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June 11, 2010
Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, issued the following statement today:
“As Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, I very much support the purposes of the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act. As the title rightly indicates, the Act will help protect our iconic lighthouses. Its other central purpose is ensuring that communities have a say.
“That's why the Act now requires the Canadian Coast Guard to identify lighthouses that may be eligible for heritage designation. Publishing this list of surplus lighthouses is a crucial first step in identifying and protecting our iconic lighthouses and involving the people and communities who love them, in the process.
“We will work to ensure that heritage lighthouses are protected. Together with the provinces and interested community groups iconic symbols of Canadian maritime heritage will, under this Act, be eligible for not only heritage designation but statutory protection. Further, a number of these lighthouses may represent important and attractive economic opportunities for the communities in which they are located, and this process provides any interested party the chance to take advantage of this potential.
“For example, some lighthouses are already leased to community groups that have established popular tourism-based ventures on site. A shining example is West Point lighthouse in my own province. And discussions with the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage have been underway to develop suitable terms for the transfer of the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse to the province. We hope that many organizations who are actively involved in using or promoting the heritage character of their community structures will be part of the petitioning group requesting heritage designation.
“The Act recognizes that the public has an important role to play in the conservation and protection of heritage lighthouses. My department has prepared a detailed guide to developing a business plan, in order to support anyone wishing to acquire a lighthouse.
Canada is a maritime nation and working together we can preserve many of these historic and symbolic structures for future generations.”
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For more information:
Fisheries and Oceans
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada