore should understand the information provided to them. This includes, for example, the value and limitations of the information gathered for decision-making. If stakeholders are to be responsible for decisions reached and held accountable to the group they 53 are representing, they must be knowledgeable about the methods that are selected to gather the information. Such knowledge is also necessary if the participation process is to escape manipulation. As Abbott argues: "There is a fine line between paternalistic action and true consensus" (1996: 213). Shared data-collection and analysis is considered a key principle for successful agreements in the literature on co-management (Reed 1990; Pinkerton 1989). The timing of the public participation events, their announcement, and the release of information are all important factors to consider for the provision of equal capacity to participate. Local communities have their own agenda which may not permit them, or certain key groups, to invest additional time and energy in a participation process. The level of knowledge of stakeholders and the time needed to consult with their constituencies are also factors that play a role in developing a public participation strategy. Public participation processes in which stakeholders are actively involved are often very complex. All stakeholders on a committee do not have the same experience and expertise to organize their agenda and the skills to adequately represent the interests of their constituents. To provide an equal opportunity for all parties to participate in the negotiation process, inequalities must be addressed (Abbott 1996; Cormick et al. 1996). Training programs and workshops can provide the necessary information and skills to allow equal capacity to participate (Cormick et al. 1996). As for financial resources, innovative mechanisms have been developed to address the imbalance14. 2. Equal power of influence A common situation in a public participation processes is the presence of stakeholders with different power of influence. Although some believe that equalizing the level of power is at best a nice theory, certain efforts can be made to provide a process in which the various stakeholders interests are considered. On a multistakeholder committee, the choice to work by consensus is an approach which can help equalize power. Power is however a complex notion that is not easily defined. It is, as Cormick et al. (1996:69) describe: "...more than the sum of tangible and obvious resources". The effort invested in the equal consideration of interest of the various stakeholders in the development of the public participation framework and the analysis of the public's input is what defines equal power of influence. If stakeholders develop a sense of responsibility towards the project, they must first feel that their efforts are rewarded by a definite power of influence over decisions (Cormick et al. 1996; Hough 1988). 1 4 Examples of techniques that provide essential financial resources for parties to fully participate in the consensus process are: 1) the provision of intervenor funding to allow groups to conduct research and retain expertise comparable to that of the proponent, 2) reimbursement of meeting cost including travel cost by the project proponent, 3) the provision of honoraria for lost of work/business time (Cormick et al. 1996). 54 Summary Points • Participants have sufficient information to understand the issue at hand and the information is provided in a language that is understandable to them. • Participants are provided with information on all sides of the issue. • Participants are involved in the information gathering process and understand the information they are given in terms of its degree of reliability. • For all the participants to have equal capacity to participate, the timing of the public participation strategy (including the scheduled time of the public events and the length of time allotted to submit feedback or proposals) is chosen based on a sound knowledge of the agenda of the communities. • To address the inequalities in skills stakeholders are provided with training. • Stakeholders interests are equally considered in the development of a public participation framework and in the analysis of public input. Efforts invested in the equal consideration of interest are important in fostering motivation to participate and a sense of responsibility in the project. Criterion #6: Flexibility/Iterativeness Flexibility is important both at the individual and the process level. For participants, a flexible attitude is essential to understand the interests and values of stakeholders, and to accept and constructively deal with unexpected events. Some examples are the arrival of a new group at the table or the readjustment of priorities based on new 'facts', both of which may lengthen the process. For the decision-making authority, a flexible attitude can be characterized by a willingness to decentralize decision-making power and, among other things, sWfting priorities to identify and integrate local communities' interests. The necessity for flexibility within the structure of the process stems from the high degree of uncertainty about 'facts', the absence of certain information, external events that cause the readjustment of parties positions in the negotiation, the learning process of the stakeholders, etc. Because of these uncertainties, flexibility is suggested within any planning approach (see Maser 1996; Canadian Heritage 1994; Hough 1988). In the case of natural resource issues, the acquisition of knowledge is ongoing. Therefore, priorities may change with time, and decisions, once agreed upon, may need to be revisited. Flexibility does not mean allowing for any change. It means the development of a framework where iterations are included. In a public participation process, because it is an integrated part of the planning process, iterativeness means that the public, or the key stakeholders are provided with opportunities to revisit certain decisions, or objectives, with planners, in light of changing conditions or information. As discussed in the Promote-learning criterion, initial statements of interest by both the public and the decision-making authorities may be of little value, especially in a context where there is mistrust, if time for shared learning and integration of information has not been provided. 55 Summary Points • Flexibility is important both at the individual and the process level. • A flexible process is necessary due to the high level of uncertainty about 'facts'. • Flexibility relates to the iterativeness of the planning approach. • Because public participation is a central component of the planning process in the establishment of national parks, public participation itself should be included in the development of an iterative planning approach. Criterion #7: Promote-Learning Many authors (Abbott 1996; Daniels and Walker 1996; Thomas 1995) agree that public participation can only be mearungful if the public is informed. In fact, in most if not all literatures, addressing public involvement, learning is a central principle to assure the success of public participation. Learning efforts such as skill development have been addressed in some of the previously defined criteria. More specifically, sliared-learning is a cornerstone criterion on which all others identified in this thesis are strongly dependent in order to fully contribute to effective public participation. Participation processes are learning opportunities for all the participants, including the proponents. Choosing to perceive the participation process as a learning experience rather than a battle ground goes a long way in shifting the negative perceptions of public participation as draining, and unpleasant (Cormick et al. 1996; Thomas 1995). Providing shared-learning requires the planning of face to face exchanges between the participants and the proponent. Although learning can occur from one sided presentations and informal discussions, the criterion, as defined here, requires a clear intention for two-sided, face to face information exchange. Because the objective of slrared-leaming is to acquire new information and new perspectives, a public participation framework must provide for iterativeness (see Flexibility criterion). Natural resource decisions are complex and characterized by uncertainty. Systems thinking, a concept of organized complexity, (Abbott 1996) is accepted as the approach to decision-making in natural resource management15. Contained within systems-tliinking is effective learning. Daniels and Walker (1996: 77) write: ...understanding ecosystems requires systems thinking, and systems-thinking is embedded in effective learning. Thus, learning-centered public participation lends itself particularly well to natural resource conflict situations, because it shares a systems foundation with ecosystem-based management. In Chapter 2, it is mentioned that ecosystem based management is the favored approach to planning and management for protected areas. 56 In a stakeholder committee process, learning needs to happen at many levels. Some challenges faced by stakeholders are: how to develop a clear strategy to present their values and interests, how to keep in contact with their constituencies, how to deal with the differences of others, how to listen and how to communicate effectively. Learning mediums should reflect the different learning styles of the stakeholders at the table (Daniels and Walker 1996). Communication Skills Communication skills are essential in negotiation and communication is what public participation processes are all about. Daniels and Walker (1996: 80) argue that" Effective public participation must be more than simply encouraging 'citizen discourse' or 'good communication'". What is needed, say Daniel and Walker (1996:80), is communication competence; that is "parties communicating appropriately and effectively". Stakeholders must learn to communicate about all sort of issues ranging from technical to procedural, to values issues. Providing the stakeholders with training in communication before the beginning of negotiation is fundamental. A neutral facilitator can help in organizing these training sessions. It is a widespread assumption that when education and training are needed, the beneficiaries are necessarily the communities. However, all parties must learn and accept the different mind-sets. Hence, the learning process applies to all the parties (Abbott 1996; Daniels and Walker 1996). The dispensing of information by the proponents or the government agency is problematic because it does not respect the two-way learning needed in consensus processes. It may also undermine trust in the process if the proponents are in charge of providing facts16. Summary Points • learning, but more specifically shared-learning, is a cornerstone criterion. • Participation processes are learning opportunities for all the participants involved. This includes government agency representatives. • Shared learning requires a clear intention for two-sided, face to face information exchange. • Providing stakeholders with basic training in communications skills is important to help them communicate appropriately and effectively. • All parties, including government agency representatives, must be willing to leam from and accept differences in perspectives. Criterion #8: Building Trust Thomas (1995) defines trust in terms of reliability: "wholly trustworthy but not wholly trusting". The literature on public participation identifies trust as an important element between the participants for The "Defined role" criterion addressed the risks involved when proponents play multiple roles. 57 constructive discussions and decision-making (Abbott 1996; Cormick et al. 1996; Lewis 1996; Thomas 1996). Trust is defined as the ability of stakeholders to rely on others commitment to finding a resolution to problems or finding options that can accommodate, to the extent possible, all interests. It has to do with beheving that the intent in public participation is to reach a fair decision. For example, using consensus processes as a public relations tactic will not build the trust necessary to explore creatively alternatives, commit to implementation or survive the difficult moments of the process. In essence, trust can be defined as the outcome of the efforts invested in meeting the previous criteria defined. Indeed, trust has been addressed in many of the previous criteria. Trust may develop when Equal opportunity is provided as well as Flexibility, when objectives are clear and inclusive of all the stakeholders values, when the roles of the players are clearly identified, when there are opportunities for shared-leaming and finally, when the participants are involved in the design of the participation and planning process. Although trust is described as an outcome of the other criteria, its importance demands that it be a separate criterion which can be perceived or used to drive the motivation and the application of all the others. Summary Points • Trust is an important element between the participants for constructive discussions and decision-making • The ability of all the stakeholders to rely on the commitment of others to finding resolution to problems or finding options that can accommodate, to the extent possible, all interests. • Trust is built into a process through the interaction of the stakeholders and their commitment to the process. Criterion #9: Neutral Third Party The presence of a facilitator17 is essential in helping: define the ground rules, interpret positions and concerns, assist some participants in weighing alternatives, keeping the discussions controlled and constructive, coordinating the training session to be fair and acceptable to all parties, resolving stalemates and other impasses, and assuring that process elements (i.e. keeping the agenda clear, scheduling meetings, and keeping notes) are organized. Although the degree of involvement of facilitators in the process is variable, their knowledge, skills, and experience in negotiation are highly important in assuring that the criteria presented here are considered and followed. Due to the challenges of stakeholder committees, A facilitator is define in the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy publication as " ...an independent person, acceptable to all of the participants, whose focus and expertise is in the management of consensus processes and in assisting disputing parties to find common agreement."(Cormick et al. 1996:12). There are other roles third parties can take, for example mediation or arbitration. 58 experience has shown that the most successful consensus-building efforts have been assisted by facilitators (Cormick etal. 1996). The role of a facilitator cannot easily be taken on by one of the parties represented in the discussions. This is particularly true when there is distrust between the parties. The risks involved in playing multiple roles have already being addressed and support the idea that a neutral third party should take on such roles as facilitating the resolution of conflicts. Summary Points • Because of the complexity of stakeholder committees, a neutral third party assures such things as the respect of the objectives and helps in the resolution of conflicts, among other things. • When there is distrust between parties such as between local communities and Parks Canada, it is risky for the government to take on the role of facilitator. • There can be various degrees of involvement of a third party facilitator in a multistakeholder process ranging from coordination through training and process management. 3.4 SUMMARY The analytical framework for the evaluation of Parks Canada's approach to public participation is straightforward. The framework consists of nine criteria found in various literatures and are considered important, if not essential, for effective public participation which is defined as enabling the building of cooperative relationships between parties. However, these criteria do not represent a specific approach to public participation. The nature and broad definitions of the criteria should suffice to show that they are merely principles to guide the development of a public participation framework. Because each national park establishment context is very different in the numbers of communities, the extent of use of the area by the local residents, the level of interest of the public to be actively involved, the public's organizational level, and so on, approaches to public participation should differ. What these criteria or principles represent is the philosophical and practical foundation that should guide the development of a public participation framework. In order to evaluate Parks Canada's approach to public participation the following two chapters present background information to the evaluation. Chapter 4 presents Parks Canada policy regarding public participation in new park or new national marine conservation area establishment. Chapter 5 consists of a detailed description of the establishment context of the SSLMP in Quebec. 59 CHAPTER IV BACKGROUND TO THE INSTITUTION OF PARKS CANADA 4.1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is twofold. First it seeks to provide some basic understanding of the institution of Parks Canada. Thus, the first three sections describe: 1) Parks Canada's historical profile; 2) the present state of national parks with regard to its primary mandate of ecological integrity; and 3) the recent creation of the Parks Canada Agency. The second purpose of this chapter is to present Parks Canada's policies relevant to public participation as well as the establishment steps for national parks or national marine conservation areas (NMCA). Both the National Park Policy and the National Marine Conservation Area Policy are addressed in this Chapter. 4.2 HISTORICAL PROFILE In 1885, Banff, Canada's first national park was created. The impetus for the creation of the park was the economic benefits sought from the commercialization of the hot springs (McNamee 1993; Environment Canada 1991; Bella 1987). Far from being the only park created for economic reasons, The raison d'etre of most Canadian national parks was to generate profit (McNamee 1993; Bella 1987). Earlier national parks can be characterized by two main development phases. The first corresponds to the railway era and the second to the provision of motor vehicle access to national parks. The second era, which gave motor vehicle access to national parks brought about a new issue which today remains central in national park management: the pressure for development in local communities. In the 1920's and 30's, the incentives to establish national parks included their potential to help communities out of economic hardship and their promise of political re-election for the Prime Minister. In the Maritimes for example, the depressed economy led to the creation of national parks for tourism and economic development (Bella 1987). The main obstacle to new park establishment concerned the obligation to negotiate an agreement with the province for the transfer of land entitlement to the federal government. The province did not want to abandon its exploitation rights to the land and therefore made negotiations difficult. The location of the parks represented tough compromises. Land with any exploitation potential including hydro was excluded from park land. For Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland a golf course was developed on the borders of the park. A national park was created in Newfoundland as a 60 condition for the province to join Canada. The promise of road construction was often negotiated into the agreement as was the case for Kootenay National Park. In 1964, the House of Commons accepted the revised park policies which limited the expansion of townsites, an issue causing particular problems in Banff National Park. The benefits of national parks and the development townsites were for the first time officially identified as being at odds (Bella 1987). With these new policies (which were again supported in the 1969 revised policy), the duality between Parks Canada and local communities became well rooted. As a result of the increasing development demands of the townpeople in Banff National Park, in the 70's Jean Chretien, the minister for national parks, considered the inclusion of residents within park boundaries unacceptable. This policy and its application brought some long lasting scars to the agency's public reputation. Indeed, when an agreement was reached with a province, communities were expropriated. Expropriation occurred in Fundy, Terra Nova and Forillion National Parks among others. In the establishment of Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick, public resistance resulted in controversy and violence. In 1971, the development of the national parks system plan created a new momentum for park creation. What was once an ad hoc process was transformed into a national drive to represent each of the 39 identified natural regions of Canada with a protected area (McNamee 1993). The Brundtland report, which praised the role of national parks in preserving the environment for future generations, further extended this drive towards completing the system. The report proposed that 12% of a country's land should be under protected area status (McNamee 1993). Chretien believed he could accomplish this by 1985. Although he did not succeed, he did win a $5,00 bet he had made to establish 10 new national parks, a goal which he accomplished within 5 years (Bella 1987). The combination of the drive to complete the system, the expropriation practices and the resulting public backlash led in 1979 to the prohibition of landowner expropriation in the revised policy. The revised policy also introduced the commitment of the agency to public participation. The rationale was that local support was now considered necessary for the establishment of a national park. Public participation was perceived as a means to prevent and anticipate public outcries and disputes such as those experienced in the 70's. The 1978 proposed policy itself underwent public consultations and was finalized in 19791. 1 Among the other pivotal changes brought to the policy were 1) the allowance for Aboriginal peoples to practice traditional hunting and trapping within national parks, and 2) Canada's agreement to pay a portion of the cost to acquire park land, previously the sole responsibility of the province. 61 Since 1979, legislative and program changes have included the amendment to the National Parks Act in 1988 which permitted the establishment of national marine parks. The amendments to the Act also highlighted that national parks first priority was ecological integrity. In 1986, following public consultations, Parks Canada released their first National Marine Parks Policy (Environment Canada 1987). The policy was however developed with no practical experience relative to marine park planning and management (Canadian Heritage 1994). In 1994 changes were made to the policy following a three year public consultation process. Among the changes, national marine parks were renamed national marine conservation areas to better reflect their conservation purpose (Ibid). The 1994 policy also reflects the increased attention to ecological integrity and ecosystems approach to park planning and management (Patrimoine Canadien 1995). The new policy will guide Parks Canada's activity going into the 21st century (Ibid). 4.3 ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY AND THE PRESENT STATE OF NATIONAL PARKS Since the amendment of the National Parks Act in 1988 and the revision of the policy in 1994, Parks Canada has undergone important changes in its approach to planning and management. The organization needed to address the increasing pressures on national parks and adapt their approach to the new priority mandate (i.e. ecological integrity). The additional mandate to manage (NMCA) has also provided for some incentives within the organization to define a new planning approach to address the specific management context for NMCAs. The adoption of ecological integrity as a primary mandate has demanded some tough reflections on first, defining ecological integrity and second, finding measures to evaluate the state of integrity of national parks. The amendment to the National Parks Act in 1988 required that Parks Canada report every two years to Parliament on the State of the Parks (Environment Canada 1991). The first report was carried out in 1990, the second in 1994 and the third in 1997. These documents provide useful insights into the pressures affecting national parks and the measures undertaken to address these in order to protect ecological integrity. Box 4.1 Facts About National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas • 38 National Parks/Reserves • 24 of 39 natural regions represented • 3 Marine Conservation Areas/Reserves • $182 million expenditures (1996-1997) • 24 million visitors annually • Parks Canada's goal is to complete the National Park System by the year 2000. Source: Canadian Heritage (1998). 62 Parks Canada defines ecological integrity as follows: Ecological integrity is the condition of an ecosystem where 1) the structure and function of the ecosystem are unimpaired by stresses induced by human activity, and 2) the ecosystem's biological diversity and supporting processes are likely to persist. (Parks Canada 1998a) In Chapter 2 ecological integrity was presented as a socially determined outcome. Parks Canada acknowledges that while ecological integrity is measured following rigorous scientific means, the norms or benchmarks selected to define ecological integrity are choices that are based on values privileged by society (Patrimoine Canadien 1995). The fundamental benchmarks are the spatial and temporal scales used to defined ecological integrity within the context of national parks. Since national parks do not represent entire ecosystems and are interconnected with adjacent areas, the spatial scale expands beyond the park boundaries to include the wider region within which a national park is established (Ibid). With regards to the temporal scale, because protecting parks in a state 'untouched by man' or of 'pristine wilderness' is Parks Canada objective, ecological integrity is evaluated based on the state of an ecosystem previous to when a park was established (Ibid). Sources of stress to the ecological integrity of national parks were 36% external to parks, 11% internal to parks and 53 % of sources both internal and external to parks. Forty three percent of these stresses were considered to be increasing, 29% were considered stable, 12% to be reducing while the tendency was unknown for 15 percent of the stresses (Patrimoine Canadien 1995). The external stresses observed in more than 10 of the 34 national parks included forest exploitation, agriculture and sport hunting. The most frequently observed internal and external stresses were tourism installations, non indigenous plant species, fragmentation of habitat for transportation purposes, and urbanization. The main internal stress was related to the park management method (Ibid). Southern parks are particularly affected by external stresses by reason of their location near urban or highly populated areas where the demands for and on the land are high. The maintenance of their ecological integrity is therefore a primary concern of Parks Canada (Canadian Heritage 1998a). Of the 36 national parks established in 1997, 23 reported severe stress from activities outside the parks, 22 of which were located in Southern Canada. Efforts towards defining and measuring ecological integrity of national parks have provided new insights for planning and management. First, it was observed that stressed areas stretched well beyond a park area boundary confirming the need to manage the wider ecosystems within which a park is located (Patrimoine Canadien 1995). The realization of the interconnectedness of a park with its surrounding has incited Parks 63 Canada to develop and expand its effort to collaborate and cooperate with other levels of government and with various interest and user groups (Ibid). Likewise, education was emphasized as one of the most important activities within parks. Another realization was the importance of providing benefits to the local residents. Indeed, while the impacts of local communities on ecological integrity of the park were observed to be significant, the programs within some parks did not meet the needs and interests of the population. It is through such an understanding that collaboration was increased with the local population in Mount-Riding National Park such that the protection objectives were more efficiently met (Ibid). 4.3.1 The Auditor General's Evaluation of Parks Canada Prior to the adoption of ecological integrity as the primary mandate of Parks Canada in 1988, the management approach within parks was species oriented and linear (Anonymous 1996). In November 1996 Canadian Heritage-Parks Canada was evaluated by the auditor general with regards to the systems developed by Parks Canada to meet their stated objectives of ecological integrity. I present some of the observations of the auditor general that are relevant to the general discussion of Parks Canada's approach to public participation presented in Chapter 7. 1. Absence of clear links between the management approach and the objectives of ecological integrity. Management plans, according to the National Parks Act, should be revised every five years. It was observed however that 18 parks had management plans older than five years. Hence, Parks Canada's capacity to manage the parks following the ecological integrity objectives was questioned. Many of these plans were developed prior to the adjustment of policies reflecting the new ecosystems approach. In short, the links were unclear between the management plan, the business plan, the management initiatives, and the strategy developed to allocate financial resources towards the maintenance of ecological integrity (Ibid). 2. In some cases the focus of the management plan was on the economic and social factors rather than the ecological ones (Ibid). 3. Parks Canada lacks some essential information for managing the parks. While Parks Canada has developed a marketing strategy to attract more visitors to national parks, it lacks information on the impact of the visitors on the ecological integrity and the carrying capacity of visitors for each park. According to employees working at various parks, two thirds considered that the parks were already receiving too many visitors (Ibid). 64 4. There is an absence of a research strategy to gather the necessary information to monitor the ecological integrity in many national parks. As of 1996, 14 parks did not have a research strategy to gather the necessary information to address the stresses on the ecosystems. While 22 parks did have a strategy, in 11 of these, the strategy did not expand to the regional context (Ibid). It is within this wider context that Parks Canada has chosen to spatially define ecological integrity. 5. The interpretation and education programs could contribute more to the preservation of ecological integrity. Of the 28 most accessible parks, 19 had not conceived of a strategy to inform the population about ecological integrity. Information provided within various parks was not shared or consistent and not placed in the context of the broader environmental situation (Ibid). 6. Parks Canada has not worked sufficiently to get the needed support for the establishment of new parks. The support of local communities is a fundamental policy requirement. However, Parks Canada has not developed a strategic approach to help gather the needed support. It was observed that Parks Canada rarely chose to call on an outside specialist or hold community workshops to gather various representatives to discuss the creation of potential parks. The auditor general proposed that Parks Canada adopt a more proactive approach to gather the support of the provinces, First Nations and local communities. The Minister's response was that a strategic and proactive approach was being used by Parks Canada (Ibid). 7. It was observed by the auditor general that there had been numerous initiatives to create partnership and to collaborate with other governments, industry, First Nation's, etc. to further the national park's ecological integrity. Collaborative research projects in La Mauricie National Park and Pointe-Pelee National Park have addressed some of the stresses on the parks' ecological integrity. Research partnerships like the one with the Fundy Model Forest program is another example of success. Building partnerships has been an important focus of Parks Canada (Ibid). 4.4 C R E A T I O N O F T H E P A R K C A N A D A A G E N C Y On March 6th 1996, the Government of Canada announced its intention to create a Parks Canada Agency. The motivation behind this initiative originated from the changing realities surrounding national parks. While Parks Canada is working towards completing the national park system and has embarked on a marine conservation area system, the organization has had to accommodate a funding reduction in the order of $98 million between the period of 1994-1995 and 1998-1999 (Parks Canada 1997). 65 The creation of the agency enables the revision of legal structures regarding financial, administrative and human resource management. In February 1998, following two rounds of public consultation between June 1996 and August 1997, Bill C-29, an Act to establish the Parks Canada Agency was introduced (Canadian Heritage 1998b,1997). The legislation was developed with these guidelines in mind: 1. Organizational simplicity: delayering and direct reporting. 2. Aclrninistrative efficiency: less process, higher levels of delegation. 3. Human resource flexibility: a regime which can meet the particular needs of our staff program. 4. Financial authorities: increased authorities and delegations. 5. Among the identified advantages of the agency was the reduction of the overall cost (Parks Canada 1998). As an agency, Parks Canada will remain fully accountable to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and to Parliament. The identified benefits to Canadians are threefold. First, services at parks and sites will be maintained because of the reduced overall costs. Second, since operating revenues will flow back into parks, a portion of the appropriations will be freed for the creation of new parks. Finally, the legislation provides for increased accountability to Canadians (Parks Canada 1998c). Among the accountability measures is the convening of a round table of key stakeholders, at least every two years, to discuss and advise the Minister on the performance of the Agency (House of Commons 1998). The Agency is also required to hold a biennial forum open to all Canadians to present their views on the Agency's program and participate in the management direction (Parks Canada 1998c). Based on informal discussions with some Parks Canada employees, the impact of the creation of the Agency on the approach to planning and management is largely unknown. 