OTTAWA, Dec. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Appearing yesterday before the House of
Commons Standing Committee on Finance during its pre-budget consultations at
the Westin Hotel Nova Scotian in Halifax, the Heritage Canada Foundation's
Heritage Policy and Government Relations Officer, Chris Wiebe, called for the
creation of meaningful, broad-based tax incentives and other measures to help
leverage private sector investment in the preservation of heritage properties.
The recommendations included the introduction of a Federal Rehabilitation
Tax Incentive for properties on the Canadian Register of Historic Places and
the provision of seed money for a national heritage conservation endowment
fund. The Foundation also urged that the Income Tax Act and GST be used to
better accommodate the rehabilitation of historic buildings.
Mr. Wiebe stressed that such measures would stem the tide of
demolition-already 20 percent of Canada's pre-1920 heritage buildings have
been demolished over the last 30 years; reduce landfill and greenhouse gas
emissions associated with new construction; act as a catalyst for urban
revitalization, leverage private sector investment; and stimulate employment.
He added that tax measures are already in place for ecologically sensitive
lands and cultural objects and that now is the time for the federal government
to create a comparable incentive program to encourage the protection and
adaptive reuse of Canada's built heritage.
Over the past two years provincial and territorial ministers responsible
for culture and heritage, along with seven major cities including Vancouver
and Toronto, have passed resolutions requesting the federal government
introduce financial incentives which would encourage private sector investment
in the rehabilitation of historic properties.
The Foundation's brief to the Standing Committee on Finance can be found
online at http://www.heritagecanada.org/pdf/Budget_Brief_2007.pdf
The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, non-governmental charitable
organization which promotes the rehabilitation and sustainable reuse of
historic buildings through advocacy and education.
For further information:
For further information: Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications,
Heritage Canada Foundation, (613) 237-1066, ext. 229, Cell: (613) 797-7206,