Heritage Ottawa recently participated in Parks Canada's online Ministerial Round Table (MRT) on Cultural Heritage via Zoom.
All Canadians are invited to tell the MRT how and why the enjoyment, appreciation and protection of historic places is important to you and your communities: LetsTalkParks, Canada!
In our submission, Heritage Ottawa strongly advocates for federal heritage legislation to protect federal heritage buildings and places. Canada is the only G7 country without legislation and effective regulatory protection for its nationally-significant sites. Astonishingly, national historic sites like Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, the Central Experimental Farm, and Rideau Canal World Heritage Site have no meaningful protection. A National Historic Site designation has become purely symbolic, without real meaning.
The Parks Canada Agency Act charges the Minister of Environment and Climate Change with responsibility for Canada's national historic sites, historic canals, heritage railway stations, heritage lighthouses, federal heritage buildings, archeology and historic places. The Agency Act stipulates that protecting these special places is in the national interest "in view of their special role in the lives of Canadians and the fabric of the nation."
The federal government has created tools to support heritage designated places in the form of the Cost-Share Program, the Heritage Register, and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, but they have been underfunded, neglected, and unenforced.
Heritage designation alone is only the first step. It has no real significance if it is not followed by real protection and conservation.
For Heritage Ottawa's full recommendations as submitted to Parks Canada, CLICK HERE.
Submit your views on the importance of protecting our cultural heritage places to Let'sTalkParks, Canada!
Don't delay. The opportunity to comment ends October 30, 2020.