4.5 PARKS CANADA'S ACTS AND POLICIES 4.5.1 The National Parks Act and the National Marine Conservation Areas Act The National Parks Act is considered progressive and ecologically conscious (Eagles 1993). The strong purpose statement of the act implies that National Parks are dedicated to the public. Such a dedication itself implies that the public has a right to be actively involved in decision-making (Ibid). With regards to public participation, Section 5.14 of the Act states: " The Minister shall, as appropriate, provide opportunities for public participation at the national, regional and local levels in the development of parks policy, management plans and such other matters as the Minister deems relevant". Noticeable is the absence of mention of public participation in the establishment of national parks. Nevertheless, according to Eagles (1993), the term 'public participation' provide strong direction to the minister and therefore the 66 bureaucracy. The ecological strength of the Act lies in the dedication to ecological integrity as the primary mandate of national parks (See Section 5(1.2) of the National Parks Act). The National Marine Conservation Area Act (Bill C-48) has undergone a First reading in the House of Commons on June 11th 1998. The main tenants of the National Parks Act are also found in this proposed NMCA Act. With regards to public consultation, Section 10(1) regards the obligation for the Minister to consult with other government agencies as well as affected coastal communities. An additional strength of the act regards the creation of an advisory cornmittee for each marine conservation area to advise the Minister on the formulation review and implementation of the management plan (Section 11(1)). 4.5.2 The National Parks Policy The objective of National Parks is: "To protect for all time representative natural areas of Canadian significance in a system of national parks, and to encourage public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of this natural heritage so as to leave it unimpaired for future generations. " (Canadian Heritage 1994:25) Ten guiding principles are identified by Parks Canada in the 1994 policy. The commitment to these principles is what directs their planning and management approach in order to reach the objective. The ten principals are: 1. Ecological and Commemorative Integrity 2. Leadership and Stewardship 3. New Protected Heritage Areas 4. Education and Presentation 5. Human-Environment Relationship 6. Research and Science 7. Appropriate Visitor Activities 8. Public Involvement 9. Collaboration and Cooperation 10. Accountability Public involvement is defined as a cornerstone of policy planning and management practices (Canadian Heritage 1994). Its purpose is to assure more sound decision-making and provide the public with opportunities to share their views. Public involvement is a cornerstone of policy, planning and management practices to help ensure sound decision-making, build public understanding, and provide opportunities for Canadians to contribute their knowledge, expertise and suggestions. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 18) 67 The fundamental practices for effective public participation are presented in Table 4.1. These practices are largely identical to those identified in the 1979 Parks Canada Policy (Parks Canada 1983). The additional fundamental practice found in the 1994 policy is respect for all interested public. While public participation is emphasized in the 1994 policy by the reference to it as a cornerstone practice, no additional information on public participation is offered. In fact, the identification of the various forms of public participation that can be practiced in the planning and management of national parks were removed from the 1994 policy. The forms identified were: public information meetings, workshops, questionnaire, interviews, public hearings, seminars, publications, or advisory committees (Parks Canada 1983). Table 4.1 Fundamental Principles of Public Participation 1979 1994 Public discussion prior to final decisions Clear and accurate information Indication of areas requiring decisions and relevant policies, legislation and agreements Adequate notice and time for public review Careful consideration of public input Information on the nature of comments received and on Parks Canada's response to participants The provision of clear, timely, relevant, objective and accurate information An indication of the areas requiring decisions and relevant policies, legislation and agreements Adequate notice and time for public review The careful consideration of public input Feedback on the nature of comments received and on Parks Canada response to participants Respect for all interested public The tenriinology used within the two policy documents varies between public participation and public involvement. In 1979, the term public participation was used to present the guiding principle whereas in 1994 it was changed to public involvement. While the term public participation is maintained in the text in 1979, in 1994 the two tenninology's are used interchangeably without any distinction. Public consultation is the term adopted in the rest of the 1994 policy document. More specifically, in the sections which define the five planning steps for new park establishment, the term public consultation is employed to identify the stages in which there is a requirement for public participation (See section 4.6 for a detailed description of the planning steps). The introductory section describing the National Park System Plan states: Public support and the cooperation of other levels of government are essential in establishing new national parks or adjusting the boundaries of existing national parks. The park establishment is therefore based upon public consultation and intergovernmental cooperation. (Canadian Heritage 1994, Section 1.0: 26). 6 8 Other qualifiers used to describe Parks Canada's perception of public participation indicate a "consultative" mind set. Examples of qualifiers are: Canadians are provided with an opportunity to state their views.. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 18). There will be consultations to seek the views of local communities.... (Canadian Heritage 1994, Section 1.3.2: 27) The reference to 'consultation' or the use of such wording as 'seek their views' is somewhat contrasting and creates confusion on the intended level of public participation when compared to other terms found in the 1994 policy such as 'cooperation', 'collaboration' and 'partnership'. These terms imply a different level and intention for public participation yet no definitions of any of these terms are provided in the policy. In the establishment and management of national parks, Parks Canada will strive to maintain ecological integrity. Achievement of this goal will require cooperation with individuals and other governments agencies in ecosystem management beyond park boundaries. ...ecological integrity will be a major consideration in proposing park boundaries, in determining how the park's resources will be protected and interpreted, and in seeking effective regional integration through cooperative efforts with governments and landowners in surrounding area. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 24) The various references to the need for cooperation in the policy leads to the perception that the level of public participation intended in planning and management is beyond consultation and towards cooperation2. However a closer reading of the document regarding the establishment steps confirms that consultation is indeed the intended level of participation. Reference to cooperation and collaboration, two terms which seem to be used interchangeably, is found mainly in the management planning section of the policy3. The need for cooperation/collaboration is defined within particular areas of management such as sustainable tourism, research4 and land management with adjacent owners and land management agencies5. Regional integration of the parks is another component of an ecosystem approach to planning and management. It is through cooperative initiatives with other levels of government, private organizations and individuals responsible for planning of adjacent areas that Parks Canada addresses the integration of the parks with the surrounding region (Canadian Heritage 19946). However, regional integration is again a focus of management planning and does not seem to be addressed in the establishment process. 2 See Table 2.1 chapter 2 for a view of the different levels of public participation. 3 See Section 2.0 National Parks Policy and NMCA Policy 4 See Section 3.0 of National Parks Policy and NMCA Policy. 5 See Section 3.1.2 , 3.2.9 of National Parks Policy. 6 See Section 2.1.7 of National Parks Policy and Section 2.8 of NMCA Policy. 69 The policy gives particular attention to the consideration of local communities (which includes local government). In the description of the public participation guiding principle, it is mentioned that local groups and individuals more directly affected by the park establishment would be provided with special opportunities for participation. 4.5.3 The National Marine Conservation Areas Policy The objective of national marine conservation areas is: "To protect and conserve for all time national marine areas of Canadian significance that are representative of the country's ocean environments and the Great Lakes, and to encourage public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this marine heritage so as to leave it unimpaired for future generations. " (Canadian Heritage 1994: 49) Planning and management considerations for NMCA differ from those of national parks. NMCA are characterized by open ecosystems as opposed to the semi-closed ecosystems for terrestrial parks (Canadian Heritage 1994). In open ecosystems, materials such as pollutants or nutrients found in the water column can be transported over distances, entering the park or leaving it without direct control. At a political level, the marine environment is managed by many legislation's and jurisdictions. In 1994, Parks Canada identified at least 36 federal acts and 20 provincial and territorial acts (Canadian Heritage 1994). The impact of the different characteristics of the marine environment on Parks Canada's NMCA policy is threefold. First and foremost, the management philosophy is changed from one of preservation of natural areas in a natural state, to one of conservation. Because NMCA are altered by human activity7, the goal of conservation is to manage these in a sustainable fashion in order to meet the need and aspirations of future generations (Canadian Heritage 1994). The second differentiating characteristic is the explicit acknowledgment of the requisite for a flexible approach to planning and management. Thirdly, the policy emphasizes the importance of the public's support (more importantly local and regional population) and cooperation for the achievement of the objectives of conservation. While Parks Canada believes these areas must make a meaningful contribution to the protection of Canada's marine heritage, it also believes that the objectives for these areas are unlikely to be achieved without the cooperation, support and continued involvement of those most directly affected by their establishment. (Canadian Heritage 1994:48) 7 Certain forms of resource exploitation are permitted in NMCA such as fishing. 70 In reference to the recommendation of the World Conservation Strategy on the establishment of NMCAs, the policy states: To help ensure their long-term viability, they urge that the establishment of marine protected areas be based on a high level of cooperation between the public and all levels of government. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 46) The term public consultation is generally employed to identify the stages in which there is a requirement for public participation8. In section 1.3.2 the involvement of local communities in conducting the feasibility study is clearly articulated. The 1986 Marine Parks Policy differs significantly in the strength of Parks Canada's conviction in the importance of local communities involvement. The two following quotes, the first from the 1994 policy and the second from the 1986 policy, present Parks Canada's position on local community participation with regards to the feasibility assessment: Parks Canada will then initiate discussions with local communities and affected user groups to seek their cooperation in conducting a feasibility study, to determine the best timing and process for their active participation, and how to incorporate the knowledge of individuals living and working in the area. (CanadianHeritage 1994, Section 1.3.2: 51) Environment Canada, in cooperation with other federal departments and agencies, and the provincial or territorial governments, will consult with local communities, organizations and the interested public as part of the feasibility assessment for a marine park. (Environment Canada 1987, Section 1.2.9: 7) The clear emphasis on the needed cooperation of local communities in 1994 seems to imply the provision of a level of involvement beyond consultation. However, this is ambiguous in the National Marine Conservation Area Policy. Interestingly, while cooperation is advocated in the policy, in the section describing the NMCA system plan consultation is the level of public participation intended9. Public support and the cooperation of other levels of government are essential in establishing new national marine conservation areas or adjusting the boundaries of existing ones. The establishment process is therefore based upon public consultation and intergovernmental cooperation. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 49) The ten general guiding principles presented in the previous section as well as the fundamental principles for effective public participation found in Table 4.1 are directed at both national parks and national marine conservation area planning and management. See Section 1.0 of the 1994 NMCA Policy (Canadian Heritage 1994). 71 4.6 THE SYSTEMS PLAN AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL PARKS The purpose of a system plan is to provide a framework for the establishment of national parks and NMCAs. More specifically, the system plan was developed so that representative landscapes or seascapes of the country could be set aside as a national park or a NMCA for the enjoyment of present generations and as a legacy to future generations. Thirty nine natural regions divide the country's landscape while 29 marine regions have been identified to represent Canada's marine environment (Figure 4.1). The completion of the national parks system is aimed for the year 2000. No goal has been set for the completion of the marine conservation area system which is still in its infancy. Because of the limited information on marine ecosystems, the system plan, as it stands today, is open to modification pending additional information and technology (Canadian Heritage 1995). The systems plarining framework is widely recognized as a comprehensive and rational approach to national park establishment and planning (Gardner 1990). However, planning for new park establishment in Canada is not what it once was. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, there are numerous stresses affecting parks. In the future, parks are predominantly going to be created in Southern Canada where the population and the demand for land are inversely proportionate to the availability of land. The planning steps presented in the following paragraphs detail the rational structure of the planning approach. Even though each national park establishment is unique in its unfolding, the planning structure developed by Parks Canada remains the foundation of systems planning which guides all new park establishments. There are five main steps leading to the establishment of a NMCA. These are: 1. Identifying representative natural/marine areas within the chosen natural/marine region; 2. Selection of a potential area among those identified; 3. Assessing the feasibility for the creation of the national park or NMCA in the area; 4. Negotiating a new park or NMCA agreement with the province or territory and; 5. Establishing the new national park or NMCA in legislation. Each of the steps are further detailed here with the purpose of clarifying the systems planning approach used by Parks Canada and to elucidate the stages of planning where public participation is required in the policy. 9 The quote presented here is found verbatim on page 26 of the National Parks Policy (Canadian Heritage 1994). 72 1. Identifying representative natural/marine areas within the chosen natural/marine region Since the goal of the system plan is to represent each natural/marine region with a national park/NMCA, the regions not yet represented are a priority for the choice of national park establishment. Areas worth consideration in a natural region are identified based on the extent to which they represent the natural region10 and the healthy natural state of the area or its potential for restoration (Canadian Heritage 1997; 1995; 1994). Public participation: Sections 1.1.2 of the National Parks and the N M C A Policy state: Representative natural areas [marine areas11] will be identified in consultation with provincial and territorial governments, with other federal agencies and the interested public. (Canadian Heritage 1994 Section 1.1.2: 26 and 50) 2. Selection of a potential area among those identified The areas identified in the previous step are further studied in order to select one potential park area. The policy guide identifies the following factors for the selection of an area: NATIONAL PARKS 1. Extent of the representation of ecosystem diversity of the region 2. Potential for supporting viable population of wildlife species 3. Ecological integrity of area's ecosystems and those of surrounding lands 4. Occurrence of exceptional natural phenomena and rare, threatened or endangered wildlife or vegetation 5. Existence of significant cultural heritage features or landscape 6. Opportunities for public understanding, education and enjoyment 7. Competing land and resource uses 8. Possible threats to long term sustainability of area's ecosystem 9. Complementarity with objectives of other existing or planned protected natural areas in the region 10. Potential for establishing an adjacent NMCA representative of its marine region NATIONAL MARINE CONSERVATION AREAS 1. Extent of the representation of ecosystem diversity of the region 2. Degree to which the area contributes to the maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems for downstream areas. 3. Importance of the area in maintaining biodiversity and protecting critical habitats of rare, threatened or endangered species 4. Occurrence of exceptional natural phenomena and cultural resources 5. Existing potential value of the area for ecological research and monitoring 6. Opportunities for public understanding, education and enjoyment 7. Possible threats to the long-term sustainability of the area's marine ecosystems as well as those of the surrounding lands 8. Minimizing conflict with existing or probable marine resource uses such as significant commercial The factors selected to evaluate representativeness for national parks include geology, physiography vegetation, wildlife, and diversity. For NMCA the factors are geology, oceanography, biological and ecosystem diversity (Canadian Heritage 1994). 1 1 The brackets differentiate the language used in NMCA Policy with that of the National Parks Policy. 73 11. Implications of Aboriginal rights, comprehensive land claims and treaties 12. International criteria for national park fishing areas, mineral or energy resources, navigation routes or defense exercise areas 9. Complementarity with objectives of other existing or planned protected marine or coastal areas of other jurisdictions in the marine region 10. Potential for establishing an adjacent national park or park reserve representative of it's natural region 11. Potential to cooperatively manage existing and potential uses of marine resources within and adjacent to the potential NMCA on a sustainable basis, compatible with the objective of protecting its biotic resources and other park values 12. The implication of comprehensive land claims and treaties with Aboriginal people Public participation: Sections 1.2.3 of the National Parks Policy and 1.2.4 of the N M C A Policy state: Potential national parks [national marine conservation areas] will be selected in consultation with provincial or territorial governments, other federal agencies, non-government organizations, affected Aboriginal peoples12 and the interested public (Canadian Heritage 1994: 27 and 50) 3. Assessing the feasibility for the creation of the national park or N M C A in the area Once an area is selected it is further studied in order to determine its feasibility. The feasibility is carried out in conjunction13 with provincial or territorial governments. The feasibility can be accomplished as part of another process such as regional land-use planning, provincial protected area strategies or an Aboriginal comprehensive land claim negotiation14. Part of the feasibility study entails identifying potential boundaries for the national park or N M C A . The following factors are considered for the determination of the boundaries: N A T I O N A L PARKS NATIONAL MARINE CONSERVATION AREAS 1. Protect ecosystem landscape features representative 1. of natural region 2. Accommodate habitat requirements of viable 2. populations of native wildlife species 3. Include an undisturbed core which is relatively unaffected by impacts originating from surrounding 3. landscape 4. Not fragment sensitive, highly diverse or productive 4. natural communities 5. Maintain drainage basin integrity 5. 6. Protect exceptional natural phenomena, and Protect a wide diversity of marine ecosystems representative of the marine region Accommodate the habitat requirement of viable populations of marine species that are native to the region Does not fragment sensitive, highly diverse or productive marine communities Protects exceptional marine phenomena, and rare, threatened or endangered marine wildlife and plants Includes important sites for ecological research and monitoring 1 2 Aboriginal peoples are not included in section 1.2.4 of the NMCA Policy (Canadian Heritage 1994). 1 3 For N M C A Parks Canada will seek the cooperation and support of other federal departments and agencies and provincial or territorial governments (see section 1.3.1 NMCA Policy (Canadian Heritage 1994). 1 4 See Section 1.3.1 of National Parks Policy (Canadian Heritage 1994). 74 vulnerable, threatened or endangered wildlife or 6. vegetation 7. Offers opportunities for public enjoyment and 7. understanding 8. Result in minimum long-term disruption of social and economic life particularly in the surrounding g region 9. Does not encompass permanent communities Offers opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment Result in minimum long-term disruption of the social and economic life in the surrounding communities Does not encompass permanent communities Public participation: Sections 1.3.2 of the National Parks and the N M C A Policy each state respectively: As part of the feasibility assessment, there will be consultations to seek the views of local communities, Aboriginal peoples, non-government organizations, relevant industries, other government departments and the interested public. Parks Canada will provide iriformation regarding the purpose and the environmental, social and economic implications of the national park proposal. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 27) Parks Canada will then initiate discussions with local communities and affected user groups to seek their cooperation in conducting a feasibility study, to determine the best timing and process for their active participation, and how to incorporate the knowledge of individuals living and working in the area. (Canadian Heritage 1994:51) 4. Negotiating a new park or N M C A agreement with the province or Territory Once the feasibility is completed and is positive, a federal/provincial park agreement is negotiated. One of the requirements of the agreement is the transfer of land title to the federal government. For NMCAs , the land including the sea bed and its subsoil must be transferred to the federal government. Topics covered in the agreement are: N A T I O N A L P A R K S 1. Final park boundaries 2. Cost-sharing for land acquisition 3. Details of land transfer 4. Traditional resource harvesting 5. Planning and management for the park and surrounding area 6. Composition and role of a park management board 7. Regional integration 8. Economic benefits NATIONAL MARINE CONSERVATION AREAS 1. The boundaries of the NMCA 2. Stipulate the role (s) of concerned government department and agencies, any local communities and affected user groups, as well as interested non-government organizations and the public in the cooperative stewardship, planning and management of the NMCA Public Participation There are no requirements for public participation at this stage of the establishment process. 75 5. Establishing the new national park or NMCA in legislation The last stage for the official establishment of the national park or the NMCA in legislation is the amendment to the National Parks Act. In the case of NMCA, an amendment to the National Parks Act is also required. However, a National Marine Conservation Areas Act is pending. In the case of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park, a separate Act was created in order to establish under legislation the joint federal provincial marine park15. The time span between the federal/provincial agreement and the Amendment to the National Parks Act can be quite substantial. It is not uncommon that more than a decade passes before a park is officially established. Public Participation There are no requirements for public participation at this stage of the establishment process. It is common practice to engage in the development of a management plan once an agreement is reached and the land title is transferred to the federal government. The completion of a management plan is required within five years of either the land transfer or the proclamation of a park under any Act of Parliament (Canadian Heritage 1994). Management plans contain clear statements of a parks purpose and objectives and indicate how both natural and cultural aspects will be protected within the park. In addition they also "define the type, character and locale of visitor facilities, activities and services; and identify target groups" (Canadian Heritage 1994:29). Public participation is a requirement in the development of a management plan. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, it is in park management that more efforts are invested in building cooperative relationships with local and regional populations. Section 2.1.5 of the National Parks Policy and section 2.6 of the NMCA Policy state: Parks Canada will inform and involve a broad spectrum of the Canadian public in the preparation, review and amendment of management plans. (Canadian Heritage 1994: 30 and 54) An advisory committee is required for the management of NMCA to "ensure regular consultation and direct involvement of resource users and residents of the surrounding region in the preparation and implementation of the management plan" (Canadian Heritage 1994: 57). Such a advisory committee was also encouraged in the 1983 Marine Parks Policy16. 1 5 See Chapter 5 for more details. 1 6 See Section 4.1.6 (Parks Canada 1983). 76 4.7 SUMMARY Parks Canada's policies regarding public participation have been presented in detail in this Chapter. Five stages of planning have been identified for the establishment of national parks or NMCA. Within these stages the policy calls for public consultation in the first three steps (Table 4.2). Differences between National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas Policy were also presented in this Chapter. Because the differences were not significant, the evaluation of Parks Canada's approach to public participation considers both the establishment of national parks and NMCA. Table 4.2. Summary of the Public Participation Stages in the Bstabhshment of National Parks and National Marine Conservation Areas NATIONAL MARINE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION AREAS Identifying representative natural/marine areas Consultation Consultation 2 . Selecting potential area Consultation Consultation 3 . Assessing feasibility Consultation Cooperation 4 . Negotiating an agreement None None S. Establishing of national park or NMCA in legislation None None 77 CHAPTERV THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SAGUENAY ST. LAWRENCE MARINE PARK; 5.1 INTRODUCTION This Chapter provides a detailed description of the establishment process of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park (SSLMP). The focus is on the public participation events and the broader social and regional context that characterize the establishment process. 5.1.1 Geographical location of the Marine Park Located in the Province of Quebec, the SSLMP expands along both the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence estuary (Figure 5.1). The area comprises a total of 1,138 km2. The upper boundary of the park in the Saguenay Fjord is Cap a L'Est located some 50 kilometers from the town of Clncoutimi. In the St. Lawrence River, the western boundary of the marine park is Les Escoumins, a renowned scuba diving area. The eastern border of the marine park is Gros Cap a I 'Aigle, situated in the municipality of Saint-Fidele-de-Mont-Murray. The line of buoys in the Laurentian Channel line define the southern boundary of the park. Included within the park are the waters surrounding a group of islands. These islands provide important habitats for the beluga whales and offer, like L'ile aux Lievres, spawning grounds for herring (Canada-Quebec 1995). The islands are not part of the park which extends upland only to the high water mark. Three Regional County Municipalities (RCM)1 are directly bordered by SSLMP: Charlevoix-Est, Fjord-du-Saguenay, and Haute-Cote-Nord. More than 22 municipalities are represented by the three RCM. Because the park's development concept expands beyond the park boundaries, the south shore municipalities are also involved in the management of the park through the Co-ordination Committee. These municipalities are represented by three RCM; Riviere-du Loup, Les Basques and Kamouraska (Canada-Quebec 1995). The Montagnais Essipit Band Council is the only First Nation's community in the area and is also a member of the Co-ordination Committee. In 1993 negotiations between the 1 RCM group together a number of municipalities and have the mandate to develop a management plan for the region. This plan is revised every 10 years. The RCM have the power to make regulations and laws regarding the use of the territory. 78 governments and the Essipit Band Council determined their role in the management of the SSLMP (Canada-Quebec 1995). 5.2 HISTORICAL PROFILE The SSLMP establishment process spans close to three decades. Between the first studies in the early 1970's to the 1998 official establishment of the MCA, the SSLMP establishment process offers valuable lessons regarding public participation which can be used for future park establishment. The following historical chronology of events (Table 5.1) provides an introduction to the complex process leading to the creation of the park. The information was gathered from both Parks Canada's documentation and specific reports written by the Canadian Ecology Advocates (CEA)2. 2 The Canadian Ecology Advocates was a registered Canadian charity founded in 1987. Leonne Pippard, the director of the CEA, played an important role in the establishment of the SSLMP. The information provided in the CEA documentation provides a different set of information on the events that led to the creation of the marine park. 80 Table 5.1: Chronology of Events Leading to the Establishment of the Saguenay * St. Lawrence Marine Early 1970's Studies undertaken by personnel of the Canadian Parks Service3 demonstrate that the territory surrounding the Saguenay Fjord possesses all the characteristics which make it representative of the East Great - St. Lawrence Precambrian Region (natural region). 1977 The first analysis of the gulf region is conducted. 1981 The Canadian Parks Service (CPS) conducts preliminary studies that indicate that the area around the mouth of the Saguenay is representative of the St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf natural marine region. 1983 The CPS modifies the marine regions framework. By 1990 twenty nine marine regions are defined. The Estuary and Gulf natural marine region is modified and the territory surrounding the Saguenay Fjord becomes the St. Lawrence River Estuary marine region. 1985 June Initiation of the feasibility study to establish a national marine park in the region. The feasibility is conducted in two phases. Phase 1 concerns the inventory and assessment of local biophysical resources and of potentials and constraints. This phase is completed in January of 1986. Phase two is initiated in November 1986 and completed in April 1988. The second phase consists of the assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the project. 1986 The first "National Marine Park Policy" is completed. November A one day workshop on the proposed Saguenay National Marine Park4 is held in Quebec City sponsored by Environment Canada-Parks and the World Wildlife Fund (Canada) under the initiative of Leonne Pippard. 1987 Creation of the Canadian Ecology Advocates (CEA) headed by Leonne Pippard. January and February The first public information meetings are held to present the project and gather public input on the feasibility study. 1988 March The "Coalition pour le Pare Marin Saguenay Saint-Laurent" is formed representing 27 regional groups. April The feasibility study is completed. June -Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces the "St. Lawrence Action Plan". The purpose of this plan is to reduce the levels of pollution in the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers. The proposal to develop a marine park at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Rivers is supported by the St. Lawrence Action Plan through a 7 million dollar contribution. 3 In 1994 the responsibility to manage and establish national park is transfered from Environment Canada to the Department of Canadian Heritage. With this change the Canadian Parks Service changes its name to Parks Canada. 4 The Saguenay National Marine Park will later become the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. 81 - Canada and Quebec agree to start negotiating the establishment of the marine park. 1990 April 6th -After almost two years of negotiation Canada and Quebec sign an agreement to jointly create and define the boundaries of the Saguenay Marine Park. The park will be created though the adoption of legislative measures and regulations respecting the jurisdiction of the governments of Canada and Quebec. -To assure that both governments are in agreement with the initiatives taken, a Harmonization committee, composed of representatives of the CPS and the Quebec Ministere du Loisirs, de la Chasse et de la Peche (MLCP), is formed. November 10th The CEA organize a one day workshop to better prepare the Coalition pour le Park Marin du Saguenay Saint-Laurent for the public hearings planned in December. According to the CEA the information provided at the information sessions was incomplete. November/December Joint Quebec-Canada public consultation on the proposed boundaries. The area proposed covers 746km2. 