Heritage Canada Foundation disappointed by Federal Budget

    OTTAWA, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) sees
little of substance for historic places in the federal Budget tabled this
afternoon by the Minister of Finance.
    Commenting from HCF headquarters in Ottawa, executive director Natalie
Bull expressed regret that Budget 2007 again missed the opportunity to provide
incentives for private sector investment in historic places. "A rehabilitation
tax credit would have been a good fit with this budget's gesture toward the
environment," said Ms. Bull. "Federal financial incentives have revolutionized
the way US developers think about old buildings, and the now-defunct CHPIF
program had started to do the same in Canada." CHPIF kick-started private
sector re-use of historic places like Toronto's Distillery District and
CentreBeam Place in uptown Saint John before being terminated by the
government in September 2006. There is nothing comparable in the new budget.
    Ms. Bull noted with surprise the budget's inclusion of $5 million over
two years to create an entity called Canada's National Trust. "The National
Trust already exists: the Heritage Canada Foundation was created as the
National Trust by the Government of Canada in 1973," said Ms. Bull. Since
then, HCF has encouraged the preservation of Canada's historic places through
advocacy, education and demonstration projects, and works in collaboration
with provincial trusts and advocacy organizations. In the run up to the 2007
budget, HCF's "Landmarks, not Landfill" campaign brought national attention to
the need for incentives for rehabilitation. "HCF will work closely with its
provincial and territorial NGO partners to ensure that even this modest
investment yields tangible benefits for Canada's historic places," said Ms.
Bull. She went on to applaud the government's recent allocation of
$225 million to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a national trust for
biodiversity and natural treasures, while noting that puts the $5 million
figure for built heritage into sharp perspective.
    The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based,
non-government organization with a mandate to promote the preservation of
Canada's historic places and remove the systemic barriers that put historic
places at risk.

For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Quinn, Director, Communications,
cquinn@heritagecanada.org, (613) 237-1066; Cell: (613) 797-7206;
www.heritagecanada.org; Heather Hunter, Communications Officer,
hunterh@heritagecanada.org, (613) 237-1066; Cell: (613) 797-7205

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Heritage Canada Foundation

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