Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag at the Connaught Car launch, put on by the Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society last September. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Cloverdale-Langley City MP backs petition for heritage funding

John Aldag hopes the petition will bring more support to heritage initiatives in Canada

Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag is heading up a new petition with the hope that it could help increase federal support for heritage initiatives.

“I think there’s both monetary and non-monetary things that the federal government can do related to heritage conservation,” Aldag said. “I think that we have not really met those expectations.

“There’s an opportunity there and that’s what I’m trying to advance … through this petition.”

Earlier this year, Aldag was asked to sponsor the petition by the National Trust for Canada, a national non-profit that advocates for heritage across the country. Accepting was hardly a question.

“I’m a strong supporter of the preservation of our built heritage,” Aldag said. “It helps us understand where we’ve come from as a country and as Canadians.

“I see that in many places we’re losing that heritage,” he continued. “I think that’s a tragedy.”

The petition, which went live on July 11, calls on the federal government to create a multi-million dollar heritage fund in the 2019 budget, as well as to provide federal leadership for historic places.

The petition doesn’t call for the fund to be distributed to particular places, so long as the money goes to support Indigenous and charitable ventures to save and renew historic places, or encourage private investment and philanthropy in heritage sites.

There are some funds that would be ready to receive this kind of money if it was part of the 2019 budget, including Parks Canada’s cost-sharing program. This fund often has more applications than it can fund; for the first two years that the Liberal government was in power, the budget was increased to $10 million each year. It has now gone back down to $1 million, the same amount the fund had before the Liberal election.

“It’s better than nothing, but frankly, from my perspective, it’s unacceptable for the federal government to be giving that low of level of investment,” Aldag said. “That’s why I’m very supportive of the National Trust trying to get additional funds for heritage.”

The petition’s proposed fund could also go to support as-yet un-created programs to promote reconciliation initiatives around residential schools or private sector investment in urban heritage buildings.

As of Aug. 9, the petition has more than 1,100 signatures, which Aldag believes is above the threshold needed to get a tabled response in the House of Commons (which means the government will respond to the request in the petition) this fall.

“Hopefully that will trigger investment in the 2019 budget, and perhaps inform my party’s platform going into the next election, as well as perhaps other parties,” he said.

The petition is available online at petitions.ourcommons.ca under Petition E-1778 (National Historic Sites). The petition will remain available for signing until Nov. 8 at 9:31 a.m.



grace.kennedy@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Celebrating success at LCMS

As music school approaches its 50th anniversary, retiring principal Susan Magnusson looks back

Giants fall in overtime to the Winterhawks

Langley-based G-Men earned a single-point in a 2-1 OT loss Saturday to Portland

Spartans clinch first place in Pacific Division with win over UBC

It was ‘a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry’ coach says

Volunteers keep BC Farm Museum running like a well-oiled machine

Collection, started in 1953, continues to expand beyond museum’s capacity to contain it

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. VIEWS: Businesses, residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

Most Read