1991 March A proposal for a public participation program for the Saguenay Marine Park is developed by the CEA. September A workshop is organized to examine the possibility of creating a marine biosphere reserve. Participants do not reach any specific conclusion. 1992 June -The ministers (Quebec, Canada) grant two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee. The observers are representatives from the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay Saint-Laurent. - The two governments set-up the Consultation Committee to advise the government planners on the regional population's perceptions of the project and the park management proposal, before the public hearings. November The Coalition pour le Park Marin du Saguenay Saint-Laurent is dissolved. 1993 April 6 Parks Canada and the MLCP announce the new marine park boundaries (113 8km2) and launch the public consultation on the park development proposal April and June Joint Quebec-Canada public consultation on the park's management plan. 1994 March 4 The new " National Marine Conservation Areas Policy" is approved by Cabinet. 1995 January The SSLMP Management Plan is completed. 1996 February -The SSLMP Management Plan is tabled in February 1996. - Creation of the Co-ordination Committee formed of regional representatives. December Bill C-78 (federal legislation for the park) is tabled late in the 35th Parliament and dies on the Order Paper with the dissolution of Parliament. (House of Commons, November 1997) 1997 April 1997 Weekend meeting of the Co-ordination Committee to assess the work achieved and to clarify the mandate, discuss conduct, etc. June 5th Bill 86 (provincial legislation for the park) which was introduced in December 1996 is approved at the National Assembly. December 10th Bill C-7(the previous C-78) is approved in the House of Commons of Canada 1998 June 8th Official creation of the SSLMP. Source: Adapted from Dionne (1995). 5.2.1 A Grassroots Initiative After numerous years of independently studying various aspects of the St. Lawrence River, two researchers, Leonne Pippard and Jean Bedard, became strong advocates for the creation of a marine park at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991). In 1979, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) agreed to actively support the idea for the park's establishment (Ibid). In 1983, the Saguenay terrestrial park was created by the province (Ibid). The Canadian Parks Service (CPS) had been actively working towards the establishment of a terrestrial/marine park along the Saguenay Fjord. However, because of the political climate at the time, the province opted out of any negotiations with the federal government and decided to create their own park. Reorienting their efforts, the CPS turned their attention to the creation of a marine park in the St. Lawrence River Estuary Marine Region (Ibid). In the mid 1980's, the small population of beluga whales in the St. Lawrence drew increasing attention to the health of the river. In 1986, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), advanced the St. Lawrence beluga population on the endangered list (Ibid). It is in that year that both WWF and Greenpeace started their respective action campaigns to deal with the deterioration of the health of the St. Lawrence and the fate of the beluga whale. In conjunction with Leonne Pippard, these groups chose to engage in a proactive campaign for the creation of a marine park. 5.2.2 The Feasibility Study The SSLMP feasibility study was conducted in two phases. Phase one, initiated in 1985, consisted of an analysis of the natural and cultural resources of the region as well as the identification of the constraints to the initial management concept for the park. Based on the positive results of these studies, the second 83 phase of the feasibility study was commenced in November of 1986 (Environment Canada-Parks 1988). Phase two involved the profiling of the socio-economic characteristics of the region to identify the impacts of the park at the social, economic and tourism level (Environment Canada - Parks 1987). This socio-economic study was also completed in two phases. First, socio-economic parameters were identified and described based on the available statistical information. This resulted in one set of reports. In phase two, three development scenarios and management guidelines were developed and used as the basis from which to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of the proposed park (Environment Canada-Parks 1988). Elements considered in phase two were the attendance projection and the distribution of the benefits ensuing from tourism. The three proposed development scenarios were: 1. Infrastructure scenario: This scenario provided for rninimum facilities, a focus on the most visible and spectacular natural phenomena, and the use of existing facilities and activities. This scenario called for "minimum hospitality and information services" (Environment Canada-Parks 1988: 39). 2. Cooperation scenario: The intention in this scenario was "to enhance environmental protection and conservation through measures designed to promote understanding and appreciation of all the components of the environment and to foster closer cooperation with other managers, both public and private....It [was] based on optimum exploitation of development potential as well as the establishment of a mechanism for close cooperation between Parks Canada and the various regional partners" (Environment Canada-Parks 1988: 40). 3. Concentration scenario: This final scenario was "designed to provide park hospitality, interpretation and operational functions in a single location. The aim [was] to maximize penetration of the largest potential markets and the economic impacts. Concretely, this concept entails setting up a large multi-purpose structure which promotes enhancement of the environment through indirect means"(Environment Canada - Parks 1988: 40). In the feasibility summary produced by Environment Canada-Parks (1988), the feasibility is described as having provided the following information: • Establishment of the representativeness of the identified area; • Identification of opportunities for long-term conservation of significant local resources; • Identification of potential for resource interpretation and use for recreational ends; • Estimation of the costs of establishing, developing and operating such a park; • Evaluation of the economic spin-offs and social impacts of the projects and; • Definition of management requirements for the project. Social indicators studied for the social impacts assessment included the capacity for population growth in the area particularly affected by the park, lodging capacity for that area, and road capacity (Environment Canada-Parks 1988). Among the main economic indicators studied were income and employment creation, and the regional distribution of these indicators for the three scenarios. 84 The cooperation scenario proved to be most favorable in the feasibility study which was completed in 1988. It will become apparent as the history of the SSLMP's creation is detailed that from the onset of the socio-economic impact assessment, the regional population was interested in being active participants in the planning process. In light of this fact, it is curious that the two other scenarios were even developed and investigated as part of the feasibility study. 5.2.3 The 1986 Workshop In response to the demand for a public marine park education program5, a workshop was held in Quebec city in November 1986, co-sponsored by the CPS and the WWF (Canada)6 (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991; Environment Canada-Parks 1988). Participating at the one day workshop were various NGO's both local and non local, and various government organizations including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment Canada, Tourism Canada and Tourism Quebec (Pippard 1987). The recommendations brought forth by the diversity of participants are briefly summarized here: (adapted from Pippard 1987) 1. That proponents of the park work together to develop a way to collectively mount pressure on the government to create the Saguenay National Marine Park more rapidly. 2. That the feasibility process in the National Marine Park Policy be more clearly delineated so as to include a program of several early public consultation forums. The objectives of these would be to: provide information on the concept of a marine park, to discuss the reasons for the creation of a marine park, to explain the establishment process, and to give an opportunity to the public to participate in the feasibility process before setting the orientation of the park project. 3. In addition to the consultant's resource evaluation of the area, it was recommended that an advisory committee of recognized field researchers be contracted to contribute their extensive field knowledge to the park feasibility study. 4. That there be a combined team of Environment Canada - Parks personnel, regional people and outside experts preparing and presenting the scheduled January public presentations in order to foster a spirit of teamwork and make the information presentations more interesting and applicable to their audience. 5. Following the results of the January public information program, that Environment Canada- Parks consider formulating an on-going way to communicate with and receive comments from the regional public on this project (i.e. a consultative committee). In May of 1986, Leonne Pippard proposed to the Canadian Parks Service a public marine park education program. This program was part of the proactive campaign for the establishment of the marine park. 6 The workshop was a request from the WWF who wanted to gather all implicated parties, including the relevant federal and provincial government agencies, conservation organizations and the regional public, to discuss the creation of the park (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991). 85 6. That Environment Canada- Parks act on the WWF offer to assist financially in providing a summary of the resource feasibility study should the agency not be able to do it on its own. Further that this summary subsequently be made available to key organizations and individuals considering this project, or, on written request, following an announcement of its availability. 7. That a modest booklet summarizing conservation actions and projects by government and non-government organizations, and individuals be prepared in order to indicate the conservation efforts that have already been achieved in the Saguenay area. 8. That Environment Canada - Parks view the benefits that could be derived from an up-front marine education program with regards to how it could assist in marine park establishment, plus, how the agency might offer assistance to those organizations who are willing to organize and conduct this type of program. 9. That efforts be made to give special protection to the Saguenay marine area by the end of 1987 until further negotiations and agreements can be made to establish the park formally. Already in 1986, the non-governmental community had been lobbying for the creation of this marine park for many years. WWF (Canada) had lent support to this project by pressing various levels of government on the urgency of moving the project of the marine park ahead. At the 1986 workshop, Monte Hummel stated in his presentation that WWF had grown impatient with the lack of action by the government towards the creation of the park (Pippard 1987). According to Monte Hummel, the only justification that remained for any further delay was the need to inform the regional population and seek their involvement early in the establishment process (Ibid). 5.2.4 The January 1987 Information Sessions Participants at the November 1986 workshop had made numerous suggestions regarding the January information sessions. However, Environment Canada - Parks had already prepared for these sessions and they proceeded as planned, without the active involvement of other regional groups, as was recommended. These informal information sessions were held in 6 municipalities between January 26th and February 4th. The municipalities were Grandes-Bergeronnes, Tadoussac, Anse-Saint-Jean, Baie Samte-Catherine, CWcoutimi, La Baie, and Saint-Simeon (Figure 5.2). Their purpose was to inform the regional population of the marine park proposal and for the population to present their comments on phase one of the feasibility study (Environment Canada - Parks 1988). All those attending the information sessions were given an information package which gave a short description on various subjects such as the urgency for national marine parks in Canada and a summary of the new National Marine Parks Policy. Resulting from the information sessions were 15 briefs and more than 100 comments from the public (Environment Canada-Parks 1987). Six main areas of concern were identified by the CPS from the public 86 comments: 1) water quality and the CPS's position on pollution clean-up of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers, 2) the rules relevant to the marine park, 3) concerns about the marine park concept, 4) the limits of the park7, 5) the economic impact and development plan for the park, and finally 6) the public involvement (Environment Canada-Parks 1988). On this last area of concern, 5 main recommendations were made: 1. Consultation with fishermen on the management of the fisheries. 2. Maintairiing consultations between the ministry and the residents. 3. Providing educational sessions on the project to create the marine park. 4. The formation of a regional consultation committee or of a regional administration council. 5. The establishment of a regional roundtable. During the 1986 workshop, Pierre Bernier, the lead planner for establishing new national parks, described the January information sessions as partial consultation. He said more serious consultations would be scheduled when the time had come to discuss the organization and the management of the park, hence after the analysis of the feasibility study (Pippard 1987). The intent of the information sessions was to address preliminary questions and concerns that the public might have towards the idea of a marine park (Ibid). In a report submitted by the CEA to the WWF, Pippard summarizes her perception of the 1987 information sessions as follows: Unfortunately, it became apparent in the public information sessions that the Canadian Parks Service was reticent about the public having a proactive, rather than a reactive role in the park's planning. Informing the public of policy, and consulting them on plans and agreements was one thing, but actually involving public representatives in formulating the park was not really desired by the federal parks agency. It seemed that the government felt the public would demand too much hence making the exercise more protracted and costly. (Pippard 1991,5) 5.2.5 Creation of the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay The dedication of the CEA, WWF, Greenpeace and other regional groups to the establishment of the marine park and to the regional community's ownership of the project was demonstrated again in 1988. In 1988, with the initial assistance of Greenpeace, the Coalition pour le Pare Marin Saguenay Saint-Laurent was created. The Coalition reunited 27 regional groups who actively supported 1) the creation of the marine park, 2) the involvement of the regional communities in all stages of planning, and 3) the 7 The technical studies of the feasibility allowed for the development of five senarios of potenial park area. These were presented to the public at the information sessions. The senarios ranged from a minimal area to an extended area which included elements of the various ecosystems identified in the feasibility study. Most participants opted for the extended marine park area scenario while others asked for an area greater than those proposed by the CPS (Environment Canada - Parks 1987). 87 conservation mandate of the park8 (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991). The frustrations of the regional population resulting from the establishment of the terrestrial park as well as other federal and provincial government imtiatives in the region, motivated the regional groups to form the Coalition. The Coalition pressured the government to act on the creation of the park through letters to both levels of government and articles in various national and provincial papers. Based on the advice of WWF, the Coalition made two main recommendations: 1) to hasten the creation of the marine park, and 2) the inclusion of the park project in the St. Lawrence Action Plan, an initiative which was publicly announced by Prime Minister Mulroney later in June of 1988. Whether resulting partly from the Coalition's work or not, the St. Lawrence Action Plan attributed a total of $ 7.5 million to the creation of the park, thereby compelling the CPS to hasten the establishment process (Ibid). With the announcement of the St. Lawrence Action Plan, and the completion of the feasibility study, the CPS initiated negotiations with the province. Again the involvement of the Coalition, WWF, Greenpeace and the CEA was helpful in providing incentives for the two governments to reach an agreement. The CPS entered negotiations with the expectation of establishing the park under federal legislation, an option Quebec was not willing to consider (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991). After one year of negotiation and no sign of progress, the Saguenay Marine Park Project was perceived as losing serious momentum (Ibid). To unlock the political impasse, the Coalition, WWF, CEA and Greenpeace decided to augment public pressure. Information brochures were produced and circulated to the regional population (Ibid). The brochures provided information on the role of marine parks, the proposal for a marine park in the Saguenay, and presented the population with the reasons for the stalled negotiations between Canada and Quebec at that time (Ibid). In addition, the groups commissioned an opinion poll to determine the public's support for the creation of the marine park. Eighty three percent of the regional population surveyed supported the creation of the park and 68 per cent indicated they wanted the park to be established as soon as possible (Ibid). These results were released at a press conference in October 1989. Six months later, on April 6th 1990, an agreement was reached on the joint creation of the Saguenay Marine Park. These objectives were also supported by WWF, the C E A and Greenpeace (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991). 88 5.2.6 Consultations on The Saguenay Marine Park Boundaries As part of the April 1990 agreement the CPS and the MLCP had agreed to embark on a joint determination of the park boundaries (Projet D'entente 1990). Public consultations were carried out in November/December of 1990 as consented in the Agreement. The proposed marine park area covered 746 km2 (Figure 5.3). In relation to the various park boundary scenarios proposed in 1987, this area represented the most restrictive of the potential areas (Pippard 1990). The consultations were planned in two phases. Phase one consisted of one day information sessions and phase two of public hearings. The information sessions were held between October 16th and 22nd in Tadoussac, La Malbaie, Baie- Ste-Catherine, L'Anse Saint-Jean, La Baie and Montreal (Canada-Quebec 1990). All participants were provided with a map and basic information on the proposed park boundaries, the objectives of the park, and the conservation mandate. This time the information was produced jointly by the CPS and the MLCP. The terms of the federal provincial agreement were also discussed at these information sessions (Dionne 1995). Approximately 250 people participated at the information sessions (Canada-Quebec 1991). On November 10th 1990, prior to phase two of the consultation plan, the CEA decided to organize their own information sessions, in conjunction with the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay Saint-Laurent. It was believed that the information provided by the CPS and the MLCP was insufficient for the regional groups to prepare for the public hearings (Canada-Quebec 1990 J. Dobbins' brief). This workshop covered a review of the biophysical characteristics of the marine region and a discussion on the planning of marine parks as practiced around the world. James Dobbin from James Dobbin Associates, an expert in marine parks planning, was invited to discuss with participants various planning approaches used in Australia and the USA for marine parks establishment. What he presented to the regional population, among other things, were alternative approaches used to involve the public in planning (Ibid). The public hearings were held in Tadoussac, La Malbaie, La Baie, and Montreal between December 6th and 9th. The intention of these was to hear the comments from the regional population, not for the CPS or the MLCP to engage in discussions with the public. Hence, the format was a series of 15 minutes presentations9 made by the various groups or individuals that had submitted a brief prior to November 9 Fifteen minutes were alloted for oral presentations given on behalf on an organization and ten minutes was alloted for individuals. 89 25th 1990 (Canada-Quebec 1991). Co-chairing the public hearing was Mr. Chiles Desaulniers of the CPS and Mr. Gaston Plourde, representing the Ministere du Loisirs, de la Chasse et de la Peche. A five minute question period was given for co-chairs to question the elements of the public presentations. Once all the briefs had been presented, other participants who wished to address the co-chairs were given that opportunity (Canada-Quebec 1991b). A third party was hired to facilitate the public hearing process. The public hearings were scheduled for a duration of three hours, a period which was insufficient in some cases due to the large input of comments by the population. In La Malbaie, the hearings ended past midnight (Personal communication). A total of approximately 300 people participated in the hearings and 39 briefs10 were orally presented (Canada-Quebec 1991). The following elements characterize the briefs submitted by the various stakeholders: 1. Requests for the expansion of the marine park area. 2. Complaints about the involvement to date of the regional population and requests to actively involve the various stakeholders in all stages of planning. 3. The incapacity or limited capacity to pronounce themselves on the limits of the park without having discussed such issues as the rules and regulations that would apply witliin the marine park. 1. An ovemhelming majority of those who submitted briefs requested the expansion of the marine area (Canada-Quebec 1990). Various arguments were made to justify the need for such an expansion. For one, some conservationists felt that the proposed boundaries did not include key ecosystems in the estuary such as the spartina marshes. Second, the distribution range of the beluga whale, species which had motivated from the start the efforts to create the park, was not included in the proposed boundaries. A third argument questioned the focus on the Saguenay River for the park boundaries. The Saguenay had been documented by the CPS as being, in terms of its biological features, not representative of the middle estuary of the St. Lawrence River. Very little of the St. Lawrence estuary was included within the boundaries, therefore bringing into question the selection objectives for the boundary delimitations (Canada-Quebec 1990). Among the socio-economic justifications for the expansion of the boundaries were the distribution of the tourism benefits incurred with the presence of the park. Some municipalities wanted to be part of the marine park's coast. It was argued by some that an expansion of the park to other key coastal areas already developing their tourism industry would provide for a more integrated approach 1 0 An additional 31 briefs were submitted after the November 25th deadline bringing the total number of briefs submitted at these public consultations to 70 (Canada-Quebec 1991). 90 to the sustainable development of the region11. The interest groups located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence estuary felt dismissed in the whole process and argued for the expansion of the park to include the south shore for both ecological and socio-economic reasons (Canada-Quebec 1990). 2. Again an overwhelming amount of briefs reproached the lack of efforts that had been invested to date in involving the regional population in the planning process. The approach used for the consultation itself was perceived by many as being practiced simply to fulfill the requirement of the terms of the April 1990 agreement. Among the suggestions for increased public participation was the formation of a multistakeholder roundtable and the formation of a consultation committee. (Canada-Quebec 1990). 3. The majority of the briefs contained remarks concerning the vrnfair expectation that the public could contribute to a discussion about the park boundaries while not having sufficient information. They complained of having no information about the way these boundaries had been selected but more importanfty, about being provided no opportunity to discuss the meaning of this park in terms of the rules and regulations that would affect the area included within the park boundaries (Canada-Quebec 1990). On April 16th, 1993, more than a year after the consultations, the boundaries were announced to the public. The marine park area was expanded from 746km2 to 1138km2. The expansion of the marine park boundary affected the St. Lawrence River axis, expanding both further north and south along the North Shore of the river and slightly outward towards the South Shore to include a series of islands known to be highly used by the beluga whales. That same day, the CPS and the MLCP launched their second joint Quebec-Canada public consultation, this time on the park management plan (Canada-Quebec 1995). 5.2.7 Creation of Two Observer Seats on the Harmonization Committee In March of 1991, The CEA submitted a public participation framework which had received the support of the Coalition (Canadian Ecology Advocates 1991). This report had been a request of the MLCP 1 2. After having received no responses to the report after seven months, the Coalition called a press conference in which they reproached the two governments the lack of responsiveness to the request of the regional population for more involvement in the planning process (Ibid). They also reproached the lack of 1 1 Some municipalities such as La Baie preferred to be keep out of the park boundaries due to their economic activity. 1 2 The proposed public participation framework summary is provided in Appendix B. 91 cooperation of the two governments in promoting the park. Indeed, both governments had been independently promoting the park (Ibid). As a result of the Coalition's pressure on governments to listen to the public's demands, the, two ministers, Gaston Blackburn with the MLCP and Jean Charest as the Minister of the Environment, agreed to grant the Coalition two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee. This was the first time members of the public were provided seats at a planning table. In this regard the Saguenay had set a true precedent (Ibid). 5.2.8 Creation of the Consultation Committee In June of 1992, the Consultation Committee was created. The creation of the Consultation Committee had been a recommendation of the two ministers in response to the strong demand of the population for active involvement in all stages of planning. The mandate of the committee, as described in official documents, was to "...advise planners on area residents' perceptions of the project and the content of a proposed development plan " (Canada-Quebec 1995: 5). The Consultation Committee included representatives from each of the 3 Regional County Municipalities (RCM)13, two members from the scientific community, one member from the Union Quibecoise pour la Conservation de la Nature, and two members from the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay. Sitting on this committee was also the Parks Canada's planner and the planner from the Ministry of Environment and Wildlife (Canada-Quebec 1995). The Consultation Committee met a total of five times during its six month mandate which ended prior to the public consultations in April of 1993 (Personal communication). 5.2.9 Consultations on the Management Plan The format of the second joint Quebec-Canada consultation in 1993 was identical to the one in 1990. The first phase consisted of information sessions and the second phase of public hearings. Information documents were distributed again to all interest groups and interested individuals. In essence, the information presented the general objectives, the three themes that would drive the development concept of the park, the concept and development plan, the zoning plan, the management issues, and research plans. Information meetings were held between 7:30 and 10:30 PM from April 26th to April 29th in four municipalities: Tadoussac, La Malbaie, La Baie, and Montreal. These information sessions gathered close 92 to 200 participants. The public hearings, held between the 15th and the 21st of June, brought together a total of approximately of 150 participants and 30 briefs were orally presented14 (Canada-Quebec 1993). A summary of the consultation was prepared and distributed to the participants in December 1993 (Canada-Quebec 1995). After long discussions between the two governments, the Management Plan was completed in 1995 and unveiled on February 6th 1996. As a result of the public consultation and the expansion of the park boundaries in the St. Lawrence axis, the name of the park was changed from the Saguenay Marine Park to the Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park (Ibid). 5.2.10 Creation of the Harmonization Committee and the Co-ordination Committee The Harmonization Committee's mandate follows its previous one, i.e. the harmonization of the efforts of the two government. However, with the creation of the Co-ordination Committee, the two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee were abolished. The Co-ordination Committee was created after long discussions between the two governments and, this time, with regional representatives15 (Personnal Communication). The first meeting of the committee was held in February 1996 with the public release of the Management Plan (Canadian Heritage 1998 pch.gc.ca i^n/News.dllA i^ew?Code=8NR031E&Land=E). The Management Plan is presently the basic working document from which all further decisions concerning the SSLMP are made. In order to remain flexible and adaptive to changing circumstances, the Management Plan represents a guiding tool as opposed to a comprehensive manual detailing each component of park management (Canada-Quebec 1995). The responsibility for developing the details actions plans is left to the Co-ordination Committee (Ibid). The mandate and areas of jurisdiction of the Co-ordination Committee are also presented in the Management Plan. While the committee has been in existence for more than two years, the information provided in the plan remains their basic mandate statement. (Personnal communication). All projects related to the marine park are necessarily presented to the committee which has elected to work by consensus (Ibid). The areas in which the Co-ordination Committee can act are identified as follows: 1 3 The three Regional County Municipalities (RCM) represented were; Charlevoix-Est, Fjord du Saguenay, and Haute-Cote-Nord. No representatives of the south shore was invited to sit on the Consultation Committee. At that time the boundaries had not been selected and no inclusion of the south shore was planned. 1 4 33 more briefs were received after the June 4th dealine bringing to 63 the total number of briefs submitted. 1 5 The Consultation Committee was not developed with the regional population. 93 • Protection of marine resources and ecosystems; • Education and interpretation; • Development of the Park and its resources; • Marketing and promotion of the Marine Park; • Regional integration; • Studies and research related to the park management; • Orientations and park management strategies; and • Protection of sites and Amerindian cultural resources. (Source: Canada-Quebec 1995) The Management Plan describes the mandate of the Co-ordination Committee as follows: ...to ensure follow-up of the Management Plan and to counsel the ministers responsible for the Saguenay - St. Lawrence Marine Park on the strategies and methods necessary to attain general and specific goals defined in the Plan.(Canada-Quebec 1995: 12). Specific mandates of the committee are: • Ensure that the goals for the protection of natural and cultural resources for the park will be reached; • Encourage preservation of the diversity of cultural resources in the Co-ordination area of the Park; • Harmonize and ensure follow-up of respective interventions of each part for the installation of structures, services and activities in a spirit of cooperation; • Define methods of sharing facilities and equipment in place, to build or to be implemented; • Coordinate annual and multi-year operational plans for the activities and services of the Marine Park; • Recommend changes to the boundaries, development plan and legislative measures and regulations which have created the Marine Park; and • Participate in, and if need be, coordinate the elaboration of cases related to a concerted action within the coordination area; • Produce and publish an annual report presenting the results of work done by the Co-ordination Committee. (Canada-Quebec 1995). 5.2.11 Establishment of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park in Legislation. Both Canada and Quebec had to write their respective legislation regarding the SSLMP. Interdepartmental working groups were created with the responsibility of coordinating actions and designing regulations, guidelines and legislation. In addition, an intergovernmental round table was established to coordinate legislation proposed by Canada and Quebec (Canada-Quebec 1995). Two Bills were produced; Bill C-78, representing the federal legislation and Bill-86 representing the province's legislation. On December 12, 1996 Bill-86 and Bill-C-78 were presented to the National 94 Assembly and the House of Commons respectively. On June 5, 1997 Bill-86 received Quebec Legislative assent (House of Common November 1997). Bill C-78 however, was not passed before a general election was called, therefore dying on the Order Paper with the dissolution of Parliament. The second reading of the new Bill C-7 was passed on December 10th, 1997 leading to the long awaited official establishment of the SSLMP in legislation in June of 1998. 