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Claudette Tardif

The Hon. Claudette  Tardif, B.Ed., M.Ed., Ph.D. Senator Tardif has been a member of the Senate of Canada since March 24, 2005. She was appointed Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition in the Senate in January 2007.

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Canada’s Lighthouses Need to be Preserved for Future Generations Says Report by Senate Committee

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Posted on 24 March 2011

OTTAWA (March 24, 2011) – As Canadian lighthouses provide economic, heritage, cultural and historical value, the Government of Canada should adopt as a general national policy goal the preservation of a reasonable proportion of Canada’s lighthouses for future generations of Canadians, says the latest report of the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

Report on the Implementation of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act calls for seed funding to help the Canadian Heritage Foundation, the federal organization established in 1973 as Canada’s “National Trust,” launch a comprehensive campaign dedicated to raising funds from corporate sponsors and private donations for the restoration and preservation of Canada’s remaining historic lighthouses.

“Although volunteers can do an enormous amount of work, we heard repeatedly throughout our hearings in Ottawa and fact-finding activities on both the East and West Coasts, that there is a great need to create a source of funding in support of their efforts“ says Senator Bill Rompkey, chair of the committee. “The Canadian Heritage Foundation appears to us as the ideal vehicle to spearhead a national fundraising campaign, as it is the only national organization working to protect Canada’s historic places.”

To assist community groups in taking responsibility for the preservation of their local structures, the committee recommends that all lighthouses passed on to community groups be maintained in a good state of repair and in a condition that will allow economical ongoing maintenance. All environmental issues should be addressed prior to the transfer of any such lighthouses. Additionally, the report recommends establishing an independent Lighthouse Advisory Panel comprising representatives of key lighthouse organizations, Parks Canada, and knowledgeable people from the provinces where there are lighthouses.

“An advisory panel would help identify a ‘heritage pool’ of lighthouses, among the federally owned lighthouses, which will most likely generate interest for restoration and preservation activities,” says Senator Dennis Patterson, deputy chair of the committee. “The panel would also prioritize and evaluate the heritage lighthouses and qualifying recipient groups who would receive funds from Canadian Heritage Foundation fundraising efforts.”

The committee’s report on the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act is the second of two reports to be issued by the committee as part of its wide-reaching study on Canadian lighthouses. In December 2010, the committee released a report on lighthouse staffing. Copies of both lighthouse reports and pictures of lighthouses visited by the committee can be found on the lighthouse study website: canadianlighthouses.ca.

To learn more about the committee’s work, visit the committee website:
http://senate-senat.ca/fopo-e.asp.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Ceri Au
Communications Officer
Tel. 613-944-9145
auc@sen.parl.gc.ca

Danielle Labonté
Committee Clerk
Tel. 613-949-4379            
labond@sen.parl.gc.ca


List of recommendations

  1. The Committee recommends that, given their economic, heritage, cultural and historical value, the Government of Canada adopt as a general national policy goal the preservation of a reasonable proportion of Canada’s lighthouses for future generations of Canadians.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that all lighthouses passed on to community groups be maintained in a good state of repair and in a condition that will allow economical ongoing maintenance. All environmental issues should be addressed prior to the transfer of any such lighthouses.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada provide the Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) with seed funding to help launch a comprehensive campaign dedicated to raising funds for the restoration and preservation of Canada’s remaining historic lighthouses.

 

  1. The Committee recommends the establishment of an independent Lighthouse Advisory Panel comprising representatives of key lighthouse organizations, Parks Canada, and knowledgeable people from the provinces where there are lighthouses:

 

a)      to identify, consistent with the objectives of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (HLPA), from among the federally owned lighthouses, a “heritage pool” of lights that will most likely generate interest for restoration and preservation; and

 

b)     to prioritize and evaluate the lighthouses in the heritage pool in order to determine, from among the qualified recipients, those groups who should receive funding from the monies generated by the HCF fundraising campaign.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that, for lighthouses for which no petitions have been submitted before the 29 May 2012 deadline, but which have been identified for the “heritage pool” and for which there is reasonable potential for interest from communities, groups, or other interested parties, DFO remove such lights from its surplus list.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that all surplus lightstations that leave the federal inventory, either through the HLPA process or through the process governing the disposal of surplus real property, be afforded protection by a heritage easement or covenant in the sale agreement.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that DFO carefully assess the security implications of transferring surplus lightstations. Any lightstation that fails to meet public safety concerns set out in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Guide to the Management of Real Property should be immediately removed from the Department’s list of surplus lighthouses.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that DFO and Parks Canada make available on their respective websites a list of all “non-surplus” lighthouses, including DFO’s 51 staffed lightstations, given that the public may petition such lights for  heritage designation under the HLPA.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that Parks Canada and DFO work together in the creation of a document that sets out and identifies for the public:

 

a)      innovative ideas regarding the re-use of lighthouses, including references to successful examples in Canada and elsewhere, and any information that already exists on the subject;

 

b)     financial support that may be available to community lighthouse groups at the federal and provincial level; and

 

c)      key contacts.

 

  1. The Committee recommends that Parks Canada and DFO work together in the creation of a guidebook on the care and maintenance of lighthouse buildings and equipment, and on archiving and the preservation of historical artifacts, to assist prospective new owners before they acquire a lighthouse.

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