The National Trust for Canada has just released a report that over the last 30 years Canada has “shockingly” lost over 20% of its historical buildings. (At almost 100%, Comox definitely exceeds national standards.)
Shakesides and Baybrook are victims of the same national ignorance that undermines Canadian identity and the legacy of our national and provincial history. The issue of heritage preservation is non-partisan, as every new Canadian citizen is told, “the preservation and protection of Canadian heritage is a Canadian citizenship obligation.”
Thanks to the efforts of the Conservative MP for York-Simcoe, Peter Van Loan, a progressive bill to provide tax credits for heritage is now before parliament. The National Trust for Canada urges all Canadians to tell elected officials to support heritage:
“Bill C-323 – An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Rehabilitation of Historic Property) – proposes to create tax credits for historic places. This Bill presents an historic opportunity to tell elected officials from every political party that Canada’s historic places matter.” This would remove costs from the operation of a museum at Shakesides – as per Mack Laing’s explicit will.
For Canada’s 150th anniversaryeven Premier Christy Clark is now also generously making potential funds available for the restoration of Shakesides:
“Canada 150: Celebrating B.C. Communities and their Contributions to Canada”, Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said, “Arts, culture and heritage are at the core of British Columbia’s cultural identity. We have a wealth of stories to contribute to Canada 150 and an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our province. Investing in long-term cultural legacies will support our communities in sharing B.C.’s stories for generations to come.”
There is obviously no end of federal and provincial funding available to restore Shakesides, and comply with the terms of the Mack Laing Trust. So, could somebody please explain to the public why Mayor Paul Ives and Comox Council are so hell bent on destroying national heritage a Shakesides in the very year when Canada is supposed to celebrate 150 years by protecting and restoring national heritage?
Who are these people, these Canadians who destroy our heritage? And why the complicit silence of our would-be MLAs: Ronna Rae Leonard, Jim Beninger and Ernie Selletin? Silence is approbation, of national heritage vandalism.
“Tell elected officials”: “Save national heritage at Shakesides.”
(HeritageBC Award 2016)