5.2.12 Perceptions of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park Establishment Process The SSLMP is considered by both politicians and Parks Canada to have been an example of cooperation as never seen before in Canada (House of Commons 1997). The success of the establishment is identified at various levels. First, the capacity of both governments to reach an agreement for the joint creation of the park in light of the political conditions existing between the province and the federal government certainly represented a significant accomplishment. In terms of the consultation process, the SSLMP establishment process has been described as innovative, and extensive (House of Commons 1997; Canada-Quebec 1995). This park stands for environmental protection, conservation and most importantly education and scientific research. The extraordinary thing, as many of my colleagues have mentioned, is that this park is the product of co-operation and perhaps the most extensive consultation done on a project in Canada for a very long time. (Mr. Clifford Lincoln - Lac-Saint-Louis, Liberal, House of Commons November 1997). The planning process of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park also innovates with regards to consultation. (Canada-Quebec 1995:5) The Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park is the first marine park in Quebec and the first salt water marine conservation area established under legislation in Canada. In terms of the length of time required to reach an agreement to create the Park (the April 1990 Agreement) from the initial interest to create a park in the region, the SSLMP has been a rapid process (CEA 1991) . 95 5.4 S U M M A R Y The SSLMP took close to three decades to establish. It is the first joint federal/provincial marine park in Canada, the first marine park in Quebec and the first salt water marine park (or MCA) established under legislation in Canada. In light of the strong support and lobbying of the regional population, the establishment of the SSLMP can safely be declared as a grassroots initiative. Characterizing the park's establishment is the involvement of such groups as the WWF the CEA and Greenpeace and their support to the regional population. Various public participation events were planned mainly by Parks Canada and the provincial counterpart. However, some public participation events were planned by the WWF and the CEA in the course of the establishment process. In 1986 a workshop was held in Quebec city with key local groups and various government agencies. This event, initiated by WWF, was the first public participation activity. Parks Canada planned three main public consultation events in the course of the establishment: the information sessions of 1987 during the feasibility study, the 1990 public consultations on the park boundaries and the 1993 consultations on the management plan. This last public consultation event was preceded by the formation of the Consultation Cornmittee in 1992 which was mandated to review and comment on the management plan before its proposal to the public. The SSLMP did set a precedent with the creation of two observer seats on the federal/provincial Harmonization Committee in 1992. Further characterizing the SSLMP establishment is the creation of the Coalition pour le Pare Marin Du Saguenay Saint-Laurent, a group representing 27 regional organizations. The work of the Coalition and the support of the WWF and the CEA lead to additional public pressure for the creation of the marine park and for the active involvement of the regional population. 96 CHAPTER V I E V A L U A T I O N O F T H E S A G U E N A Y ST. L A W R E N C E M A R I N E P A R K E S T A B L I S H M E N T 6.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the analysis of the public participation process of the establishment of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park (SSLMP)1. The analysis is organized in 9 major sections which reflect the evaluation criteria of the analytical framework. The focus of the evaluation is on the limitations of the public participation approach. Indeed, the analytical framework represents the ideal criteria for effective public participation. Therefore, it is expected that more limitations than strengths will be found. The lessons that can be drawn from a focus on the limitations are presumed to provide more insights into opportunities to improve Parks Canada's approach to public participation. An assumption of this thesis is that public participation is both a means to an end and an end in itself. However, the evaluation of the SSLMP establishment was performed independently of the outcomes of the process, such as the successful creation of the park or the present work and effectiveness of the Co-ordination Committee. In short the evaluation looks at how the establishment provided the opportunity to build cooperative relationships, regardless of the outcome, in order to gain some lessons from the public participation process itself. Each of the nine sections is summarized in point form at the end of the analysis of the criterion. When planners have identified constraints to the application of the criterion in public participation processes, these are also presented at the end of the analysis of the section. Quotes from the interviews with planners are simply referenced as "P" for planner. As mentioned in Chapter 3, no further detail is provided in order to respect the anonymity of those interviewed. Quotes taken from the interviews with public members are referenced with either the letter " C " or "D" . Quotes taken from the public's briefs or other public documents are referenced in detail. Note that all the quotes in this chapter are translations from French. 1 The establishment phase analyzed in this thesis comprises the period between the early 1980's up to the 1993 public consultations. Mentions of the Co-ordination Committee will be made but this committee represents a management structure and is beyond the scope of this thesis. 97 6.2 EVALUATION OF THE CASE STUDY 6.2.1 Defined Roles The Role of Parks Canada All those interviewed referred to the role of Parks Canada as one of "Leader" "promoter" or "carrier of the project". No explicit differentiation was made between the role(s) of Parks Canada in the establishment of a national park and its role(s) in public participation processes. Further, there was confusion between the definition of role versus that of objectives, or mandate of Parks Canada. The following quote is a case in point: I don't understand? Our role ... our mandate is to protect representative elements of the Canadian landscape. (P) The Multiple Roles of Planners The role of a planner at Parks Canada involves multiple responsibilities. As mentioned by one planner, his role at various time during the establishment process varies. The roles identified by the interviewees range from promoter of the overall project, to observer on committees, facilitator on the consultation committee, decision-maker, and writer of public documents like the management plan. One planner presented the role of planners in public consultations as such: During the consultations it [the role] was to receive the suggestions and comments. The objective was to listen to the local communities and from this to take knowledgeable decisions in function of the parks policies, the regional direction, the administrative constraints, and the federal budget. The role, to summarize, the role of the park was one of catalyst, of information, of mixing and integrating this information [received from consultations] in the establishment of management and development orientations. (P) Differences Between Planners The identification of differences between planners' perceptions of the role of Parks Canada in public participation can only be substantiated from the willingness of those interviewed to discuss the matter. It was my impression that there was discomfort in discussing and comparing other colleagues' approaches. Therefore, exchanges on this subject were brief and evasive: "Surely", " I don't know, I guess.". However, there was agreement by all that differences between planners' perception of their role existed because of such factors as individual personality and background. (P) The absence of a definition of the roles of planners in the public participation process was not identified as a constraint to the planning of a public participation strategy. Planners considered that there was a shared understanding between them of the importance of public participation. Although they believed that their basic understanding of the role of public participation in new park establishment was shared among 98 colleagues, the following quotes seem to point to some differences of perception that could have had a significant impact on the approach to public participation. Each planner has his litde things [his own personality and experience]. I think that the leading thread is always there but that it can vary.... The approach is pretty similar from one program to the other because of the nature of the consultation policy. There are policy parameters that are quite strict concerning the information that is given, the planning stages where we have to involve the public. (P) We have an objective to consult people and each does it according to his own qualities. I mean, I am very social and there are others that are less. ...We have both, not a different perception of the objective of public participation, it is important for us in the same way, we need to get peoples' issues, but the approach, yes, it can vary from one person to the other. (P) I would tell you that we do reflect on it. There is so much time invested to make sure that we have the same vision of things internally. We work for the same organization. It is for that reason also that there is a policy, to make sure that we all have the same reading.(P) According to two planners, the policy regarding public participation provided enough direction to prevent the differences of perception of roles between planners to affect the public participation approach. Looking back at the generality of the information provided on public participation in the policy (Chapter 4), it is inconceivable that the policy itself could constrain the development of approaches to public participation. According to the third planner, while he considered the importance of public participation to be shared between planners, approaches themselves could vary based on a planner's personality. The Role of the Public Common in the various briefs presented to the governments in 1987, 1990, and 1993, was the request for active involvement of the regional population in all stages of planning. Within many of these briefs, various approaches to public involvement were proposed such as adrninistrative committees, and round tables. Brought to the attention of the governments were articles within the policy guide referring to public involvement2. It would seem that their reading of the policy was different from the government planners' reading. The public expected much more involvement than what was offered throughout the planning process. The public expected to play a more active role in the planning of this park than was provided until 1992 and more particularly in 1996 with the creation of the Co-ordination Committee. Leonne Pippard brings to the governments' attention in her 1990 brief the confusion between the terms 'participation', 'involvement' and 'consultation', terms used interchangeably in the Marine Park Policy (1987). Pippard further contrasts the use of these terms to the stated need for the cooperation of the 99 regional population in the creation and management of the park indicating that consultation would not lead to cooperation3. Representatives of the community of Saint-Fidele de Mont Murray made a similar comment in their 1990 brief: How can the collaboration and the integration of the region to the project be expected when its involvement in the overall planning comes only at a few moments in all the process? (Canada-Quebec 1990) Planners considered the role of the public as being one of expressing their needs, expectations, and preoccupations. The regional population wanted their role to be one of partners in all stages of the planning process. This contrast in the perception of roles is further exemplified in the two following quotes from a planner and a community organization: At the level of the consultation, [our role] is to bring people to express their expectations, their needs, their preoccupations (P) The region wants to actively participate in all the processes that will lead to the creation of the marine park and want to intervene directly in the management that the Harmonization Committee intends to develop. What this means is much more than public hearings. (Canada-Quebec 1990; Chambre de Commerce de la Baie) The 1990 consultations on the boundaries of the park demonstrate the differences in expectations between the regional population and the governments regarding the public participation process. In the great majority of the briefs, groups voiced their disgruntlement of having to pronounce themselves on the park boundaries prior to having been informed and having discussed the rules and regulations that would govern the activities within the marine park. For many groups it was this information that was most contentious and aroused the most fear as to the impact of the park on their lifestyle. For environmental groups, many critical habitats were not included within the proposed boundaries and therefore they wanted to discuss the conservation objectives of the parks which would also be reflected by the rules and regulations. The boundaries of the park should be the very last of the decisions to make in the creation process of a park. As adjacent communities to the proposed park, we would have liked first to be consulted on the management concept and on the rules and regulations that will regulate our activities in a region that has been part of our lives for decades. Thereafter, it will be more logical to give our views on what territory this concept and those rules and regulations could be applied. (Canada-Quebec 1990; Comite de developpement du Petit Saguenay) The approach that seems to have been adopted to identify the boundaries of the park, even before deciding what is to be planned within the park area, may it be the management objectives, the use of the park, or the rules and regulation that will govern it, respects NO logic. THE LEVITTS SHOULD BE DEFINED IN CONCERT WITH THE DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT OPTIONS AND 2 See point 1.2.9 and 4.1.3 of the 1987 NMCA Policy (Environment Canada-Parks 1987). 3 Reference to the need for cooperation of the local communities has been detailed in Chapter 4 (see Canadian Heritage 1994). 100 EVALUATED AS SUCH BY THE PUBLIC. (Canada-Quebec 1990; James Dobbins, James Dobbins Consultant) Planners interviewed understood the public's frustration regarding the lack of information on rules and regulations. However, Parks Canada and the province had made an agreement in 1990 to hold consultations on the boundaries no more than nine months after signing the agreement. For those working on elaborating the respective federal and provincial legislations, they had to submit recommendations six months after the agreement had been signed. Considering that the official boundaries were necessary to develop the legislation, priority was given to the political imperatives in the park's establishment. The agreement, the product of a political negotiation between the two governments, was developed without any involvement or consideration of the regional populations' needs and requests. Of course, in a certain way it is difficult to say, "yes we accept the boundaries" without understanding what is inside them. It is risky. They are completely right except that when we should have done it the law was not created. Should we have waited for the law to be created when for this itself the limits needed to be known? (P) One planner mentioned that the policy provided the public with the basic irrformation as to what activity would be permitted within the park. While general statements of resource exploitation were found in the policy, the level of detail could not address the public's concerns. The Consultation Committee In the case of the SSLMP, a Consultation Committee and a Co-ordination Committee were established in 1992 and 1996 respectively4. The criteria Defined roles therefore also applies to these committees. This raised the question whether or not the role of each stakeholder was clarified from the onset. According to the planners interviewed, the extent to which roles were discussed was limited to an initial introduction of each member and of their respective organization. According to a planner, there were numerous occasions when certain members of the Consultation Committee became confused as to whom they represented. An example provided by a planner concerns a regional member representing an environmental organization. This representative, out of the confusion about his roles as a representative of an environmental group and a resident of a village, took the position of being against a restrictive zoning for the protection of a certain bay. While the bay was a treasured site by community hunters and sport fisherman, it was also known to be an important calving ground for the endangered beluga whales. This representative clearly got confused as to her role on the Consultation Committee. 101 In terms of defining their role, the members of the Consultation Committee had a concise mandate (i.e. to review the management plan). This management plan had largely been elaborated and the committee's role was to dispense a first phase validation of the plan. We proposed things, they were less on the construction mode than the approval mode .... They arrived and we already had a lot done, so it is catch up all the time. (P) Essentially the mandate of that committee was to intervene on the management concept proposition so that they would pass a first phase validation of the public. (P) Defined Role Summary • The definition of roles is not a criterion that was given explicit consideration in the establishment process or in the public participation process. • The definition of roles is not something that Parks Canada defined for context specific situations in the case of the SSLMP establishment. For example, their role was not defined in the development of the public consultation, in the development of the committees, or as members of the committee, nor at the public meetings. • Roles were defined based on general objectives of public consultation as found in the policy guide. Roles were confused with objectives, mandate, and personal attributes of planners. • Planners involved in the public participation planning process had multiple roles ranging from carrier of the project, to educator, to facilitator, to decision-maker. • Individual planners' attributes were said to have an effect on the perception of the role of Parks Canada in public participation but there was disagreement as to whether or not this had an effect on the approach to public participation. • The role of the public in the establishment of the SSLMP was perceived differently by the public and the governments. Existing policies contributed to confusion about the extent the regional population should be involved. 6.2.2 Self-Design The Understanding of the Self-Design Criterion In the establishment of the SSLMP, the public was not involved in the design of the participation approach5. This is also true for the creation and elaboration of the mandate of the Consultation Committee formed in 1992. However, planners' response to the question regarding Self-design indicated a misunderstanding of its definition. As noted in the interviews, associated with the seeming lack of understanding of the criterion was a common desire by the planners to defend the SSLMP establishment approach. To the question: "Were the local communities involved in the development of the public participation strategy?" The answer of some of the planners included the following: Well he [the public] was informed of what we wanted to do and the approach that we favored for consultation. (P) 4 See Chapter 4 for more details. 5 See Chapter 4 for more details. 102 What I understand of the approach is ... you come back on certain elements, it is important in public meetings, to inform us, it is important that we have all the information on the subject, and that we come back after to discuss it again, is that what you mean? We had a Consultation Committee. I think that the Saguenay is an example where really, it went in such a way that we can use the term involved, according to my comprehension. (P) Planners' Perception of the Value of Self-Design The approaches used by Parks Canada to identify the needs and interests of the population appeared satisfactory to the planners interviewed, therefore making the populations' involvement in the design seemingly unnecessary6. One planner said: What can be associated to a certain extent to the strategy is the antenna that we had on site through the Societe Linneenne that was managing Pointe Noir. They gave us really good indications on the strategy that we would follow. (P) This society was under contract by Parks Canada to manage a tourism/coastal observation site. Within their contract, certain clauses specified the society's requirement to mention the name of Parks Canada in their interpretation scenarios (Personal Communication). Their role was also to gather public opinions, particularly those of the local community adjacent to the site, towards Parks Canada and the Saguenay Marine Park project. One planner described their role as giving Parks Canada the pulse of the population as well as indications of the state of mind of the public. Through these means and others7, Parks Canada gathered the information they needed to identify the issues, interests, and apprehensions of the population. Thus, the public participation strategy was developed based on information gathered from informal conversations with specific regional groups. Interestingly, the Sociite Linneenne itself did not seem very enthused by the selected public participation approach. In their 1990 brief, the society questioned the expressed intentions of planners for consultation, concertation, and partnership with regional groups. They stated: ... If all the partners are not consulted, if all the partners are not harnessed for the development of the park, if all the partners are not treated with equity, if we do not sit, with our respective title and our specialty around the same table, how can we seriously talk about collaboration? (Canada-Quebec 1990; Societe Linneenne) The development of the strategy was described as follows by one planner: 6 Considered as "the approaches" are the information sessions, the public hearings and the Consultation Committee. They refer to the forms of public involvement selected. 7 E.g. informal meetings with mayors and other groups as well as Parks Canada's participation on a committees called committee for the protection of the marine mammals run by Fisheries and Ocean Canada on which various local groups participated. 103 Based on the pre-established needs of the organization and the strategic ideas that come out of these, we go out in the public and by selective discussions with mayors, and various groups, we improve these ideas. Once this is done, the consultation process can begin. (P) The direct involvement of the public in the design process was not considered a necessary criterion or a principle in the development of a public participation approach. What was considered essential is the understanding of the communities' needs and interest which was said to have been provided by different means. This point is summarized in the following quote: It is so different from one public consultation to the other. There is no magic recipe. As a principle, yes the public needs to, not necessarily have its word to say, but the strategy must be based on a knowledge of local communities' interests.(P) Li contrast to the planners' satisfaction in indirect means to pre-consult with the communities, the regional population wanted to be equal partners in the development of the concept of the park. Hence, to be actively involved in a process of Self-design or pre-consultation, is exactly what the regional population seemed to be asking for. In order to favor a mutual respect between the parties, to harmonize them, we believe that a permanent regional committee of concertation for the marine park needs to be put in place (even if it is already too late in the process). (Environment Canada 1987:13) Science and Socio-Economic Consideration in the Ecosystem's Approach to Planning The research steps of the feasibility study carried out by Parks Canada were the following: Natural resources for the Gulf and Estuary are plotted (Bio-Conseil 1981) Four areas are identified for further investigation (Bio-Conseil 1981) Analysis of the four areas with regards to the resources, conservation, interpretation, recreation, the impacts, and ecosystem integrity (Dryade 1982) Selection of the Saguenay Fjord and Mouth for an in depth analysis of the resources, the impacts and to carry out a socio-economic analysis (LMBFS-SIDAM, 1986; SOM 1988) From Canadian Ecology Advocates 1990's brief 104 The approach outlined above did not, according to the CEA, permit the integration of the socio-economic and biophysical information. The selection of the area8 was presented by Leonne Pippard as having been piecemeal and not representative of a systems approach9. In addition, the consulting firms which conducted the biophysical studies were not given the mandate to consult with the population (Pippard 1987). This structure eliminated the opportunity for the regional population to be involved in the data gathering process, to contribute their own knowledge of the area to the feasibility study, and for Parks Canada to learn from the regional population. Parks Canada, in order to follow a rigorous scientific approach, did not involve the regional population in the feasibility study. The result of the selected scientific procedure seems to be that Parks Canada ended up with an incomplete and non integrated information set which lacked the inclusion of the regional population's (including regional researchers) knowledge of the region10. The potential for the regional population's involvement in the feasibility study is discussed further in the Promote-learning criterion. The Reasons for Public Participation Yes it is important [to involve the local communities in the development of a public participation strategy]. I will not be Machiavellian in saying this but you are assured of not being the only one to make the decision. So the state cannot be accused without others being accused also, that's what local representatives are. It is always with nuances but it is always to the advantage of people that are doing a consultation to get as much allies as possible at the objectives level and on the strategy because it is less open to criticism. (P) According to this quote, the sharing of responsibility for the decisions was a reason motivating public participation. However, in the case of the SSLMP, the communities were not involved in decision-making. The Consultation Committee, which was the highest level of involvement practiced in this case study up until 1996, was itself described as being more an approval mode than a constructive or planning mode. The Consultation Committee The Consultation Committee was defined as "absolutely not" involved in deterrnining their mandate. More precisely, it seems that apart from the general mandate given by Parks Canada to oversee the management plan, no further identification of roles and mandate, as well as a working process for the committee was identified or discussed. One planner was convinced of the existence of documents on the 8 Step two of the establishment process. 9 Appendix C illustrates the systems approach framework used by James Dobbin, MCA consultant. 1 0 Leonne Pippard also pointed out that the area had been selected prior to the modification of the marine regions framework therefore changing the marine region in which the park was situated as well as the criteria for its selection. Hence the representativeness of the marine region, which was the main objective for area selection was questioned. Further questioned by various groups in briefs submitted in 1990 was the rationale behind the focus 105 mandate, role, and process of the Consultation Committee but that document was not found and considered non-existent by another planner. Constraints to Self-Design Various constraints were identified by planners to the implication of the local communities in the design of the public participation framework. 1. Decision-making authority belongs to the minister: As mentioned before, the regional population had voiced from the onset their interest in being actively involved in the planning and management process of the marine park. To the demand by the population for decision-making power one planner responded that such power was exclusive to the minister and the minister would never delegate it to an organization or a individual: Even in 1992 we were asked for a committee with decision-making power. But, before getting them to understand that; no you won't get that because there is no minister that will delegate his decision-making power to an individual or an organization. You can't do that! It is like the Minister of Justice in Canada saying to a group of lawyers, OK now you will take care of the laws in Canada. You can't do that! The ultimate decision it is the minister that has it. So this issue was the product of long discussions that led to power of recommendation. This means that if it does not work with the government representatives that are sitting on the committee, they can direct a recommendation relative to a modification or a change directly to the two ministers. (P) 2. The Federal/Provincial negotiation: As was mentioned in the previous chapter, the SSLMP establishment context was unique in that it was a joint federal/provincial initiative. The negotiations between the federal government and the province and the negotiation between the Canadian Park Service and what was then the MLCP were difficult and long. According to one planner, these parties had things to settle between them before they could involve the public. 3. Lack of objectivity of the public's agenda: A common constraint identified for the active involvement of the local communities is their perceived lack of objectivity. The reasoning was that discussions and decisions should not be monopolized by any one group. Hence, to ensure the objectivity of the process itself and the respect of the objectives of Parks Canada, some planners seemed to argue for a limited involvement of the public in the design of the public participation strategy. There was never a round table to discuss the strategy because there are public agendas that are not necessarily impartial, that we consider impartial in relation to the objectives pursued by the administration. That does not mean however that the needs of the public should not be taken into consideration.(P) on the Fjord rather than the St. Lawrence river for the boundary selection. Indeed the area was supposed to represent the St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Region not the Fjord. 106 4. The amount of time required to select the members of the Consultation Committee: This was identified as a constraint to the involvement of stakeholders in the selection process of the Consultation Committee. One planner mentioned: ...you need to select the right people. If you have to make sure that the local communities agree to this, you just don't get out of it, you just don't get out of it! We had commitments from the agreement and we had to produce them. (P) 5. Time: The territory covered by the park is such that 22 municipalities were directly considered as local communities. Therefore, the demand in time to tour all these communities and talk to all the groups was too demanding. However, one planner mentioned that such a personalized approach would have been his preference. An additional constraint was the time required for the population to understand the project and the mandate of Parks Canada. As for the stakeholders on the committee, they also needed time to understand the legitimacy of other members and the information given. The following time constraints were identified: 1. Time to have an internal shared understanding of the project. 2. Time for Parks Canada to get to know the public, identify and understand their issues. 3. Time and energy required to organize and have meetings, among other things. 4. Time for the public to understand the organizational culture, the process, the mandate of Parks Canada. A planner said: To involve people in the development of programs of participation, these people need to understand the organization, the process, the mandate you understand! So this necessitates time, efforts and energy. Understanding the organizational culture...for them the federal government IS Parks Canada11. (P) 6. Participation overdose: The risk of participation overdose as a potential constraint to early involvement was identified by one planner. Self-Design Summary • The public was not involved in the design of the public participation framework or the public participation events. • The Self-Design criterion was not, it seems, well understood by the planners interviewed. • It was observed that planners tended to defend the public participation approach used for the SSLMP establishment. • The direct involvement of the public in the design process was not considered a necessary criterion in the development of a public participation approach. What was considered necessary is understanding local communities' needs and interests. 1 1 Parks Canada has gained a bad reputation in Quehec with the establishment of Forillion and la Mauricie National Park. The delicate political climate in Quebec and the reputation of Parks Canada is such that any relationship between Parks Canada and the public is characterized by tension and positioning. 107 • The regional population was asking for direct involvement in the planning process by proposing the formation of a regional consultation committee. • The systems planning process itself was linear and excluded the integration of socio-economic considerations in the early stages of planning including the involvement of the regional population in the feasibility study. • The involvement of the public in the design of the process was considered important to the extent that it assured shared responsibility for decisions. • Members of the Consultation Committee were not involved in determining their mandate, role, membership, or procedures. 