OTTAWA, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced the designation of War of 1812 Shipwrecks as a National Historic Site of Canada. The War of 1812-1814 between Great Britain and the United States of America led to a much-needed expansion of the "Provincial Marine" naval base, established in Kingston, Ontario, in 1789, continuing to make this area a crucial location in all wartime tactics and strategy.
In the years following the war, many ships eventually became unusable and a decision was made to close the shipyard in 1834. The navy needed to dispose of the vessels and while some were auctioned and sold for scrap, others were deliberately sunk in Deadman Bay, clear of the shipping channel. The wrecks of HMS Prince Regent, HMS Princess Charlotte and HMS St. Lawrence and the collection of objects from them attest to the presence and importance of the British fleet based in Kingston and Royal Navy's shipbuilding program during the War of 1812.
As our country nears its 150th birthday in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to learn more about the major events that have shaped their country's history. Canada's national historic designations enable us to experience our rich history and heritage in a special way and play a big part in the celebration of Canada 150.
- Between 1813 and 1817, at least ten ships were built at the British Royal Navy's base at Kingston, Ontario, including HMS Prince Regent, HMS Princess Charlotte and HMS St. Lawrence, launched in 1814.
- The HMS Prince Regent, HMS Princess Charlotte and HMS St. Lawrence represent the most powerful British warships built in Canada during the War of 1812.
- The HMS St. Lawrence was the largest and most heavily-armed warship ever to sail operationally on fresh water.
- Parks Canada manages a nationwide network of 168 national historic sites, 45 national parks and four national marine conservation areas that make up the rich tapestry of Canada's cultural and natural heritage.
"Our Government shares the honour of this historic recognition with the Kingston naval base workers who, at one time, built the best armed warships of the continent. Their contribution is an important part of our history. The memory of HMS Prince Regent, HMS Princess Charlotte and HMS St. Lawrence honours people and events that have shaped Canada into the strong, proud and free country that it is today."
Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville
SOURCE Parks Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Parks Canada, 855-862-1812, www.twitter.com/parkscanada