The conservation of Ottawa’s heritage resources contributes significantly to the unique character of our city’s streets and neighbourhoods. Investing in their maintenance and rehabilitation has proven to attract business, tourism and new creative enterprises, while enhancing sustainable development in our communities.
The municipal election on October 22 is our opportunity to raise the profile of the important role the conservation of heritage buildings plays in the health of our communities. It’s also a chance to ask incumbents some straightforward questions about where they stand on heritage issues.
HOW YOU CAN HELP – QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES
Heritage Ottawa offers the following questions that you can ask at all-candidates meetings or when a candidate comes to your door.
1. What are examples of your heritage engagement, and when elected, what are the heritage priorities you will address?
2. Please describe what you consider to be a successful heritage project in the community.
3. What role can political leadership play in the promotion and conservation of our city’s heritage, and how would you support educating residents about the importance of maintaining our city’s historic buildings?
4. Do you see a more substantive role for the City’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee, particularly when it comes to preventing the demolition by neglect of heritage buildings?
5. Currently, the Heritage Grant Program for Building Restoration, administered by the City, provides funding for just 1% of Ottawa’s eligible heritage properties to a maximum of $5,000 per property, an amount that has not changed in over 15 years. Would you support raising this allocation to better support owners of designated heritage properties?
6. Since 2001, the Ontario Municipal Act has allowed the implementation of a heritage property tax relief program to encourage the rehabilitation of Ontario’s heritage resources, which has been used successfully by many municipalities in the province. Would you support implementing such a program in Ottawa that would provide important tax incentives for owners to invest in the repair/rehabilitation of their heritage properties?
7. In your view, what other opportunities exist to better support heritage in the community?
How the candidates respond may provide useful information on which to base your vote on October 22.