6.2.3 Objective-Driven In a very formal fashion to elaborate objectives, a mandate, roles, we never did that. But the ultimate objective was to have the pulse and in a certain way, to have the adhesion of people to this project. (P) The objectives of public participation were not explicidy defined in the SSLMP establishment. However, the perception of those interviewed was that the objectives of participation were nevertheless clear. The objectives identified by planners during the interviews were very general in nature and they were not directly related to the structure (when, and how) and mechanisms (panel, posters, video, open microphones, etc.) of the selected public participation approach. In essence, the objectives stated by the planners were of the level of generality found in Parks Canada's Guiding Principle and Operational Policies document (Canadian Heritage 1994). This indicates that no context specific objectives were identified. Some of the objectives identified by planners were: Information meetings (1987, 90, 93): 'To make sure that the public is informed and understands the objectives". (P) Public meetings (1990, 1993): "To gather public comments, and have the point of view of everybody." (P) " to make people discuss the limits" (P) One planner mentioned that even if objectives were not explicitly identified they [the planning team], as representatives of the government, had objectives "deep down within themselves". In the course of the discussion on this criterion this same planner identified the following objectives: The principle objective is to mold the project as much as possible to what the local population desired as a protected area project.(P) The ultimate objective was to listen and get local people's knowledge. (P) The ultimate objective was to get the pulse and the adhesion of the population to this project. (P) 108 I would say that the ultimate objective was to be able to create this park, that is where our primary motivation is. (P) In the first quote, it can be assumed that the priority is having a park that represents local communities desires, needs, and interests. In the second quote, the objective is to listen and get the communities knowledge. This implies a one way exchange where Parks Canada listens to their inputs and knowledge and then retreats to analyze and make decisions - the community participation is passive. The third quote implies a one way exchange which, this time, is limited to 'getting the pulse' or an idea of what the communities interests, needs, and apprehensions are (an objective that can be met using informants or indirect means). In this third statement, the planner suggests that objective is to get people's adhesion to the project. Between the first statement and the third statement the planner identifies what seems to be two contradictory objectives; to mold the project to the needs of the community versus to get the communities adhesion to the project. Finally in the last quote the objective is simplified to 'getting the park established'. Objectives of Public Participation As was mentioned in the Self-design criterion, the regional population was not involved in planning the public participation framework. According to some planners, the public was involved indirectly in the identification of the park's objectives. Means by which the objectives of the park were identified included informal meetings and discussions with the Soctttb Linneenne and other regional groups and regional political representatives. Leonne Pippard of the Canadian Ecology Advocates (CEA) was also identified as a consulted party. According to planners, the public were considered to have been involved in the development of the objectives since they were consulted informally. The objectives are always established in relation to the needs and the aspirations of what we know of the local population because we are not an organization that does not go in the population before. So the establishment of objectives is not done together with the population if you want but it is done from pre-consultations and personal contacts that are elaborated between the adrninistration and the public. So what the public has to the menu of the consultation, they know what to expect since they have contributed to the process from the start. (P) I would say no [the public is not involved in defining the objectives] but really yes because when we do a consultation on the limits for example, the objective is to make people discuss the limits....So without necessarily saying that yes because we sat to write down objectives but in a certain way yes because people knew that these things were corning and they were informed, and they had discussed them. (P) Planners were comfortable with the approach used. Increasing the involvement of the population to the identification of the parks objectives and the objectives of the various planning phases were not given any 109 consideration in the SSLMP establishment. It is also worth noting that one planner considered the public to have been involved "from the start". This indicates a satisfaction in indirect and passive forms of public participation which were opposite to the publics' requests. The Perception of the Importance of the Identification of Objectives Even if planners did not find it necessary to explicitly identify objectives of participation, even if just within the organization, they generally agreed that the criterion Objective-driven was important to consider in the development of a public participation strategy. The planners were adamant that the consideration of the context specific situation was of primary importance in developing a public participation strategy. However, certain contexts could be exempt from such a requirement. It always helps to frame the way you do things, so for me I am not against itfidentifying objectives for public participation]...if it's essential, I don't know, because it is always case by case. To formalize with a certain method it always helps to predict certain things and in that sense it is very useful. (P) Objectives of the Marine Park The Identification of the Marine Park's Objectives Noticeable in many of the briefs submitted in 1990 is the regional population's dissatisfaction with the objectives provided for the marine park. For example, the convening of consultations on parks boundaries prior to any presentations and discussions on the marine park concept. The objectives of the park in 1990 were only identified by the following statement in the consultation documents provided to the public. The primary objective pursued by the Saguenay Marine Park is to protect and conserve for the present and future generations the exceptional environment, the fauna and the flora of the marine territory situated a the junction of the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence. (Canada-Quebec 1990 information brochure) Objective-Driven Summary • Objectives of public participation were not explicitly defined beyond those found in the policy guide. • The stated objectives of public participation seemed contradictory bringing into question the clarity for planners of the objectives of public participation. • The public was considered to have been involved in the development of the objectives based on informal consultations and the provision of information on the consultation content (e.g. the boundaries). • While detailed objectives were not identified regarding public participation, planners considered the criterion important, in certain contexts, in the development of a public participation strategy. • The public was unsatisfied in 1990 with the conservation objectives or lack thereof provided in consultation documents. 110 6.2.4 Inclusive The Inclusive criterion is analyzed here simply with regards to the Consultation Committee. Inclusiveness could have been expanded in its definition to look at the overall public participation approach and its capacity to include the various groups and individuals within the population. Such an analysis is presented witliin the Equal opportunity criterion analysis section. The Consultation Committee Inclusiveness was not a criterion for the selection of the Consultation Committee members. One of the main criterion was to represent a diversity of expertise. Hence, in addition to the three representatives from the Regional County Municipalities (RCM), the other members of the committee included a delegate from both the Union Quebecoise pour la Conservation de la Nature and the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay, and a scientist from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Consultation Committee had a mandate to pass a first phase validation of the management plan. Those selected to sit on the committee were therefore in favor of the park and ready to advance the establishment process. Fisherman and hunter groups who were more resistant to the creation of the park were therefore not considered as members of this committee. The formal public consultations was the avenue provided to them to voice their interests. A planner explained the selection criteria for the committee as follows: ...it needed to be a committee that could function fast and so that there be individuals capable of working fast. We also wanted to reach as many fields of expertise as possible. Of course there were no hunters, that would have been interesting... so we went towards the RCMs, the scientific people, those in conservation, an organization from the region with interests in conservation,... (P) One planner, directly involved in the selection of the members mentioned that the Consultation Committee was created for the purpose of consulting the regional population. In the management plan it is also stated that the committee was set up to "advise planners on area residents' perceptions of the project and on the contents of a proposed management plan" (Management Plan 1995). Although in this case some members representing conservation organization were from the region, the objectives or criteria of selection (speed and diversity) and the stated purpose of the committee (getting local resident's perceptions of the plan) do not necessarily dovetail together. I l l Inclusive Summary • Inclusiveness was not a criterion for the selection of the Consultation Committee members. • The stated objective for the creation of the Consultation Committee (advise planners on area resident's perception) does not dovetail with the stated criteria for committee member selection. 6.2.5 Equal Opportunity The factors explored within this criterion are: 1. Equal capacity to participate meaningfully -The quantity and quality of information -The timing and forms of participation available -Skills capacity 2. Equal power of influence -The equal consideration of interests Equal Capacity to Participate Meaningfully The Quantity of Information All planners interviewed considered that the public had received sufficient information. According to one planner, the public may have received too much information. And sometimes they say that they have too much, in addition to having enough of the consultations. The concern in the years to come is the overabundance of information. 1 2 (P) Prior to the feasibility stage, Leonne Pippard and the WWF efforts led to a first phase of irrformation sharing with certain members of the regional community. Indeed, in November of 1986, various groups interested in and working towards the creation of the park were gathered to discuss their respective expectations of the project13. A participant working on the idea of creating a marine park with the Deputy of Clucoutimi mentioned that the minister and liimself thought they were alone investing time on this project. The workshop allowed him to realize otherwise (Pippard 1987). Bruce McKay of Greenpeace commented that the first priority should be in the creation of a grassroots understanding of and support for a marine park. At the time, the general public had not yet been informed of the marine park concept (Pippard 1987). In 1987, the first two planning steps (area identification and area selection) had been completed and the third, the feasibility study, was well under way. While the 1987 Marine Parks Policy called for consultation with the interested public regarding area identification and selection, the regional population had not been informed about the concept of a marine park. 1 2 The planner here is not referring to complaints received from the regional population for the SSLMP process but rather is reflecting on the general perception within the public participation field of the overload of information. 112 Throughout the feasibility study14, the information sessions held in February of 1987 were the only times when the public was provided with the opportunity to learn about and provide input on the feasibility study15. The information provided was general in nature and reflected the objectives set out by Parks Canada for the information sessions16. Based on comments in the briefs, the public was intent on finding out more specific information on the proposed marine park and desired to make specific recommendations regarding the project. Hence, some groups made recommendations on the limits scenario proposing the inclusion of specific areas within the marine park boundaries. Pollution control was a main subject of concern regarding the park17. Specific studies were recommended by the public as well as a demand that Parks Canada define a clear policy regarding pollution (Environment Canada 1987). Although the many and lengthy feasibility documents were not available to the public on demand, copies were distributed to the various RCMs and some community libraries and the University of Chicoutimi. However, these documents had not been distributed to these locations prior to the information sessions. In 1990, many groups complained about the lack of information provided to them. The folder distributed to the population for the consultation on the limits offered short one paragraph summaries about such issues as the detenmhation of the limits and the conservation mandate. In 1987 the boundaries were a major concern and many regional groups had made the suggestion to expand those of the intensive™ area scenario. What the public was offered for potential boundaries in 1990 was one of the smallest scenarios proposed in 1987. In addition to raising concerns as to the consideration of the 1987 public inputs, little explanation for selection of the area other than to mention the use of the Woodward-Clyde method to select the most representative area was offered to the public. The following comments were made by some groups: How have the limits of the park been determined? What predominates? The criteria used to evaluate the degree of representativeness articulate themselves around "physical, biological and cultural themes" or the " socio-economic imperatives and the constraints related to the diverse activities occurring on the territory". It would have been interesting to know these criteria and the analysis that was done to arrive at the proposed limits. A simple enumeration of the analyzed factors (consultation document), without any ascendancy and precision raises many questions. Also, it would have been pertinent to find in the information the area of study presented in the prelirninary 1 3 See Chapter 5 for more details. 1 4 The feasibility study was initiated in 1985 and completed in 1988. 1 5 The regional population was not involved in data collection nor was their knowledge of the region considered by those mandated to conduct the feasibility study. 1 6 The objectives were to present the concept of a marine park and the results of the first phase of the feasibility study as well as get the regional population's comments. 1 7 Pollution concerns were closely related to the health of the population of beluga whales. 1 8 Various scenarios resulted from the feasibility study and these were presented in 1987. The one covering the largest area was the intensive scenario. 113 proposition on the park boundaries. (Canada-Quebec 1990; Conseil Regional de Concertation et de Development du Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean) The "relevant" information distributed by the Harmonization Committee to those interested in preparing a recommendation are rather thin and do not permit a serious contribution unless one invests a lot in research and analysis of the bases which have served to bring forth the proposition submitted to a plebiscite more than to a consultation. (Canada-Quebec 1990; Caisse Populaire Desjardins Saint-Simeon). Based on comments in many of the 1990 briefs, it seemed that the one day workshop organized by the CEA for the Coalition's members enabled them to provide more informed comments and suggestions on the boundaries of the park and also the regional population's involvement in the establishment19. In addition to the official information sessions and the various reports made public, Parks Canada visited certain groups that had made the demand for private presentations on the marine park project20. This was the case for the elected officials of the three RCMs. Similar demands were also made in 1995 with the publication of the management plan. Those that benefited from these presentations were mostly, if not exclusively, elected officials. The service itself was not advertised but needed to be initiated by public groups. Public summary documents stated that additional information could be provided and questions addressed by calling a 1-800 number. This 1-800 service was offered exclusively in 1990 for a limited period of time. Other groups such as hunters, did not benefit from these private presentations. Hunters were among the most resistant to the establishment of the park in their area. As discussed earlier, the language of the policy was most probably inaccessible to them and, in and of itself, the policy offered little practical information on the actual impacts of the yet discussed rules and regulations on their permitted use of the area. According to a planner, the zoning system developed in 1993 which prohibited hunting within the park was not, it seemed, understood by the hunters. They wanted to know why they were not allowed to hunt in specific places. In response to the question "if groups resistant to the project were visited for private presentations" one planner commented: If they had asked us to meet with them to explain things we would have done it, but you have to ask! (P) A one day information exchange was organized by the CEA for the members of the coalition at the Port au Saumon Ecological Center. Experts such as James Dobbin presented various approaches to park establishment among other things (See Chapter 5 for more detail). 20This information was verbally transmitted by a planner who could not recollect when exactly these presentations were made and to how many groups. 114 The Quality of Information Contrary to the planners' vrnanimous support for the quantity of information available, some planners considered the quality of the information limited in certain regards. One planner, when asked to take on the role of a mayor or that of a hunter, considered that the information provided could not allow for the informed participation of the public in the consultations. The written information provided to the public was summary information and therefore it was considered, in and of itself, insufficient21. A major constraint to understanding the technical information was the language used in these documents. As one planner said: " The socio-economic studies are studies that are addressed to a specialized clientele". Therefore, although the amount of information was considered sufficient, the language used to communicate the information was such that it made it inaccessible to some members of the public. I consider that yes [the amount of information was sufficient] but there is always the comprehension of the information that is distributed. And this I would tell you that it is not everybody that understands it. I mean, me as a geographer I have... a way of writing and explaining management concepts, it is not everybody that understands this. The zoning, not everybody understands this either. May it [an area] be 'restricted' or not, they do not understand the objective of this type of language, so there is a lot of education to do on this. But the basic information is available to everybody. (P) Leonne Pippard of the CEA in her 1990 brief comments on the inaccessibility of the feasibility study's final report. After presenting a short abstract of the feasibility document she writes: This text is typical of the English version of your feasibility study. Now would you be willing to restate the foregoing in something the public can understand? (Canada-Quebec 1990; Canadian Ecology Advocates). The strategy developed to address the difficulty of the general public's understanding of the technical information was the information sessions. These were held a month prior to the public hearings. According to one planner, these information sessions were considered very important in the overall public participation strategy. At the information meetings, that is where we meet people. It is not everybody that will read 30 pages or 150 pages. So we do presentations or we use visual tools to relate the messages. So in that sense, there is always a presentation in addition [to the written information] and after, we answer questions [from the public]. (P) The information phase, I am coining back to this, is very important for us because it is there that we can address this criterion [equal opportunity].(P) 2 1 The additional information available consisted of the technical research documents stemming from the feasibility study. As mentioned earlier, the technical studies could be accessed at the regional RCM and other deposition centers. Attending the information meetings was another way for the public to get more information. 115 The response of a planner to the public comments found in the briefs regarding the lack of information was: ... we presented a slide show on the limits, what could be found within it, the types of organisms. People were always impressed. The information session, that is their objective but you have to be there. Those that will complain are those that have not participated at these things. That is when we are available. We answer questions. If people do not present themselves at these information sessions, and they come and complain afterwards, well it's their problem. (P) The format of the 1990 information sessions on the park limits raises some questions as to how a slide presentation on the organisms within the area addressed the concerns of the local population. Their concerns related to the impact of the presence of a marine park on their access rights to the park area. They wanted to know what the rules and regulations were before voicing their opinion as to what area should be included or not in the park. Again, the disparity between the desire of the local population to be involved in discussions on the marine park project and the governments' perception of the objective of the public participation event is reflected here. Parks Canada's and the MLCP's approach to these infonnation sessions did not meet the needs, in quantity and quality, of the population which wanted to be thoroughly informed about the establishment process. In 1987, the rules and regulations presented to the public regarding the marine park were those found in the National Marine Parks Policies. As mentioned earlier, these provided the basic iriformation about what national marine parks allowed in terms of activities. The policy stated that fishing was going to be permitted within the park, subject to the protection of the ecosystem and the objectives of the park (Environment Canada 1986 section 2.3.1) and sport hunting would be prohibited (Environment Canada section 1986 section 2.2.12)22. There were significant differences in opinion between planners regarding the clarity of the policy document. While one planner defended the clarity of the Marine Conservation Areas Policy, another considered that the language of such a document was difficult to understand for planners themselves. Expecting the public to understand the policy was, according to this planner, unrealistic. Confusion could only follow from reading the document without assistance. No [it is not understandable for the public]. Those who develop them are focused on that and the academics, well, they analyze each word. But the public doesn't understand a thing. It is a document made by a public servant for a public servant. (P) In the new National Marine Conservation Areas Policy (1994), "hunting may be permitted in designated areas on a conservative basis, subject to ongoing population assessments and visitor safety concerns" (Canadian Heritage 1994 section 2.10.3). 116 This contrasts with the other planner's statement which says: Concerning the Marine Conservation Areas and the National Parks Policy, I do not see any incoherence....It is a park [the SSLMP] that is not created in virtue of this policy exclusively because Quebec is also involved. But the policy itself is really clear. (P) The assumption of planners on the issue of information quality seems to be that, the combination of the distribution of written summaries, the availability of technical documents, the information sessions, and, in some instances, personal presentations, provided the public with all the necessary information to make an informed assessment and contribution to the issues under discussion at both consultations. It was defended by some planners that equal capacity of comprehension of the information was given explicit consideration in planning, the drawing up of a summary report being an attestation to that. The Timing of the Public Participation Process The government publicized the consultations via press releases, repeated articles in main newspapers, personal invitations to all the groups and individuals gathered on Parks Canada's contact sheet, local radio, etc. While the means of publicizing the consultation were sufficient, the time provided between the announcement of the various phases of consultation prompted reactions from the public. For both consultations, the information meetings were scheduled one month before the submission deadlines for the briefs. Two weeks were required for Parks Canada to plan the public meeting and organize the presentations. Hence, the public had one month to read the information, consult with their constituency and write a brief on their interests, concerns, and recommendations. The advertisement of the consultations was done 15 to 30 days prior to the first information session. In 1990, the announcement of the consultations appeared in the Gazette on September 26 1990, 20 days before the first information session. According to planners, the time allotted between the announcements and the information sessions as well as between the information sessions and the deadlines for the submission of briefs was reasonable. I think that maybe there are some [briefs] that may require more time and reflection. According to me they had the necessary time. I don't know, we told them 15 to 21 days before and we have to say that the period of time before they have to submit their comments is one month after. So according to me, yes [they had enough time]. (P) It is generally what we give because there needs to be a reasonable delay or else you don't get out of it. (P) If I look at the number of briefs received, I hope so!(P) 117 The public had a difFerent opinion regarding the adequacy of time provided. In 1990 many regional groups and organizations mentioned that the time scheduled between the announcement of the consultation and the information session as well as the time provided to submit a brief was insufficient. Some of them wrote: The delays that you are imposing on us are also too short. How is it possible for layperson to write a brief on considerations of this importance without having had at our disposition all the information? Unfortunately, the information nights that you have held were announced too little in advance for the majority of the stakeholders to plan to attend, and to top it off, this night at la Malbaie was held the same night as a reunion of the Reserve Mondiale de la Biosphere, hence depriving us of the principal interested parties. Finally the delay between the information sessions and the date of the deposition of the briefs of barely a month is utterly inconceivable. (Canada-Quebec 1990 Comite D'aide au Development des Collectivites de Charlevoix) Finally, the way the public hearings were conducted meaning with the development of a tight schedule, leaving very little time for the regional representatives to prepare themselves, is not to the honor of the government representatives. (Canada-Quebec 1990; Etienne Bouchard, Directeur Generale de la Chambre de Commerce de Charlevoix-Est) Not unlike the Self-design criterion, time was identified as a major constraint to planning for the equal capacity of the public to participate. Public participation was identified as time consuming. One planner argued that doing a tour to explain the information would add months and months to the process on a large territory like the Saguenay. He went on to say: Starting from the moment when harmony exists between Canada and Quebec, that we have understood each other on the way to go, consultation is time consuming, you can't neglect it, on the other hand, the preoccupation related to the management of the resources, it has to move. There's the production of the law, it has to move. So you can't consult everybody on eveiything, except we try to do it as much aspossible. (P) The priority for the SSLMP establishment process was to reach an agreement with the province. However, this agreement produced a series of obligations which became the next priorities. These included the detennination of the limits of the park, advancing the legislation, and planning for the management of the resources. This prioritization resulted in the holding of public consultations on limits prior to discussions on rules and regulations and to consultations in June of 1993, the beginning of the tourism season23. Although the planners were aware that such a timing was not favorable, these dates were said to have been chosen based on the constraints of the 1990 agreement as well other ministerial engagements. It is very important [the time at which you schedule a consultation] .When you receive something at the end of October and you have the month of November to reflect, you are not before or after the tourism season But we had to get things out. (P) 118 Concerning consultations and announcements, we choose periods that were not too busy. We would not do this at Christmas for example. Sometimes there are some small constraints or contingencies that make it so that we have to impinge on the summer. (P) The perspectives of two planner's regarding the time constraints evolved throughout the interview. Initially, time required for consultations was considered a constraint because of the deadlines required by the agreement (the institutional time frame). Inasmuch as the public also needed a substantial amount of time (the public time frame), the two time constraints were at odds and the institutional time frame took precedence. Considering only the institutional time frame, one planner initially responded that the public was given a reasonable amount of time to understand the information and write briefs. Once presented with the public's feedback the planner commented: You know earlier when I told you that the constraint is time. Yes, we give them a reasonable amount of time. I say yes but really this is based on my organizational paradigm. However, for the public, their reality is different. So it makes me think a lot. (P) Hence, a second perspective of the time constraint was identified. Rather than the time constraint being one where the focus is on the organizational obligation, (the public being a side obligation for which time has to be allotted), the planner identified time as an issue needed to balanced in the development of a public participation strategy. Time evolved from a position of constraint to one of issue, the issue being the consideration of the time perspective of both groups and the need to allow time for the regional population and Parks Canada to work towards a mutual understanding of their respective needs and realities. What the planner had realized was the extent to which his perception of time was driven by the organizational paradigm which may have had little to do with the public's perception of time. The Selected Forms of Public Participation The forms of public participation practiced in the SSLMP establishment were the following: workshop, public information sessions, public hearings, informal group information sessions, informal consultations with various groups, and the Consultative Committee. The main forms initiated from the governments were the three public information sessions, the two hearings, and the Consultation Committee. Based on the comments of the public and the alternative structures of involvement suggested in the briefs and in other document such as the 1986 workshop summary, the public consultation events planned by the government did not meet the public's desire for active involvement. This is particularly evident prior to the creation of the two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee and of the formation of the Consultation Committee in 1992. The 1993 public hearings were held between June 15th and 21st. 119 In terms of equal opportunity to participate, the public hearing structure offered little opportunity for those that had not submitted a brief to present their views orally to the panel group and to the other participants. Indeed these participants were provided with such an opportunity once all the briefs were presented. In the case of La Malbaie some members of the regional population stayed at the hearing past 12:00 am to present their issue and listen to others comments (Personal communication)24. A planner made the following comment on the structure of the public hearings: We were OK. How we did me planning, we were OK. But you can't limit the public's right to speak. If we had finished at 11 PM...but if then 20 people present themselves, well you let them speak. We never stopped a public hearing when there was someone with something to say. (P) The provision for the public to comment on the various phases of planning by means of briefs seemed to have been well appreciated by the public. Indeed, many if not all briefs thanked the governments for that opportunity. The public seemed to consider written comments, suggestions, and recommendation to be more official than non written forms of contribution. The first form of public involvement which allowed the opportunity for interaction among the stakeholders was the creation of the Consultation Committee. According to one member of the committee the creation of the Consultation Committee was an exceptional event and was to his knowledge, a first for Parks Canada. He felt that the committee really provided the regional population with the opportunity to make all their comments on the proposed management plan and pass a first phase of validation of the project. Another member group of the committee said the following: The consultation exercise was most fruitful as is attested by the numerous changes brought to the first management proposal presented to the committee in June of 1992. (Canada-Quebec 1993; UQCN) No negative comments about the work, the life span or the mandate of the Consultation Committee was found in the 1993 briefs. The focus in these briefs, in terms of public participation, was on the upcoming creation of the promised Co-ordination Committee for the management of the park. Equal Consideration of Interests It was discussed earlier in the Self-design criterion that the approach used for the feasibility assessment was perceived by some of the regional groups, including the CEA as not having been carried out in a systematic fashion. In short, the socio-economic analysis which was done separately from the biophysical analysis and the region covered for the assessment did not represent the entire marine area but a smaller 2 4 It is an assumption of this thesis that not all groups or individual have the skill, time, or willingness to contribute their knowledge by means of written documents. 