ENVI Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Comité permanent de l'environnement et du développement durable
For immediate release
The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development calls on the federal government to enhance the protection of Canada’s historic places
Ottawa, December 04, 2017 -
The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, today tabled a report on the preservation and protection of Canada’s historic places.
The report, entitled Preserving Canada’s Heritage: the Foundation for Tomorrow , contains 17 recommendations to ensure better protection of these places. The Committee’s study was conducted over the course of seven meetings, during which it heard from 27 witnesses.
Stakeholders from Canada’s heritage sector, experts and government representatives appeared before the Committee to convey their thoughts on the steps to be taken to better protect Canada's historic places.
“Historic places connect us to our past. We must preserve and protect this legacy for future generations,” said Schulte. “Unfortunately, the current protection regime is not adequate; as a result, the Committee has proposed various measures to remedy the situation.”
The federal government must set an example by adopting legislation to provide better statutory protection for federal heritage buildings and national historic sites under its stewardship. The Committee believes that Crown corporations should be subject to the same building conservation requirements as federal departments. Moreover, archaeological resources on federal lands and in federal waters should be better protected.
The Committee also expects greater leadership from the federal government. It could improve the funding available to Canadians who own heritage buildings. For example, the Committee has recommended that annual funding for the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places be a minimum of $10 million per year. The establishment of a tax credit for the restoration and preservation of buildings is another option to be considered.
The Committee's study was an opportunity to learn more about the unique relationship that Indigenous peoples have with their tangible and intangible heritage. The Committee endorses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action 72 to 75, 79 and 81.
The Committee acknowledges that a dissenting opinion has been appended.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for this study consists of 11 MPs. It is chaired by Deborah Schulte (King — Vaughan). The vice chair is the Honourable Ed Fast (Abbotsford). The other members are John Aldag (Cloverdale — Langley City), William Amos (Pontiac), Mike Bossio (Hastings — Lennox and Addington), Darren Fisher (Dartmouth — Cole Harbour), Mark Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands), Joël Godin (Portneuf — Jacques-Cartier), Robert Sopuck (Dauphin — Swan River — Neepawa), Wayne Stetski (Kootenay – Columbia), and Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver).
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