|Steve with friend Lynne DiStefano, St. Marys, 1995|
Mr. Van Loan, the Conservative Critic for Canadian Heritage and National Historic Sites, launched the bill in December 2016. Having survived a Second Reading vote last March, it got taken up by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development (ENVI) in the fall. But it died when the committee decided at the end of November not to proceed with it.
Bill C-323 would have amended the Income Tax Act to create a 20% tax credit for the costs of rehabilitation of recognized historic places. It would also have provided an accelerated capital cost allowance for capital expenditures incurred in rehabilitation projects.
As the National Trust for Canada noted, passage of the bill would have been a real game-changer for built heritage in this country. But, while that was not to be, the bill still had quite an impact.
Coming seemingly out of nowhere, the bill prompted much discussion and debate — inside and outside the House — on Canada’s cultural heritage, the federal government’s part in its conservation and the efficacy of heritage tax measures in particular. Generating widespread support from heritage advocates nation-wide, the bill was a major catalyst for a study on all of the above by the ENVI committee, which resulted in its landmark report Preserving Canada’s Heritage: The Foundation For Tomorrow, released in early December. A report which ironically includes a strong recommendation for tax incentives.
Hats off to Peter Van Loan for this important and valiant effort.
The Gore Park miracle
|The four Gore Park buildings with 24 and 28 King St. W. on left|
|24 - 28 would have been replaced by this|
Assuming follow-through, we have a happy ending to one of the province’s highest-profile and highest-stakes heritage controversies, a five-year saga going back to 2012.
|Friends of the Gore Carol Priamo (left) and Diane Dent (right) receiving an|
advocacy award from Cathy Nasmith at the October 2017 ACO awards dinner
Photo: Stephanie Mah