120 pre-selected area. Hence, the public questioned the capacity of the governments to consider and incorporate any additional information since the information from the separate studies had not been gathered and integrated in a systematic way. Planners agreed that equal consideration of interests was not practiced in the SSLMP establishment to the extent that such a practice would not contribute, if taken Uterally, to the mandate of marine parks. Here are some of the comments made relative to that argument: I would tell you that yes and no. Yes because the totality of the preoccupations are verified and they are considered in relation to or by a series of decisions that are taken relative to the follow through of the project. If we refer to the type of decisions that are taken or the priority to follow through on a decision, from the point of view of the public they will probably tell you no. (P) If you have two issues that are contradictory and that you make a decision, the resolution of the issue may be perceived as favorable to the cause of one yet unfavorable to the cause of the other. It depends where we place ourselves. What is important I think is that the decisions that emanates from the consultation does not favor or disfavor one group in particular but allows that the project move forward in the best conditions. The hunter that sees his right to hunt loss will react badly. Now we won't bring him a bird on a silver platter, anyway he is not interested in that! (P). In the 1990 briefs, various groups commented on the governments neglect of the Coalition. Prior to 1992 the Coalition had been given no special role in the planning of the park. However in 1990 some groups thought that the governments not only were not giving special status to the group but were neglecting to inform them properly. It seems that you want to ignore the existence of the Coalition pour le Pare Marin Saguenay-St-Laurent, an organization we have joined in order to have a common position and an official representation to the eyes of the government parties. This grouping which assures a link between the three regions concerned, to which the majority of the municipality have joined, deserves more than a parsimonious consultation. According to a member of the Coalition, Parks Canada was purposefully ignoring them. He argued: We were very disliked and we even were literally ignored. They would send letters to municipalities and other stakeholders and they did not send them to the Coalition. (D) The present day Co-ordination Committee created in 1996 brings together various groups working by consensus. As was mentioned in Chapter 5, no effort was invested in this thesis to evaluate the Co-ordination Committee. Only basic information regarding its structure and mandate was gathered. Its mention in the parks legislation and its consensus based structure seems progressive and responds to the type of involvement requested by the regional population from the early 1980's on. The membership of 121 the committee and the development of the mandate and working structure was done with the participation of local stakeholders (Personal communication). Constraints to Equal Opportunity 1. Time: (See the discussion on the time constraints in the Self-design criterion). Equal Opportunity Summary • Planners considered that sufficient quantity of information was provided to the public. • While the 1987 Marine Parks Policy had provision for public consultation at the identification and selection steps, the regional population was informed about the concept of a marine park and the proposed marine park halfway into the feasibility assessment. • The information provided to the public at the three, but more specifically at the two first information sessions was considered insufficient by the public. • Information regarding the selection of the proposed park boundaries were considered limited and did not provide any explanations regarding the process of reflection that led to the proposed limits. • Based on the number of references to J a m e s Dobbins and to other presentations, the workshop organized by the CEA and the WWW in 1990 seemed to have contributed to the informed comments of the regional population in their brief. • The quality of the information provided to the public was considered by planners too limited in that it gave mainly summary information and the language was not accessible to everyone. • The information sessions were considered by planners essential opportunities for the public to gather more information and get answers to their questions. It was considered the public's problem if certain groups or individual did not attend the meetings to get that information. • The public strongly resisted being consulted on the marine park boundaries prior to being involved in a discussion on the rules and regulations that would be applied within the park. • The National Parks Policy and NMCA Policy were considered clear and accessible to the public by one planner while another planner considered them corifusing and inaccessible to the public. • The combination of the information means was considered to provide all the necessary information for the public to contribute meanmgfully to the process. • The time between the announcements of the consultation events and the information sessions and between these and the submission deadline for the briefs was considered insufficient by the public. • The priority for Parks Canada was clearly to establish the marine park and therefore to reach an agreement with Quebec. Public consultation was a side requirement to this process. • Planners' perception of time changed during the course of the interviews from considering that the time provided to the public was sufficient to acknowledging that only the organizational time frame was considered and that it was probably different from the public's time frame. • The forms of public participation selected did not provide for the equal opportunity of the public to participate considering, among other things, the desired level of involvement of the public. • The provision by the governments for the public to submit written comments was greatly appreciated by the public. • The Consultation Committee was also appreciated and was considered to have provided the members with a meaningful opportunity to make all their comments on the proposed management plan. • The capacity of the governments to integrate new information was questioned based on the absence of a systematic approach to the feasibility assessment. • Members of the Coalition felt neglected in the early stages of planning and one planner openly admitted to disliking them. 122 6.2.6 Flexibility/Iterativeness Flexibility can be discussed at the process level or at the individual level as explained in Chapter 3. Both are addressed here with an emphasis on process flexibility. All the planners considered that the SSLMP public participation process demonstrated flexibility. The flexibility criterion is considered very important in public participation planning. As one planner mentioned "It cannot be done any other way" (P). Demonstration of flexibility was illustrated differently by each planner. In one case, the creation of the Consultation Committee in 1992 was referred to as an example of Parks Canada flexibility. This committee, or such a form of ongoing involvement, had been a request of the local population prior to the 1987 public information meetings. Its creation was therefore a response from Parks Canada to the demands of the local population25. The existence of the committee permitted a ongoing communication between Parks Canada and the representatives of the public during its half year mandate. This ongoing communication was presented as an additional sign of the dedication of Parks Canada to a flexible planning approach. The organization of consultations on the park's limits was considered another example of flexibility. According to one planner, consultations on limit was believed to be an unusual practice at Parks Canada. However, according to Parks Canada's Guiding Principles and Operational Policies (Canadian Heritage 1994), the main guiding tool of planners, consultations on limits are a requirement in the establishment of marine conservation areas26. This factor is one among others that distinguishes the National Marine Conservation Areas Policy from the National Parks Policy. Iterativeness In Chapter 3, flexibility was defined as a process in which iterations are integrated within the planning framework. Implicit in the definition of iterations is the acknowledgment of the learning that occurs during a planning process. It is because learning occurs within public participation processes that iterations should be planned in order to adapt the plan to the evolving level of knowledge. Iterativeness was confused by planners with multiple opportunities for participation. One planner considered that the SSLMP participation process was iterative since there was only three years between the two main consultations, and discussions with various groups had occurred during these three years. According to one planner, the consultation committee was a format of community involvement desired by the province. 2 6 See section 1.2.4 of the National Marine Conservation Areas Policy (Environment Canada-Parks 1987). 123 However, the consultations were separate events, planned to get the public's comments on two different issues - the limits of the park in 1990, and the management plan in 1993. Opportunities for the public to be part of an iterative reflection process in the establishment of the marine park were limited until 1992. It was the creation of the two observer seats or the Harmonization Committee and the creation of the Consultation Committee that members of the regional population were able to exchange ideas with other groups, share perspectives and make informed recommendations27. The format of the formal consultations provided for very limited opportunities for slwed-leaming. Hence, prior to 1992, it is safe to say that public participation did not provide for any Iterativeness. The 1986 workshop promoted by Leonne Pippard and financed by Environment Canada and the one day workshop held in November 1990 are examples of public participation activities which enabled Iterativeness. Indeed participants were provided with the opportunity to share and exchange their views and in 1986, to make group specific group recommendations to the Canadian Parks Service. The feasibility study is a phase in the planning process where Iterativeness could have been practiced. Some examples of iterative forms of involvement are the creation of a regional committee to identify socio-economic indicators relevant to the regional population's needs and interests, a workshop to gather and discuss local knowledge of the marine and coastal area, and the participation of the regional population in the integration of the gathered information. Emphasized by the various planners is the political context surrounding the establishment of the SSLMP. Considering the difficult and unprecedented negotiations that occurred between the federal government and the province, and between the two ministries responsible for the shared management of the park, the degree of flexibility and Iterativeness was considered remarkable. Proactive Planning for Flexibility The Consultation Committee was identified as an example of flexibility. According to one planner, it is because Parks Canada was flexible and open to the local population's demands, the Consultation Committee was created. An earlier comment by the same planner was that without the demands of the population for change in the approach, Parks Canada assumes that their traditional approach is satisfactory. According to Leonne Pippard (Personal communication), Parks Canada was waiting for the 27It is assumption of this thesis that public comments or recommendations which are the product of a planned shared-learning process between groups and the government are more informed. 124 population to make demands and the regional population was expecting Parks Canada to offer opportunities therefore reinforcing the communication gap, or in other words, the dualistic relationship between them. In the case of the SSLMP, the regional population was well organized and used political connections to increase their involvement. Whether or not the Consultation Committee would have been created without the active demands of the public cannot be determined here. Pertaining to the two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee, these were clearly a direct outcome of public pressure on politicians. Differences Between Planners While one planner thought that the public participation process had provided sufficient involvement of the public, another planner considered that an alternative approach may have provided for more valuable interaction between the public and the government agencies. This planner argued that the formal setting of public hearings fostered limited discussions with the public and a limited sense of involvement of the public. The alternative suggested was a "kitchen work" approach. The main characteristics of such an approach were defined as informal meetings with small groups of citizens in order to discuss particular issues. Constraints to Flexibilitv/Iterativeness 1. The strenuous political negotiations between the province and the federal government for the creation of this federal/provincial park was a limitation to the development of a more flexible approach to public participation. Flexibilitv/Iterativeness Summary • Planners considered the SSLMP establishment process with regards to public participation as flexible. • Examples of demonstration of flexibility included the creation of the Consultation Committee and the organization of public consultation on the marine park boundaries. • Iterativeness was confused by planners with multiple opportunities for public participation. • Iterativeness was not planned in the overall public participation framework but certain opportunities for Iterativeness were provided within the Consultation Committee. • Opportunities for Iterativeness could have been provided in the feasibility assessment. 6.2.7 Promote-Learning Opportunities for learning in the establishment of a new park are analyzed from three perspectives: 1. Opportunities for the regional population to leam. 125 2. Opportunities for shared-learning between the regional population and Parks Canada. 3. Opportunities for learning within Parks Canada. Opportunities of Learning for the Regional Population From the 1970's up until recently, the idea of a "marine park" or a "marine conservation area" was not known to the general population and only taking shape in the minds of planners interested in the concept. In the SSLMP establishment, various opportunities were provided for learning about the concept of marine parks as well as the specific marine park project. At the 1986 workshop, participants were provided with the opportunity to learn and exchange information about marine parks and the proposal to establish one at the confluence of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers. Workshop participants, realizing the importance of an increased understanding of the marine park concept, recommended the development of a education program: It is recommended that Environment Canada - Parks view the benefits that could be derived from an up-front marine education program with regards to how it could assist in marine park establishment, plus how the agency might offer assistance to those organizations who are willing to organize and conduct this type of program. (Pippard 1987; 69). According to the CEA as of 1993 such a program had not been initiated. Hence, throughout the major establishment process of the SSLMP, public information events were provided but these were not planned within a public education framework. Among these events were the 1986 workshop, the information sessions in 1987, 1990, and 1993, and through the publication of various scientific resource studies in newspapers. Initiatives from the WWF, the CEA, and the Coalition provided additional educational opportunities. The November 1990 one day workshop gave more information to the members of the coalition regarding the limits of the park. The information bulletin circulated to the population in 1989 as part of the campaign to raise public pressure for the creation of the park also provided the population with more information (Pippard 1991). Opportunities for Shared-Learning Between the Regional Population and Parks Canada The SSLMP was the first marine park to be created under legislation. In the early 1970's and 80's Parks Canada had attempted to establish a marine park in the West Isles which was aggressively resisted by the local population leading to the project's demise. Hence, at the onset of the SSLMP process Parks Canada was still a novice at establislung marine parks. 126 Not unlike the flexibility criterion, the promotion of learning opportunities was unequivocally accepted as a central principle in public participation. One planner presented his view on the importance of shared learning in public participation in the following way: I go there to learn things and educate people relative to what I do. But the other [a public representative] is going to tell me what he thinks. If we look at the case of a marine area, the fisherman may be able to tell us that there are areas not known scientifically and that they want to protect for xyz reasons. Well, that is an information that one must retain. It is completely clear. It would be pretentious to say that it is not double-sided because we do not possess the absolute truth.(P) Shared learning as defined in Chapter 3 is characterized by active participation of the public, and two sided, face to face information exchange. Planner's definition of the criterion differed significantly from that provided in Chapter 3. In general sliared-learning was defined as the automatic outcome of interactions between Parks Canada and the regional population rather than a principle necessitating planned efforts and skill to listen and learn from each other. Well yes! As soon as you enter in contact with an individual it is learning that you are doing because you are collecting information. (P) Planners' perception of shared-learning included all interaction with the public where they could learn something about the community. This could be done simply via the observation of citizens in certain information and educational events. At these events Parks Canada was able to get to know the communities and learn about their interests and issues. An example of this is given in the following quote: We had all sorts of activities of learning and we insisted that they happen in the region. We did all sort of activities to place value on the activities in the region, the peche blanche for example. By the intermediary of these sort of activities often of scientific nature with the University du Quebec a Chicoutimi, among others, people learned more about the Saguenay and we also learned more about people from the region. (P) Other passive learning opportunities included the formal public consultations. Within these, the public was provided with information and the opportunity to present their views orally. However, such public hearings did not allow the public to discuss and exchange ideas among each other and with the park personnel. More active forms of participation were provided with the creation of the Consultation Committee, the two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee and with the creation of the Co-ordination Committee in 1996. The focus of planners when discussing shared-learning was on the population's need to learn. The education provided in the public participation events concerned Parks Canada's mandate and management plan; it was mainly about Parks Canada's 'wants'. At the feasibility stage, no opportunities were provided 127 to learn from the public even after requests from the regional population, WWF, and Greenpeace in 1986. The extent to which planners were willing to learn from the communities in a active iterative discussion process as opposed to a passive form, was limited throughout the better part of the establishment. One planner's response regarding Parks Canada's trust in the public's was that if communities were sold on the park project then there were no better guarantee of the survival of the park. When the communities were not sold on the idea however, then Parks Canada was perceived of as having a big problem. The problem was that communities could compromise the existence of the project. It is a problem because it can compromise the existence of that project, it is as simple as that. (P) A fisherman, it was believed, could contribute valuable information concerning the protection of a site. However, a party with an interest that opposed the interests of Parks Canada was perceived as a problem. Coming back to Equal opportunity, it is questionable based on these statements if public comments or recommendations which were not in line with the governments agenda were given adequate consideration. Opportunities for Learning Within the Government Institution The provision of internal learning opportunities with regards to public participation, negotiation and conflict resolution skills are discussed in the following chapter. Constraints to Promote-Learning 1. The credibility of other stakeholders: One planner considered that shared-learning was an important criterion, and that it had been practiced in the SSLMP establishment. The identified constraints were that there had to be two parties for shared-learning. The obstacle to the mutual willingness to learn was identified as the perception of the credibility of other stakeholders. One planner referred to the public as a limitation to shared-learning because of their skeptical perception of the public participation process28. It is this planner however who shared in the course of the interview his personal dislike of the Coalition. The planner was not asked whether his resistance to the Coalition affected his own personal willingness to learn from the members of this group however it is highly unlikely that his openness to shared-learning was not affected by his strong personal dislike of the group. 2. The time requirement: The case of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park is complex because of the numbers of interested parties, the number of communities surrounding the park, the level of tourism 2 8 The example that was given concerns an instance where Parks Canada was considered responsible for a decision which did not please the population, regarding the management of a light house island. The decision was however taken by Environment Canada. According to the planner, it took a long time and repeated explanations for the public to understand that Parks Canada, although within the federal government was not involved in this decision. 128 potential in the region, and more importantly the political conditions around the creation of a joint federal/provincial park. These various elements all affected the availability of time required to include opportunities for sliared-leaming. One planner said: Time and money. Apart from that, we are for the virtue. It is a long process! The projects in the North we could send someone for ten years just to keep the file moving. Do we have half a million to invest in salaries plus the advantages, etc. That makes a lot of money! (P) One constraint identified by planners concerned the time required for Parks Canada and the communities' stakeholders to get to know each other. Earlier in the Self-design and the Equal opportunity criteria, the time to understand one another was identified as a constraint. When you arrive with two realities, it is not intercultural but almost, the organizational culture, the local culture. To take the time to know each other to create a product together... The time for the communities to get acquainted with the project and for the organization to get acquainted with the area, all this is, in my view, related to the issue of time. (P) .. it takes time, effort, energy to understand the organizational culture. For them the federal government IS Parks Canada. (P) As mentioned in the Equal opportunity criterion, one planner, after reflecting on the establishment process, considered that the allocation of additional time for shared-learning and for the regional population to consult their own groups would have been valuable. Promote-Learning Summary • Even though the development of a public education program was suggested in 1986, such a program was not developed until the later stages of establishment. Education opportunities where therefore sporadic events. • The CEA, WWF and the Coalition provided various opportunities for leaniing in the early establishment phases. • Promote-learning was considered by planners as a central criterion of public participation. • Shared-learning was defined by planners as an automatic outcome of interactions between Parks Canada and the regional population. • Planners seemed to focus on the regional population's need to learn. • Few opportunities were provided for Parks Canada to learn from the regional population in a shared-learning context (active learning rather than passive such as provided by the public hearings). • Planners perceived that they could only learn from those supporting conservation initiatives but not from those resistant to the marine park project. 129 6 . 2 . 8 Building Trust Planner's Perception of Trust Trust was considered by all those interviewed an essential element of public participation. However, the perception of the actual presence of trust between Parks Canada and the public varied between planners. One planner considered trust to have been established from the onset and maintained throughout the park creation process. It is a relationship [of trust] that has always existed and that was bom rapidly and that lasted. (P) In contrast, another planner explained that trust took time to establish and was only really actualized in the last two years with the creation of the Co-ordination Committee in 1996. Not everyone [bad trust in Parks Canada]. There are always people that are suspicious, that come and ask us questions, that think that plans are always staked. There were even people that told us on the Consultation Committee " you are just making us accept what you have already decided. (P) In addition to the different perceptions of the presence of trust in the establishment process, planner's definition of trust differed. One planner explained that distrust was natural at the onset of a project. He said that the process of establisliing effective communication, the basis for building trust, required a lot of time. The planner explained that the public's distrust in the information provided to them by the agency meant that additional time was required for discussions. Hence, time and communication were identified by this planner as two main factors in the development of trust. For one planner, the perception of the meaning of trust seemed limited to Parks Canada providing clear and precise information about the strategy, the issues, the policies regarding national marine parks, and other information deemed relevant. We tell them here is our policy and here is the consultation process that we will follow, if you have questions, do not hesitate. It is going to happen at this time period, our role will be this. (P) The relationship that you will establish is a relation based on a mutual respect of opinion, which means that you must trust. You make an agreement so that the issues are clear. So if from the start you respect the environment within which you are working, these criteria are naturally practiced. (P) It is clear from the various statements made by this planner that the definition and the building blocks needed to develop trust were not understood. Interestingly, it is this planner which declared disliking the Coalition, who defined trust as limited to the provision of clear and precise information, and defended that the policy was not a document understandable to the lay public. 130 The following are various elements that contributed, according to one planner, to the establishment of trust. The others interviewed provided little input since, in one case, it was believed that trust existed from the onset and in another case, the only element repeatedly identified throughout the interview was the time constraint to build trust. • The evolution of commumcation over time. • The presence of Parks Canada on the ground since 1992 has resulted in people seeing tilings happening as opposed to simply talking about things. • Time has enabled people from the communities to better understand the project, what it can become, and the advantages it can bring them. • Because of concrete outcomes, people are more imprinted with the project, they have appropriated the project to the extent that they see themselves as the guardians of the territory. • The direct relationship with individuals. Preferred approaches to public participation varied between planners. One planner mentioned that he would have preferred a different approach to building trust with the communities. According to this planner, more direct relationships with individuals such as informal discussions with small groups of citizens would have facilitated the development of trust. The official interactions within the public hearings posed as an obstacle to building trust. The planner said: To me personally [a constraint was] the official relationship. We are from the government and you are from the region. For me, this attitude freezes trust. (P) Planner's Trust in the Public Similarly to the Promote-leanuhg criterion, planners' focus was on the public's need for time to enter into a trusting relationship with Parks Canada. In reference to the creation of the Coordination Committee the following was said: Things have completely changed with the Coordination Committee from two years ago and where they are at today. People see that things are being done. The employees of the marine park were clowns that did nothing. Today they understand the work that they do, the amount of work they have to do. (P) All the stakeholders were considered to have important input into the process. This input was categorized by a planner as having either a positive or a negative impact on the project. In the Promote-learning criterion section, it was discussed that those that supported the park were trusted as important contributors to the park establishment and to the long term survival of the park while those more resistant were considered problems. Certainly, for this planner, conflict or divergence of perspectives was not perceived as an opportunity for the creation of new alternatives or for strengthening the relationship. Whether they are for or against, their contribution will deterrnine what the project will be. Maybe it will be nothing [the project] because there will too much external pressure. (P) 131 The second planner was very clear about his trust in the communities. Again, it is this planner who believed that the interests defended by the Coalition were self-centered and not to the interest of the community29. The dislike this led planner in the Coalition really brings into doubt Parks Canada willingness to provide opportunities for building trust with the communities in the SSLMP establishment. The Public's Trust in Parks Canada In the 1990 and 1993 briefs various comments suggested that the public did not trust the governments. In the Self-design criterion section, the governments' motivations for the selection of the proposed limits (which apparently reflected neither conservation nor social considerations) triggered questions and distrust from the public. In the CAE 1990 brief, Leonne Pippard identified two main limitations to the creation of the park that would represent its full potential: 1) the government separating themselves from the public 2) the existence of entrenched and isolated thinking People have this line that they use all the time. It's 'Trust me". It means trust me to do what you think I should do. No doubt you would like the public to place their trust in you, that you will do what it takes to make the best possible marine park that you can make. If that is the case, then I would like you to trust that the public has a great deal to offer to help you in your pursuit, and further, we desire to help you in a truly collaborative process, not two years down the road in looking at the management plan but right now in looking at the park's boundaries and continuing from there. So I am asking you to 'Trust us". (Canada-Quebec 1990 Canadian Ecology Advocates) Constraints to Building Trust 1. The official relationship between Parks Canada and the public. The attitude of " we are the government, you are the public and the fact that all meetings, reunions, and attitudes are official with proper language. Building Trust Summary • All planners considered that Building trust was an important criterion in the development of a public participation framework. • There was significant and opposing perceptions between planners as to the degree of trust between Parks Canada and the regional population during the establishment process. • Definition of trust differed between planners. Whereas one considered distrust normal at the onset of a project and necessitating time and communication, another considered that with clear and precise information trust was established from the onset. • Planners did not seem to trust the public's capacity to meaningfully contribute to the establishment process. See Equal opportunity for more details on this planners' relationship with the Coalition. 132 • Statements from the public demonstrate their lack of trust in Parks Canada and their desire to be trusted by them through more active involvement in the establishment process. • Preferred approaches to establishing trust with the public differed between planners. One planner suggested less official interactions with the public which he considered as freezing trust. 6.2.9 Neutral Third party This criterion was selected to explore the views of Parks Canada's employees on the role or potential role of external facilitation in the development and process of public participation. In the case of the SSLMP, facilitation was used in the 1990 public meeting. However, the facilitator's role was confined to the facilitation of the actual event, taking no part in the development of its framework. Because no comments on the presence of the facilitator were made by the planners, this criterion is not discussed further in this chapter. A section in the following chapter discusses planners' perception of the role of facilitators in public participation processes. 