Site Use Policy – Reinvesting for the Benefit of Citizens

Site Use Policy – Reinvesting for the Benefit of Citizens

PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release

Site Use Policy – Reinvesting for the benefit of citizens

Quebec, May 22, 2012 – Regarding its Site Use Policy, the National Battlefields Commission is making adjustments that will come into force on January 1, 2013, mainly to ensure more fairness in making the site available to the population according to the various uses of the Plains of Abraham. The Commission with ask organizers of fee-charging activities to pay royalties on the admission fees and on the days of occupancy of the site. These sums will be directly reinvested into Battlefields Park for facilities and equipment for the benefit of citizens.

As manager of this invaluable public park, the Commission is eager to maintain a balance between the holding of events and the preservation of the peaceful and historic character of the site. Well aware of the social and economic role played by Quebec City’s rallying site par excellence and of its importance to the city, the Commission last year handled 202 applications for use of the site, in some cases for major events.

The Commission constantly strives to improve its Site Use Policy so that it may clearly and adequately reflect the needs of the park and of its users, as always out of consideration for its mandate for the preservation and development of the site. The major change of the current review involves fee-charging activities, namely those limiting the general population’s access to the park and for which an admission fee is required.

For an event to be authorized it will have to meet a set of criteria, namely: consideration for the Commission’s priorities, the park’s mission, the characteristics of the activity, the accommodation capacity of the site and the environment. In the case of a major or important fee-charging event, it must be shown, among other things, that significant regional economic repercussions will be generated and that the Commission will receive royalties to be reinvested in the park.

As for the administration of fees, the Commission differentiates between two categories of event organizers, the profit-oriented organizations (POO) and the non-profit organizations (NPO). The Commission will also take into account the public’s accessibility to the site for the requested activity at all times. When a section of the park is closed to the public, the fees will apply; a contrario, when there is no restriction, the organizer will have free access and only a minimum charge for use of the site will apply. However, the Commission will still require that all applicants repay the costs incurred as a result of holding an event, such as electricity, supervision, sewage, as well as the restoration of the grounds.

Profit-oriented organizations will pay 100% of the established basic fee, whereas non-profit organizations will benefit from a reduced fee for occupancy of the site only. In their case, no admission fee will be charged. The sums collected will be reinvested in the park for facilities and equipment to be used by the public for the benefit of citizens.

The Site Use Policy currently under review will continue to impose on event organizers the guidelines they need to follow. Its aim is to define, with the help of specific criteria, the type of activity or event liable to be received favourably. It will help better plan the presentation of major, important and minor events by taking into account the characteristics of the site, the preservation of its environment and its intended uses by the National Battlefields Commission. The reviewed Site Use Policy will be completed and circulated shortly, and the changes will come into force on January 1, 2013; however, certain transitional measures will apply before then.

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