The National Trust for Canada welcomes Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement of $5.8 billion in additional spending on historic sites, museums, research centres, parks and other federally-owned infrastructure across Canada. Many of these places, says the Trust, “are touchstones with the historic events and people who shaped our nation.”
The announcement includes:
- $2.8 billion to support infrastructure improvements to heritage, tourism, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada;
- Approximately $400 million to maintain, upgrade and construct federally-owned buildings and other assets across Canada; and
- $191 million to undertake renewal and repairs of heritage and museum sites
This announcement, said the Trust in a release, indicates recognition on the part of the Federal Government that investment in heritage assets is an essential part of an overall economic plan, fundamental to creating jobs and strengthening the economy. “Canada’s towns and cities are full of examples where investment in heritage infrastructure has successfully generated economic vibrancy, as well as cultural and social benefits—all part of the recipe for resilient communities,” said Natalie Bull, the National Trust’s executive director.
The National Trust sees Canada’s Sesquicentennial in 2017 as an ideal opportunity to celebrate our history through heritage infrastructure projects big and small that enhances quality of life and local identity, contribute to healthy, viable economies, and reflect the diversity of Canada. “Historic places are an excellent springboard for 2017 celebrations,” said Bull. “Funding and incentives for heritage infrastructure could be a powerful lever to save Canada’s history, keep tons of building material out of landfill, create employment, and revitalize communities.”