Gord Brown introduces Bill to aid federal National Historic Sites
Ottawa - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes today introduced a Private Member’s Bill that will permit National Historic Sites operated by the federal government to establish special accounts and issue charitable receipts for donations intended to be used for reconstruction of the sites.
The Bill, - Conservation of National Historic Sites Account - will allow individuals and corporations to donate to a special reconstruction account and receive a tax receipt. Like a legacy fund, that account will build interest that can be used for restoration work on a National Historic Site.
“This Bill is a re-working of a Bill that I introduced in 2013,” explains Brown. “It stems from an idea floated on the Rideau waterway during discussions leading up to the 150th anniversary of the canal back in the 1980’s,” he notes. “It was mentioned again in the consultations I had along the Rideau in 2012-2013.”
He notes that currently, donations of land can be made for conservation purposes and tax receipts issued.
“Meanwhile, our federally-operated National Historic Sites need help and I believe many will donate to a fund that will be used for preservation of the site.”
The Bill is not a short-term solution, he explains. Donated money will be placed in a fund and interest can be used for conservation work.
“It will take some time to build up a fund large enough to deliver significant interest but imagine if this had happened years ago.”
He also explains that sites do not have to participate. The program will allow them to establish a long-term plan for reconstruction activities, separate from regular maintenance and programming.
It may also encourage more people and businesses to contribute to a long-term arrangement.
He notes that while the idea for the Bill originated on the Rideau in an effort to help the waterway, he realized it should be applied to all National Historic Sites.
“In my own riding there several examples of sites that will benefit from this Bill such as the Rideau and Fort Wellington and just down the road, Fort Henry and Bellevue House can also participate.”