133 6.3 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The surnmary and conclusions are organized in four general sections that capture the various observations made of the evaluation of the SSLMP establishment. The four sections are entitled: 1) The SSLMP at a glance; 2) Reflections on the public participation structure; 3) Reflections on planners' role in the establishment process; and 4) Consideration and adequacy of the evaluation criteria. The constraints to public participation which were identified within the evaluation of the case study are presented and discussed in the next chapter in combination with the constraints identified for the Parks Canada process in general by the other planners interviewed. As expected, many of the criteria of effective public participation were not considered in the SSLMP establishment. Since the analytical framework was based on ideal criteria for effective public participation, it is not surprising that the evaluation reinforced the limitations of the approach. However, the value of the evaluation is not in the final diagnostic of whether it was a good or bad process, but rather in the insights that can be gathered from a critical look at the establishment process. It should be remembered that the focus of the evaluation, was on the establishment rather than the management process. 6.3.1 The SSLMP Establishment at a Glance The establishment context of SSLMP was unique in that many conditions for effective public participation were present from the onset. In fact, opportunities for effective public participation are what characterize the SSLMP establishment. Indeed, the regional population was the initial proponent of the park. They had made a request to Parks Canada for the establishment of a marine park as early as the late 70's. Their support for the park creation as well as the objectives of conservation was demonstrated at the various official consultation events and more particularly with the creation of the Coalition pour le Pare Marin du Saguenay Saint-Laurent. The briefs submitted at both official public consultation events (i.e. 1990-1993) were not limited to complaints but offered precise recommendations on technicalities of the project and regarding how the regional population wanted to be involved in planning. The creation of the Coalition also demonstrates the development of a shared vision between the numerous regional organizations. The membership included municipal, ecological, educational, socio-economic, and tourism groups. Hence, the development and conservation oriented groups were presenting a united front for the creation of this park. An additional characteristic of the SSLMP establishment was the strong support of various NGOs like the Canadian Ecology Advocates, the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace for both the marine park creation process and the regional population's involvement in that process. It is with the support and guidance of 134 these groups that the Coalition was formed. Both WWF and CEA proposed their services to develop a marine education program to inform the public. WWF contributed financially to certain events in the establishment process. In essence, the public was diversified, united, educated, supportive, and organized. Based on these conditions, the level of involvement practiced in the SSLMP establishment certainly did not harness the potential for the active and meaningful involvement of the public. The resistance of Parks Canada to early community participation led to the use of political pressure by the regional population to increase their involvement. The dualistic relationship between the public and the government could have been transformed very early on in the process into a cooperative relationship which could have perhaps expanded the conservation and education potential of the marine park. The SSLMP establishment has been typically referred to as progressive in its level of public participation. The evaluation of the case study shows that Parks Canada did indeed respond to numerous public demands. Examples of Parks Canada's responsiveness included the significant expansion of the park boundaries, the creation of the Consultation Committee and the inclusion of their recommendations in the proposed management plan, as well as the creation of two observer seats on the Harmonization Committee. The purpose of this study was however to evaluate the capacity of the public participation approach to enable the development of a cooperative relationship with the regional population. Within this context, the results of the evaluation indicate some important limitations to the approach used in the SSLMP establishment. 6.3.2 Reflections on the Public Participation Structure Three main elements characterize the structure of the SSLMP public participation process. These are 1) the forms of public participation selected, 2) the timing of the overall public participation process and the public participation events, and finally 3) the information provided to the public throughout the establishment and within individually selected forms of public participation. Selected Forms of Public Participation The main form of public participation used in the SSLMP establishment was the public hearing. As with all public hearings, the public was asked to comment on proposals developed by the government. Such an approach ignored all the recommendations in the literature on sea-use planning as well as Parks Canada's own policy which requires it to develop and share an initial park concept with the public30. The public was ttereafter presented with an outcome, after sometimes long deliberation periods with no information on 135 how their comments had been considered in the decision-making process. Hence, the decide, announce, defend (DAD) approach to public participation, which has been highly criticized in the filed of public participation for its lack of meaningful involvement of the public (Anonymous 1997; Dorcey 1994), was the one mainly used in the SSLMP establishment. The absence of active consultation with the regional population and the scientific experts working in the region at the feasibility stage, a central phase in the establishment process, was a lost opportunity to initiate a cooperative approach to the marine park establishment. Certainly the regional population and the ENGOs had made a very clear demand for such a level of participation. Hence, the public hearings did not allow for Self-design, FlexibiUty/iterativeneness, Equal opportunity, Promote-learning, and Building trust. Not unlike the public hearing, the Consultation Committee mainly had a reactive role as opposed to a constructive role. Indeed, the management plan had been extensively developed at the time of the formation of the committee. However, what the Consultation Committee did allow was a shared-learning experience where the members felt that their combined efforts contributed to the final management proposal submitted to the public. Even limited to a reactive mandate, the members of the Consultation Committee seemed to have felt a true sense of influence over the outcome of the management proposal. Characterizing the committee was the ongoing process of discussion and reflection, the focused mandate, the shared-learning experience, and the involvement of the regional population in a pre-consultation phase. In short the Consultation Committee provided for Objective-driven, Flexibility/iterativeness, Promote-learning, and Budding trust. It is an example of a public participation form that went beyond the DAD approach and provided the regional population a sense of ownership in the management plan. Many interesting alternatives to the regional population's involvement were proposed in the course of the establishment. The briefs contained numerous complaints with regards to the limits and unacceptability of the consultative approach used by the governments. In light of the establishment context of the SSLMP, opportunities to apply the criteria of effective public participation were numerous. The analysis however points to the very limited active involvement of the public practiced in this case study, particularly in the first phases of planning. The dissimilar understandings of the policy between planners and the public as well as between planners themselves surely contributed to the differences in expectation of the level of public participation between Parks Canada and the public. Environment Canada 1986 National Marine Park Policy Section 4.1). 136 Timing of the Public Involvement Forms The SSLMP establishment was done in a unique context characterized by an historic negotiation process between Quebec and Canada. The negotiations that led to the joint federal/provincial agreement to create the marine park were particularly challenging because of the political climate between the provincial and the federal government. According to the planners interviewed, two main timing constraints resulted from these negotiations: 1) the scheduling of public consultation in June of 1990 and 2) the scheduling of consultation on the park's limits prior to any discussions on the rules and regulations that would affect the park. Looking at the unfolding of the overall public participation process, two main observations can be made. First, the political process involved in park establishment such as the federal/provincial negotiation was divorced from the public participation process. This comes back to a point made earlier concerning the priority given to the negotiation process over the respect of the marine park policy or the recommendations regarding marine park planning. Second, Parks Canada followed the same rational planning approach used for terrestrial parks in the SSLMP establishment. Within such an approach, public participation is relegated to a subordinate requirement of the establishment process. These two related but different planning realities of the SSLMP establishment process illustrate that public participation was not integrated such as would be demanded by a systems approach, and this in turn caused the unfolding of the public participation process to be essentially reactive to public demands. Looking particularly at the time provided to the regional population within each consultation event, several observations can be made. The time given to the various groups within the regional population to consult with their respective constituencies was limited and the public commented as such in the 1990 briefs. Yet in 1993, the regional population is presented with a public consultation format identical to the first. This seems to suggest that these consultation events were planned almost exclusively based on the institutional time frame rather than based on the time frame of the regional population to which the consultations were directed. This observation supports the point made above that public participation was not integrated into overall planning and that there was little consideration given to planning a public participation process that catered to the regional population. The timing of the public participation process did not foster Equal opportunity, FlexibiUty-iterativeness, PromoteJearning, and Building trust. The Quantity and Quality of the Information According to many comments found in the briefs, the quantity and the quality of the information provided to the public was considered insufficient by the regional population. Providing the right information, enough information but not too much information, and making sure that the language is accessible to the layperson is a considerable challenge in public participation planning. 137 In the SSLMP case, what was considered inadequate by the public was the presentation of technical documents about, for example, the marine park limits without any information on the analytical process leading to the proposed limits. The absence of explanations regarding that analytical process created distrust in the governments. This distrust was amplified to the extent that the proposed limits could not be justified from either a conservation or a socio-economic perspective. It therefore was assumed to represent some management and political constraints of which the public was not informed. Such a complaint was, by all accounts, absent from the 1993 briefs. This observation could be associated with the work of the Consultation Cornmittee whose members were actively involved in the process of reflection leading to the management proposal. Planners' attitudes with regards to the quality of the information seem to suggest that in planning and writing the public documents, little effort was invested in thinking of the audience to whom it was addressed. Documents were written simply to present the planning steps as required by the policy but not with the intent of catering the information and writing style to the needs of the public. While this is my impression based on comments of planners, this attitude towards public participation is a likely outcome to a non-integrated and dualistic approach to public participation. The information provided both in terms of quantity and quality did not provided for Equal opportunity, Promote learning and Building trust. 6.3.3 Reflections on Planners Two main observations were made from the interviews with planners: 1) the limited knowledge of the theory and practice of public participation, and 2) the dualistic relationship maintained with the public. Planners, for the most part, supported the importance of the proposed criteria in the development of a public participation strategy. However, responses to various questions relative to the application of these criteria demonstrated, in some instances, the planners lack of understanding of these. This was the case, for example, with the Self-design criterion where some planners defended that Self-design was practiced in the SSLMP establishment when clearly the public participation framework developed did not provide for such an opportunity. No principles of public participation were consulted or available to guide the development of a strategy. It seems that the typical public hearing format was adopted instinctively, without consideration of its advantages and disadvantages in the specific establishment context. Context specific objectives for the public participation process were not developed. Throughout the interviews with planners, several comments indicated the perception of the public as adversaries (e.g. if they want us to go and see them 138 well they just have to ask; if they don't come to the information meetings well it's their problem). Certain criteria were found to be applied conditionally based on the public's acceptance of the park project and Parks Canada's objectives. According to planners, the resistance of certain groups created a problem situation (See Promote-leaming and Building trust). Further, the focus was generally on the public's need to learn, and trust. I would argue that such a perception of the public underlies the development of the limited public participation approach in the SSLMP establishment, particularly in the early stages. Parks Canada was unable to harness the rare opportunity provided by the SSLMP context to decentralize the establishment process and really involve the regional communities as partners in the development of this marine park. While park planners defined their role as 'leaders of the project', the public participation approach adopted was essentially reactive rather than proactive and informed. The perception of the public and public participation was an obstacle to the provision of clear objectives, Equal opportunity, Flexibility/iterativeness, PromoteJearning, and Building trust. 6 . 3 . 4 Consideration and Adequacy of the Evaluation Criteria In order to summarize the evaluation of the SSLMP establishment process, each criterion is given, in Table 6.1, a qualitative ranking of either good, average or poor. The ranking is however somewhat removed from the contextual realities of the SSLMP establishment process. For example, Inclusiveness is ranked as poor but this criterion was not an objective of selection for the Consultation Committee. With regards to FlexibiUty/Iterativeness and Equal opportunity, planners identified the process leading to the 1990 agreement and its content as significant constraints to the consideration of these criteria. Hence, Table 6.1 provides only a partial view of the evaluation which, because of its qualitative nature, cannot be fully summarized by a ranking method. The table also provides the opportunity to discuss the adequateness of the selected analytical framework. 139 Table 6.1 Summary of the Evaluation of the Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park Establishment CRITERION EVALUATION E X A M P L E Poor Aver Good 1. Defined Roles • • The role of Parks Canada in the public participation process was not defined. Planners mentioned that the perception of roles differed among them according to individual personalities. • The definition of roles was not addressed on the Consultation Committee. 2. Self-Design • • Self-design was not considered a necessary principle in the development of a public participation strategy. What was considered important is the understanding the people's needs. • Members of the Consultation Committee were not involved in determining the composition or the mandate of the committee. 3. Objective-Driven • • Objectives of public participation were not explicitly identified beyond the general ones found in the policy guide. 4. Inclusive • • Inclusiveness was not a chosen criterion for the creation of the Consultation Committee. 5. Equal Opportunity • • The forms of public participation selected, particularly at the feasibility stage, provided for minimal involvement of the public who had asked to be active partners in the process. • The Consultation Committee provided the public a meaningful opportunity for stakeholders to discuss and comment the management plan prior to public consultation. 6. Flexibility/ Iterativeness • • Iterativeness was not planned in the overall public participation process but certain opportunities were provided with the Consultation Committee. 7. Promote-Learning • • Shared-learning was defined by planners as the automatic outcome of any interaction between Parks Canada and the public. Education opportunities were sporadic events. • Few opportunities were provided for Parks Canada to learn from the regional population, particularly at the feasibility phase. 8. Building Trust • • Planners did not seem to trust the public's capacity to meaningfully contribute to the establishment process. • Statements from the public demonstrated their lack of trust in Parks Canada. 9. Neutral Third Party • • Not evaluated in this chapter The criteria were all found to be adequate for the evaluation of the public participation approach. However, two other criteria of cooperation would have been of benefit to include in the analytical framework. These two criteria are: ongoing communication and power of influence of the public over decisions. Ongoing communication was covered indirectly within the Promote-learning and Flexibility/iterativeness criteria. The power of influence of the public over decisions was not addressed within any criteria. Planner's perception of the public's power of influence over the decisions in the SSLMP public participation process would have been valuable. 140 C H A P T E R V I I ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF PARKS CANADA'S GENERAL APPROACH TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 7.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter is divided into three sections. The first represents an analysis of Parks Canada's general approach to public participation. The second concerns an analysis of the planners' role in national park establishment. Finally, the third section presents the various constraints to effective public participation as identified by planners, including those interviewed for the SSLMP evaluation. Contrary to the evaluation of the SSLMP, the purpose of the analysis is not to assess the consideration of each criterion in Parks Canada's approach to public participation. Such an objective would have required a detailed understanding of each park establishment process experienced by those interviewed, a task beyond the scope of this thesis. The objective of this chapter is to present some insights on Parks Canada's approach to and perception of public participation based on the interviews with planners1. The same analytical framework was used as a means to engage planners in a discussion about Parks Canada's approach to public participation. The analytical framework was also used to identify constraints to effective public participation. This chapter expands beyond the analysis of the interviews and encompasses information provided in the previous chapters regarding the policy and the SSLMP evaluation. Because this chapter is both an analysis and a discussion, references to the literature are also included to enrich the discussion. 7.2 REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION APPROACH 7.2.1 The Definition of Public Participation In Chapter 4, I presented Parks Canada's policy and discussed the ambiguity between the use of the terms public participation and consultation. It was observed that no distinction existed between the two terms apart from the use of the term consultation when referring to specific planning steps. Among the planners interviewed there were different perceptions of the meaning of public participation and consultation. One planner considered that there had been no explicit effort to distinguish between the 1 In light of this objective, there will not be a discussion on each criterion in this chapter. 141 two at Parks Canada and that consultation was a form of public participation in a decision-making situation. This definition supports the observation made of its use in the policy2. I don't think so [no differentiation between participation and consultation]. I don't think people generally do. When I say public consultation though, we generally refer to something where there is a decision to be made, where the public is consulted on that decision. So if you like, public consultation is nothing more than public participation in a decision-making process. For me when I use consultation, I am implying that there is a decision. And it's a government decision in the end. Participation is more broad and does not necessarily imply decision. Another planner proposed a contrasting definition of the two terms. He explained: "Consultation has always suggested to me that it's information going out maybe from one to the other and participation being active involvement in the process." A third planner suggested that the definition of consultation had recently evolved to mean more active involvement. Before, and even still today, he explained, consultation meant that the government produced proposals they got the public's comments and then retreated to make a decision (i.e. the DAD approach). The literature provides for various definitions of these terms which are sometimes contextualized within certain democratic world views or from a more hands on perspective3. However, Parks Canada provides no definition of participation or consultation and neither do they define the term cooperation which is also found in the NMCA policy4. Consultation was identified by some as the distribution of information while others referred to public hearings, advisory committees and consensus tables as forms of consultation. Hence there were differing understanding and views amongst planners. The opportunistic5 use of the terms public participation/consultation seems to bring confusion between planners and the public on the expected level of involvement. Certainly, in the case of the SSLMP establishment, the absence of a definition of public consultation occasioned confusion and frustration in the public who expected such terms as consultation and cooperation to imply their active involvement in the analysis and decision-making process6. 2 See Chapter 4 3 See Chapter 2 part 1 for a discussion on the definition of consultation. 4 See Section 1.3.2 5 There is a spectrum of levels of consultative approaches. Based on planners various definitions of participation and consultation, reference to the practice of consultation is called opportunistic since it is clearly not rooted in a clear Parks Canada definition but rather based on each planners interpretation of the terms. Reference to information distribution such as with a newsletter as consultation indicates the wide range of uses of the term. 6 The term active participation itself would require a definition. It is unclear whether public hearings would be considered an active form of participation by the planner defining consultation as active involvement. 142 7.2.2 The Evolution of Public Participation at Parks Canada A look at the evolution of public participation, as perceived by those interviewed, provides additional insight into Parks Canada's approach to public participation. Among the lessons learned on public participation throughout their career, planners identified the following: General Approach to public participation • Proposing plans with detailed infrastructure proposals raises expectations which can't always be met. • Do not oversell the social impacts of the parks to the community in terms of job creation and economic benefits. • There is a risk to meeting the stakeholder groups separately in order to form allies. It has led to difficult public meetings and division within a community because people have heard or interpreted the story differently. • It is importance to use the local energy. • It is important to consider the local community agenda when planning for public participation events. • Deal with various stakeholder groups separately before planning an open house. • Setting up private meetings with various community groups instead of expecting them to show up at public meetings or for them to ask for a meeting. • Pay attention to the various audiences within each community. • It is important to understand the local politics and dynamics before planning a public participation strategy. • Consult with key community people for advice on how to plan a public participation strategy, where to meet, whether to meet separately or all together, who to invite, etc. Structure of the public participation events • It is important to identify clear non-negotiables when Parks Canada is a member at a consensus table (e.g. Riding Mountain). • The structure of the public hearing should not put government representatives on podiums which separate them from the public too much. General lessons • Use a vocabulary that is accessible to the public rather than technocratic. • Some tension or conflicts are inevitable at the first public meetings. • Dress casually when meeting with the public. • Do not assume that a public meeting will reach all the important stakeholders. • Choose carefully the venue of a stakeholder or public meeting. The adoption of ecological integrity as the primary mandate was identified by a planner as the major recent change at Parks Canada which has modified the approach to management7. One planner described 7 Parks Canada's new emphasis on working within a wider regional context with regional stakeholders was given as an example of the changes induced from the selection of ecological integrity as a primary manadate. 143 the evolution as having raised the perception of the role of the public to one of active partners. It was explained that local communities had been recognized as a key subgroup of the public because of the impacts of national park establishment on their lives and the impacts of their lives on national parks. The effect of the evolution is that we have been responding to local interests. [M]ost of our consultations have a strong local bias. A proactive approach to dealing with communities was now considered to be practiced since community issues were now dealt with at the establishment phase rather than following the creation of the park. Increased patience in the time required to establish a park was also identified as an outcome of this changing attitude towards the public. While local communities were said to be particularly considered in the establishment of new parks, some planners did mention the challenge faced in balancing the community participation process with the participation of other public groups8. Looking back at the brief historical evolution of Parks Canada presented in Chapter 4, some of the comments above regarding the focus on local communities and the proactiveness alludes, it seems, to the policy changes adopted in the late 70 's as a result of the severe public reactions to the expropriation practices. Since then however, the field of public participation has evolved significantly and little acknowledgment of this change was discussed. One planner did mention that the public's expectations had increased in last 3-5 years requiring more active and direct forms of involvement. 7.2.3 Difference Between the East and West Coast The analysis of the interviews between the East Coast and the West Coast planners indicated differences in their degree of familiarity and openness to the analytical framework criteria9. One planner from the head office in Ottawa also pointed out on numerous occasions the difference between the two coasts. In essence, the West Coast was observed by both myself and this planner to be more open to higher levels of public involvement. Some of the contributing characteristics to the West Coast openness to public participation were identified as the progressive and highly organized public which is supportive of both conservation and protected areas initiatives. As one planner from the West Coast explained: 8 The public was defined as including all those not directly involved in the planning of the new parks. This would include other governments, local governments, ENGOs, industry, specific stakeholders, First nations, and the general public. Even within local communities the public can be very diversified complicating further the development of a public participation strategy that can effectively deal with all these public groups. 9 Note that not all planners in Parks Canada's establishment branch were interviewed. Therefore the differences may in fact represent either individual planner's differences or provincial differences. No planner from any of the maritime provinces was interviewed. 144 I am dealing with a very sophisticated and progressive public, a public that won't put up with a process where the government is clearly leading and they are going to be told what is going to happen. On the East Coast we are just beginning to organize ourselves in terms of conservation contrary to the West Coast. (T)10 7.2.4 An Ideal Model of Public Participation There cannot be one perfect public participation model because of the particularity of each park establishment context. However, models developed to meet criteria of public participation such as those identified in this thesis could guide planners in the development of a public participation approach. In the course of one interview, such a ideal model was developed and is presented in Figure 7.1. The ideal public participation framework presented in Figure 7.1 and described bellow addresses public participation at the feasibility stage. Steering Committee fed/prov government \ Working Group (fed/prov- senior planners) t Advisory Committee Sub-7^  committees Public participation coordinator (hired by Parks Canada) Figure 7. 1 Ideal Public Consultation Model as Developed by a Planner for the Feasibility Stage of the Establishment Process. The first step in the development of a model would consist in the exploration of potential approaches to public consultation through informal consultation with various key contacts within each community. The objective would be to get some directions on what kind of involvement the communities would be expecting. Such informal discussions would also help define who should be invited to sit on an advisory committee (if such a forum would be desired by the communities and acceptable to the province). In the advent of the formation of an advisory committee, its first task would consist of the establishment of 1 0 The code (T) at the end of quotations indicates a translatation from French. 145 ground rules and an ethical code of conduct for the committee itself11. Once this step is completed, the committee would proceed to advise Parks Canada on the development of a public participation strategy (i.e. Self design). Thereafter, the advisory committee would act as a first phase validation of other processes (questionnaires, focus groups, public hearings) such as the identification of issues, be they socio-economic or related to management considerations. It was suggested also that this advisory committee could play an active role at public hearings. The model explained above was considered fairly typical at Parks Canada. The planner in question did not consider that there would be any resistance within the agency to the practice of such a model at the feasibility stage. I can't see why they would have a problem with that. I think it is fairly standard enough. I don't know how the Bonnavista model would differ from this one for example. Would the lake Superior model differ, I don't know. It shouldn't too much. But even if there were differences I think they would be minor overall. That kind of structure is fairly typical. This same planner also mentioned in the course of the interview that such ideas as those presented in the model were quite new, and that they were not considered 3-5 years ago. Hence his assumption seemed to be that the evolution of public participation practices at Parks Canada were fairly uniform across the country. This planners' perspective differs from my own perception and those of others at Parks Canada such as discussed in the earlier comparison of the East Coast and West Coast12. With regards to the SSLMP establishment13 those interviewed did not look retrospectively at the SSLMP approach and address any alternatives such as those proposed by the model. In fact, planners believed that extensive consultation had been practiced in the SSLMP establishment. Hence, while the "ideal model" is considered by one planner fairly typical it is questionable if such a model would even be considered, for example, in the establishment of the proposed NMCA in the Mingan Islands. 7.2.5 The Development of a Public Participation Plan The development of a public participation framework or plan is what has been discussed throughout this thesis when addressing Parks Canada's approach to public participation. The initial assumption was that such a framework or plan was developed for each park establishment. As a result of the evaluation of the SSLMP establishment as well as through interviews with other planners, the development of a public 1 1 These codes would be pre-developed and proposed to the committee for ratification, if needed. 1 2 Note that the two recent initiatives mentioned by this planner (Bonnavista and Lake Superior) have not been studied and their model could indeed reflect the one proposed by this planner. However, other observations made in this analysis show that Parks Canada does not have a shared perception of public participation models. 1 3 The SSLMP establishment was practiced prior to the identified recent (3-5 year) evolution in the public participation approach. 