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Heritage Canada Foundation Responds to Federal Budget

Ottawa, ON March 5, 2010 –The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) expressed disappointment that the federal Budget tabled yesterday by the Minister of Finance did not include more substantial recognition of the role heritage buildings can play in creating green jobs and regenerating local economies.

“The Minister missed an opportunity to build on heritage-friendly stimulus measures introduced in last year’s Economic Action Plan,” said Natalie Bull, HCF Executive Director. “Municipalities across the country are calling for a more substantial and permanent tax incentive to attract private investment to existing buildings.”

Renewal of Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-Sharing Program in Budget 2009 was a good start, with $20 million allocated over 2 years. These funds are now successfully creating jobs and achieving lasting benefits at sites such as the Church of the Holy Cross at Skatin, BC, and the Dominion Exhibition Building in Brandon, MB – both of which were included on HCF’s Top Ten Endangered Places List.

Ironically, other stimulus measures included in Budget 2009 and continued this year may have a negative impact on historic resources – such as the City of Brantford’s proposal to demolish 41 heritage buildings in its downtown using federal stimulus funds.

In contrast, Norway, France and Australia have devoted significant portions of their economic stimulus spending to heritage programs.

Heritage rehabilitation tax incentives are proven measures that create skilled local jobs and yield cultural and environmental benefits. The United States has a longstanding federal tax credit for rehabilitation that has leveraged over $36 billion in private investment and generated an average of 45 new jobs per project.

The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based, non-governmental organization created in 1973 as Canada’s National Trust.

For further information Carolyn Quinn, Director, Communications, Telephone: (613) 237-1066 ext. 4; Cell: (613) 797-7206