Government of Canada’s statement in response to Auditor General of Canada report on conserving federal heritage properties
November 20, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario Government of Canada
Following the tabling of the Auditor General of Canada’s report on the conservation of federal heritage properties, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan, issued the following statement:
“Our Government takes its role in protecting Canada’s cultural heritage, and sharing it with Canadians, very seriously.
We welcome the Auditor General’s report on the conservation of federal heritage properties as part of our ongoing commitment to protect Canada’s heritage places. Action is already underway to respond to the recommendations. Our Government shares the Auditor General’s concerns on the need to better protect federal heritage properties. Following the release of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s December 2017 report on the preservation and protection of Canada’s historic places, our Government has been reviewing recommended legislative measures, financial tools, and best practices to strengthen heritage conservation and protection across Canada.
The Department of National Defence, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have reviewed and are reviewing their national asset management databases, and will continue to do so regularly, to ensure that they contain complete and accurate information on the condition of their respective heritage properties. In the spirit of openness and transparency, Parks Canada will also work to further improve public access to this information.
We are making substantial investments to protect and preserve our treasured places, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector. Parks Canada is currently investing over $3.5 billion in infrastructure work for heritage, visitor, waterway, and highway assets across Canada. Over one-third of this funding is being invested in preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring heritage assets. The Department of National Defence has invested $452 million in infrastructure upgrades, including work on its heritage properties. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, for its part, is developing a strategy to facilitate the conservation of its nationally significant lighthouses across Canada.
Parks Canada will continue to work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Department of National Defence, and other custodian departments to review the approach for designating federal heritage buildings and establish a consistent standard of heritage conservation across the federal government.
These efforts are important steps for securing the future of Canada’s heritage places, now and for future generations.”
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Parks Canada Agency
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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