146 participation framework does not seem a common or a systematic practice at Parks Canada. In the SSLMP establishment, it seemed that sporadic public participation events were developed which were themselves based on a limited exploration of public participation approaches. Without the development of a public participation plan the criteria of effective public participation cannot be given due consideration. According to Creighton (1990), the development of an upfront public participation plan is an important exercise to assure that public participation is integrated into the decision-making process14. The author writes: Preparing a public participation plan ensures that a careful analysis will be made of how the public participation fits into the decision making process, which part of the public are likely to be concerned, and how their comments can be most effectively solicited. Since this analysis is crucial to effective public participation, preparation of a plan is simply preparation for doing a good job and a way of ensuring that you have designed a program adequate for the particular issue. (Creighton 1990: 52) The challenge in the development of a public participation plan lies in the understanding of the specific context for which it is developed (Creighton 1990). Indeed, it is the context that becomes the basis on which decisions about the structure, forms and mechanism of public participation will be selected. The influence of the specific context surrounding a particular park establishment was identified by all the planners to highly influence the approach to public participation. I mentioned earlier that local circumstances are always different. We have a broad approach which we always adapt to local conditions. The process has to be suited to the local circumstances . But much of how the process will unfold is strictly the local circumstances that dictate it. A first step in developing a public participation plan is the identification of the objectives for public consultation. Since each establishment context is different, the identification of objectives of public participation should be context specific. The identification of objectives was acknowledged by the planners as important in the development of a strategy. As one planner said "it always helps to frame the way you do things" (T). Interestingly, while on the one hand it was argued that each establishment process needed to be adapted to local circumstance, the identification of context specific objectives was not considered by all planners a necessary activity. 1 4 Books and manuals of public involvement all seem to support the importance of developing a public participation plan. Indeed, planning for public participation demands addressing many questions relevant to the purpose of the process, the identification of context specific objectives, how to meet certain principles of participation such as flexibility, equal opportunity, etc. (CSA1996, Thomas 1995). 147 I would not expect them to be any different. The objectives of the consultation process they should be fairly consistent. The issues that they are going to address they will be different. The kinds of objectives that the consultation process is to deliver on should be consistent. In the SSLMP case, one planner said that while the identification of context specific objectives was a criterion of primary importance, certain context specific situations did not require it. Another planner for his part considered that the identification of context specific objectives had not been necessary in his establishment process because the situation was not complicated. This planner however believed that in most establishment processes such a formal objective identification step was practiced. In the establishment of the SSLMP, context specific objectives were not identified and those stated by planners were vague and contradictory15. On the importance of clear purpose and objectives the Canadian Standard Association writes: Clearly articulated expectations lead to good plans and provide sound basis for your relationship with stakeholders throughout the involvement process. As well, identifying specific desired results will help you decide what form of public involvement process best suits your circumstances, the mechanism you eventually select..(CSA 1996: 27)16 The different perceptions of the policy The policy guide (Canadian Heritage 1994) was considered by some to provide the relevant information on the public participation objectives. One planner more specifically called the policy guide his bible to emphasize the importance of the document as a guiding tool in his job. Other planners referred to the policy guide as a general document only providing basic directions. The contrasts between planners perceptions of the specificity of the policy are presented here: The objectives are reflected in the policy, NMCA are intended to do this and this and this. In order to conduct the feasibility study we do this and this. And we need a public participation process to help us with this and this, and that will largely drive the design of the process. A l l that is said in the law is that we must consult the public. But there has never been like in certain fields that came out of Ottawa with well established processes. Each park or each region I should say have developed their own method to consult the public. (T) The policies presented in Chapter 4 do not identify clear objectives of public participation. Certainly they do not provide the level of detail necessary for the development of a public participation plan that would be clear to the public. With regards to the feasibility step, the N M C A Policy does provide some 1 5 See Chapter 6. 1 6 In this quote the terms "expectations" and "results" can be understood as different levels of objectives. In order to identify objectives, a series of questions can be asked which include such consideration as the expectations and desired result of the public participation process: Why did we consider initiating public involvement? What is the intentention? What are the desired outcomes, results? What are the guidelines, procedures, rules, etc. surrounding the process? Etc. (Dovetail Consultating 1994). 148 valuable yet general objectives17. However, the National Parks Policy is void of any objective statements. Regardless, these objectives remain general as the context specific information can only be provided within each park establishment. 7.2.6 The Contrast Between Public Consultation Policy and Practice Contrary to what is found in the policy guide (Canadian Heritage 1994), public participation is only really initiated at the feasibility stage. According to the policy, the three first phases of establishment (i.e. identification, selection, and feasibility) are presented as involving consultation with the interested public. Various reasons were provided to explain the absence of public consultation at the selection stage18. One reason regarded the size of the natural region or marine region and the various complexities related to dealing with such a large territory or marine area. Another planner pointed to the scientific nature of the selection process as the reason for the absence of public consultation. We find it very difficult to consult on that [selection]. We may have four areas involving more than a province with sometimes several kilometers apart. Choosing one of those for a national park is very tricky business for government to get into public participation. We identify the area that we are interested in and that usually is not subject to public participation, that is a scientific exercise. We identify the area and then we seek the consensus of whatever government is involved to proceed to some kind of feasibility study and that is where the public participation process kicks in. In the case of the proposed NMCA in the Mingan Islands, the regional population was not informed of the government's initiative to identify and select a potential NMCA in the North Gulf Shelf Marine Region. In fact, because of the local resistance to Parks Canada in the Mingan region, the process was purposefully kept quiet in order to prevent potential public outcry prior to Parks Canada selecting an area. Both the complexity of the selection step and the fear of community opposition (prior to any real commitment to proceed with a NMCA establishment) are understandable constraints to public consultation at the selection stage. However, it remains that the policy statements regarding public consultations and Parks Canada's actual practices are incongruent. 1 7 " Parks Canada will then initiate discussions with local communities and affected user groups to seek their cooperation in conducting a feasibility study, to determine the best timing and process for their active participation, and how to incorporate the knowledge of individuals living and working in the area" (Canadian Heritage 1994 Section 1.3.2 NMCA Policy: 51). " As a guide, the feasibility study should include recommendations on the conservation and management objectives of the area, its boundaries a draft zoning plan as described in section 2.1.0 with a description of the purpose and objectives of each zone and the uses that will be permitted, including fishing. It should also identify specific issues of concern to local community and affected user groups, and when possible, recommand how they could be addressed." (Canadian Heritage 1994 Section 1.3.3 NMCA Policy: 51). 1 8 No allusion to the consideration of public consultation at the identification stage was made by any planner. 149 7.2.7 The Perception of Uniformity In the various sections presented above there have been numerous comments on the observed differences among planners regarding; 1) their definition of public participation, 2) their reading of the policy, and 3) their perception of the uniformity of public participation approaches among parks. While some planners did say that the approach to new park establishment varied from park to park, most planners nevertheless believed that they shared a similar understanding of the policy and the objectives of public participation. The various observations of the differences in perception between planners indicate that, in fact, a shared understanding does not exist among those interviewed. 7.2.8 Parks Canada's Perception of the Success of the Establishment Process. One of the things I like to say to people is that our park establishment process right across the country, the way we are doing it now is the way we have been doing it for about 20 years. And it is fairly successful in the case that I think that every single example where we have begun formal consultation with the community, eventually we have wound up with a national park. And in my experience, one of the key reasons for that is our flexibility and our openness and the fact that we have a general approach which is similar in all cases but adaptable to the circumstances. According to the planner quoted above, Parks Canada's establishment process has been fairly successful. Many planners considered that flexibility characterized the establishment process. Responses to local or regional demands were identified by one planner as an example of this flexibility. Indeed when looking, even superficially, at the various establishment processes their unfolding does vary substantively from park to park20. On the diversity of approaches used in park establishment one planner said: ...Some places hold a referendum, surveys are done. There are a variety of approaches. Some of them are designed locally, sometimes a council decides....So they will often design their own process. In the case of the SSLMP, the level of organization of the public and their political influence on the process is what seemed to have led to alternative forms of public participation. As was observed in the case study, without the support of the ENGO's and the political influence of the Coalition, the two observer seats would not have been provided to the population and it is questionable whether the Consultation Committee would have been created. Hence, while Parks Canada has shown a great deal of flexibility, this flexibility can be partially at least attributed to the organized and politically influential demands of the regional population. This kind of flexibility, as was mentioned in the previous chapter, is essentially reactive as opposed to proactive and motivated by the desire to build cooperative relationships with local communities. The fact that Parks Canada uses examples of processes like the SSLMP to 150 illustrate their flexibility and their willingness to work with local communities is misleading. What could a less organized public not supported by such groups as WWF expect in terms of public participation? 7.2.9 The Limited Opportunities for Learning The opportunity to learn in a public participation process was identified in Chapter 3 as a key principle for effective public participation. Indeed, the consideration of public participation as a learning opportunity was said to facilitate the consideration of other factors such as Flexibility/iterativeness, Building trust, and Equal opportunity. Two aspects of learning were mainly of interest in this study: learning within the institution and shared-learning between Parks Canada and the local communities. Learning opportunities within the institution were found to be very limited with regards to public participation. It was found that planners were generally unaware of approaches used in other park establishment processes. Some planners admitted having never met or talked to some planners in charge of a simultaneous establishment process. The last meeting of planners was 5 years ago. To the question; do you think that the importance of shared-learning varies significantly between planners? One planner answered: I don't know. We don't really talk among each other very often. We see each other every five years. I haven't talked with [a planner], I have never spoken to [a planner], [a planner] and I talk once a year maybe. There isn't a lot of sharing of experience among planners. We are spread out so much we never get together. We rarely get together. Another planner, despite the strong evidence of limited communication as well as limited understanding of processes used in other parks, defended that there was excellent communication and shared-learning between planners in the establishment branch. He defended: It is a very small team, 14 people. Most of us are together all the time. There are 4 people in Yellowknife and one in Vancouver and that is it. So there is a lot of sharing of experience between those 14 people. ...So the experience we have in Lake Superior is informed by everything we have done in the North and in the South and in our marine areas. It is just a very small group. With regards to shared-leaming between local communities and Parks Canada, it is difficult to make much comment because of the limited case specific information gathered in this study. Not unlike observations made for the SSLMP establishment, planners seemed to consider the various forms of interactions with the public in the course of the establishment process as shared-learning opportunities again demonstrating a passive definition of the term. According to one planner, shared-leaming has Wapusk National Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park were two examples provided by one planner to 151 always been a part of public participation processes. However, the public participation/consultation practices were mentioned to have evolved in recent years beyond the decided, announce, defend (DAD) towards the active involvement of the public at the onset of the feasibility study. In reference to the public consultation process in Mingan in the mid 80's, one planner admitted that the approach that had been used there had the objective of convincing local communities. Public participation was at the time, he said, limited to providing information rather than aimed at working in collaboration. 7.2.10 The Role of a Third Party The role of a third party or a facilitator is increasingly recommended in the literature in some phases of a public participation process or in situations of potential or actual conflict between stakeholders. I included the criteria in the analytical framework, even though the use of external facilitators is not a common practice at Parks Canada, in order to explore planners' perceptions of the value of a facilitator. The five planners asked to comment on the potential value of a third party in the establishment process did not see the necessity of such a person at any stage of the public participation process. Some did agree to the potential value of a facilitator in cases where there was already a conflict that Parks Canada had not been able to resolve. Mostly, planners considered that facilitation was part of their job. Some of the comments were: I would almost say if all else fails. No [it has not been used much at Parks Canada]. As I say it is probably only in a problem situation where you'd have to go that extent. (T) No. If we have imbeciles at Parks yes probably or if some are having some problems, yes. But if people are OK at Parks, I assume that there is no need for a facilitator. One planner conceived of the value of a facilitator for the coordination of a complex public participation process. The role of the facilitator was however defined as one of coordinator of public participation. The tasks envisaged for this person included planning meetings, taking notes, distributing meeting minutes, etc. Facilitation skills were identified as one of the valuable qualifications of such a person. Facilitation was defined by this planner as follows: Facilitation is making the process work, that is how I see it. And in this case there will be so much to do to keep the process moving. Various constraints were identified to the use of facilitators in park establishment. Referring to a case in a Northern park establishment, one planner thought that the facilitator had ended up an advocate of the demonstrate the adaptiveness to local circumstances. 152 community and had raised expectations beyond what the government could negotiate. Another planner considered that the presence of a third party created a situation where parties saw each other as opponents. Even though the term facilitator was defined, this planner thought that a third party was someone who had a certain level of power of decision21. He commented: A neutral party would only bring confusion. The danger of a neutral third party is that it says from the onset that people are confronted, even if they are not in a situation of confrontation. It also leads to extra costs because of the counter expertise that will be demanded by one or the other parties. (T) A third constraint was the public's potential judgment of Parks Canada's inability to handle the situation. For this planner, the role of a third party would represent a lost of credibility and therefore should be used only when there already existed an unmanageable amount of distrust from the public in the government. I almost think that Parks Canada would have lost credibility if we went for a facilitator. ...Well I think we probably already would have [lost credibility]. What it is saying is that we can't do it. Finally the last constraint was the importance of finding a good facilitator22. If you don't get the right person then everybody looses. According to the 1996 report of the auditor general, Parks Canada rarely called on outside specialists to help gather public support for new park establishment. It was suggested in the report that a more proactive approach to gathering public support be developed by Parks Canada23. With regards to many of the constraints to the involvement of a facilitator identified above, the literature on public participation indicates a contrasting viewpoint. Indeed, some of the advantages to the involvement of a facilitator identified include the prevention of conflicts, and the development of a working structure that can improve the relationship between parties (Maser 1995). The planner was asked to define neutral third party. His definition was: " a person that is neither on one side or the other and that has a certain power over the decision. But don't believe that they are neutral!" (T) The study's definition of a facilitator was again defined to him but that did not ease his resistance to the idea of involving a facilitator in park establishment 2 2 The experiences that the two planners were refering to when reflecting on the value of a facilitator concerned Northern parks establishment in which the role of a third party was as the representative of the First Nations' community in the negotiation of the agreement to create the park. This situation is very different from the role of a facilitator in Southern park establishment where communities are not directly represented at the negotiation table. 2 3 See Chapter 4 Section 4.3. 153 7.3 REFLECTIONS ON PLANNERS ROLE IN PARK ESTABLISHMENT 7.3.1 Differences Between Planners In the previous section, various observations were made about the differences in perception between planners. It was observed that planners have different definitions of public participation, and that their reading of the policy and their perception of the uniformity of the establishment approach differs. In the shared-learning section it was also mentioned that communication between planners was almost absent at Parks Canada. Planners for their part considered that while individual personality differences existed among them, they had a shared understanding of the objective of public participation and of the policy. 7.3.2 The Power of the Planner In the establishment process of a national park or a NMCA a planning team is often formed with the senior planner taking a lead role (Olsen 1976). While Parks Canada previously employed public participation coordinators, there remains only three such positions at Parks Canada today. In new park establishment, their role consists mainly in the coordination of public participation processes as opposed to planning the public participation process itself. In the case of the SSLMP, the public participation coordinator played no role in developing the public participation approach but rather worked for the senior planner in coordinating the process (e.g. planning the public hearings, press release, etc.). Hence while a planner is not alone in planning the public participation process, the individual preferences of a planner seem to have the potential to largely influence the how and the when of the public participation process. Supporting this observation, one planner commented on another planner's style of public participation approach saying that this person liked to be in an environment that he could control and therefore always worked with small groups. The result of such an approach was that those who followed his footsteps had to deal with a divided public which had received or heard different information. The planner said: I know when there is a government worker that has control, you've got to be careful with that. I find it as dangerous the government worker who has the control. (T) 7.3.3 Planners' Knowledge of the Professional Field of Public Participation The field of public participation and other related fields has greatly evolved in the last 10 years. It is from this literature that the criteria of the analytical framework were selected. As was mentioned earlier, the criteria did not seem well understood by all those interviewed. While some planners seemed well acquainted with such criterion as Self-design others did not seem to grasp its meaning. 154 In many cases, planners' account of consultation practices included passive forms of participation such as the distribution of a newsletter, or open houses. These forms of participation were considered, in and of themselves, consultative. One planner considered that Equal opportunity was a criterion that was addressed in the establishment process since the public were given free access, upon demand, to specific studies. However, in this example the public was not informed of the availability of specific documents and of their rights to demand free copies. The discussion went as follows: A: Everybody that wanted it had access to it free. Q: Were they informed of the documents and of their availability? A: I suppose they had to find out about it. In the newsletter again, I guess which was our primary visual piece of consultation documentation we said there were wildlife studies being done but we did not say "for a copy of this report write to.". Q: Were they systematically sent to the WWF and ....? A: They had to ask for it. Q: Would you say that in this case the public participation approach met the criterion of Equal opportunity? A: I think so. Everybody who wanted this information could do so just by asking for it. Hence, while all the planners supported the majority of the criteria, their understanding of them and the links between them was unclear. Some criteria such as Equal opportunity, Building Trust and Promote learning were considered important yet they were defined as outcomes of a public participation process rather than requiring conscious planning. Of the eight planners interviewed, three had received training in public participation, which dated back more than seven years for two of them. Two planners had been involved in organizing and giving informal training in the field, and two others had received no training24. Training in public participation did not seem a necessity for planners. One planner commented that skills in public participation were innate and could not be acquired through training. A less radical and more commonly shared perception was that public participation was learned through trial and error and that there was no training or manual available at Parks Canada to guide planners in the development of public participation strategy. Some of the comments were: You have it or you don't. Training is not going to do any harm but the skill is innate. (T) 2 4 This information was not gathered for the eight planners. 155 I think that the reality is that for everyone of us there is a first time to getting involved in participation, consultation. There really is no rule book like this, at least I have not seen one. So everybody sort of makes their own mistakes. We learn skills as we go along. These quotes, and various other statements in the interviews, are indications of planners' lack of acknowledgment of the complexity of the field of public participation and the knowledge and skills that can be acquired through various forms of training. Facilitation itself was mainly considered part of the planners' job yet most planners did not have specific training in the field. A planner who did not see any use for a facilitator in a public participation process considered that the potentially divergent views of the public was a constraint on involving the public right from the onset. This planner had what seemed to be a fear of conflict. Another planner who did not seem to have such a fear considered for his part that the local communities should be brought together from the onset to discuss issues, even if that meant initial outbursts and conflict. Hence, an individual planners' comfort or discomfort with conflict, in and of itself, could be assumed to have an impact on the development of a public participation approach. Addressing this fear of conflict as well as other limiting perceptions towards public participation would require that planners acknowledge the complexity of the field of public participation and its potential contribution to their work. The literature on public participation calls for a change in the definition of the planner's role in planning and management (London 1995; Thomas 1995; Forester 1982). This change is motivated by the transformation of the decision-making approaches from a top-down structure towards a more horizontal or participative structure (London 1995). Some planners interviewed in this thesis have described such a change in the decision-making structure of Parks Canada. In the literature some planners see themselves as a 'professional citizen' (Thomas 1995). The role of the planner is called to evolve towards new forms of leadership sometimes referred as transformative, facilitative or servant leadership (London 1995). London (1995) describes the changing role of the planner as such: "A collaborative leader is thus a person who assumes the role of discussion leader, not executive. It is a person who puts aside whatever authority, expertise, position, and influence he or she may have in the outside world in order to foster discussion and deliberation among the members of the group. In short, the leadership role is to convene, energize, facilitate, and sustain the process" (1995: 8). This new conception of the role of planners requires training which at present has not been practiced at Parks Canada. 156 7.4 CONSTRAINTS TO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION But is the nature of civilization "speed"? Or is it "consideration"? Any animal can rush around a corral four times a day. Only a human being can consciously oblige himself to go slowly in order to consider whether he is doing the right thing, doing it the right way, or ought in fact to be doing something else...Speed and efficiency are not in themselves signs of intelligence or capability or correctness. (Saul 1993:259) 7.4.1 Time • Time required to select the members of the Consultation Committee. • Time required to develop an internal (Parks Canada) understanding of the project. • Time required for Parks Canada to get to know the public and identify their issues. • Time and energy required to organize meetings, etc. • Time needed for the public to understand the organizational culture, the process, the mandate of Parks Canada. • Time required to be accessible, answer questions, include people on an honest and open basis. Time was the most commonly identified constraint to public participation. It was observed in the SSLMP establishment that time constraints stemming from either internal priorities or the political agreement limited the capacity to involve the public more actively in the establishment process. The internal time frame was also identified as a limitation to the consideration of local communities time frame in the scheduling of some public consultation events. While one planner said that Parks Canada had become more patient in new park establishment through the recognition of the importance of consulting with local communities, time remained for many planners a significant constraint. Time has been commonly identified as a constraint to public participation in the literature and the counteracting argument has consistently been that time invested at the onset of planning can save lots of time in later phases of a project (Thomas 1995; Creighton 1990; Hough 1988). Finally, it was my observation that time was also identified as a constraint partially because of some planner's uneasiness with interacting with the public. 7.4.2 Money • Cost of an extensive public consultation process. • Cost is a constraint to developing guidelines of public participation. • Cost of involving the public in Self-design. Money was the second common constraint to public involvement. More particularly, one planner defined the problem as the availability of money within Parks Canada at any one period of time. The challenge therefore is not the money itself but the number of establishment initiatives that can be financially supported in parallel. Similarly as with the time constraint, money constraints could be addressed by various creative means if active public participation in the establishment was considered an investment. Thomas (1995) defends that by taking a contingent perspective in the development of a public participation strategy, the actual cost of participation may not in fact be so substantial and could 157 even reduce the overall cost of a project. Parks Canada is also presently undergoing some major internal transformations with the creation of the Parks Canada Agency which promises to free moneys for new park establishment (Parks Canada 1998a). 7.4.3 The Public • Public participation overdose. • The lack of objectivity of the public agenda. • Dealing with differences of opinions. • The attitude of the public in a specific establishment context can be a constraint to Parks Canada trusting the public. • People are busy and they do not have much time and energy to commit. The lack of objectivity of the public agenda was identified as a constraint in the SSLMP establishment because of a particular group's strong resistance to the establishment of the park for self-interest reasons. Such groups seem to be a staple in any public participation processes. Is this reality really a constraint to public participation? The broader democratic justification for public participation as well as the other advantages (such as an informed decision, the shared-learning process, the appropriation of the project by the community, the building of cooperative relationships, etc.) are good reasons to see the challenges posed by self-interested groups as an opportunity to strengthen the value of the involvement of those willing to contribute and learn. As mentioned earlier, dealing with groups with different opinions caused some planners to see involvement at the outset as a constraint to public participation. Such a fear of dealing with conflict can be overcome through training in public participation and skills development. It is indeed reasonable to assume that conflict will arise in most public participation processes and that good facilitation skills can harness such conflicts to bring about more creative decisions. With regards to public participation overdose or the limited time commitment of the public, the careful planning of a public participation process plan with key stakeholders or community representatives can go a long way in evaluating the public's interest and time availability to commit to a public participation process. Because such considerations as time availability and commitment level are important to assess from the outset, the help of a facilitator/public participation expert could provide the necessary guidance in early stages of interaction with the public in order to develop a realistic public participation plan. 7.4.4 Dealing with the Province • Negotiating the formal agreement for the creation of the park (land transfer or modalities of shared jurisdiction). • Getting the approval of the province for various initiatives in the establishment process. • The power of the province to decide the public participation approach 158 The necessity to deal with the province to initiate the feasibility study and to negotiate a federal/provincial agreement were identified as major constraints to Parks Canada's influence on the public participation process. One planner more particularly mentioned that Parks Canada did not control the process since municipalities were creatures of the province. Considering that the establishment process is a federal government initiative financed by Parks Canada, the extent to which the province does in fact control the process rather than contribute to it more or less actively depending on each context is questionable. Nevertheless, political negotiations with the province have been identified throughout the history of national parks as a difficult step in the establishment process. 7.4.5 Dealing with Politics • The deci