Historic Places of Canada Act

An Act respecting places, persons and events of national historic significance or national interest, archaeological resources and cultural and natural heritage

Sponsor

Status

Second reading (House), as of June 7, 2022

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-23.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

June 9th, 2022 / 7 p.m.
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Vice-President, Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Parks Canada Agency

Christine Loth-Bown

I can.

There were three components to call to action 79. Section (i) was the legislative changes that are proposed in Bill C-23.

The second component was around working with first nations to tell stories at our sites and places and to ensure that our cultural heritage is reflective of the heritage of all indigenous history, including difficult histories. We have been working closely, since 2018, with budget resources to be able to support over 30 projects across the country to have indigenous voices and perspectives at our sites and places.

The third component is to update our cultural resource management policy, which guides how we maintain our cultural resource assets to ensure that indigenous perspectives are brought throughout that. We are working through that policy framework. We have also established an indigenous cultural heritage advisory committee that works closely with Parks Canada on that.

As part of that cultural policy review and the legislation, we held engagement sessions across the country to get the perspectives of first nations communities on cultural resource management.

June 9th, 2022 / 7 p.m.
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NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Thank you.

You mentioned that Bill C-23 would address the piece around representatives for first nations, Inuit and Métis on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. The committee report actually recommended a number of pieces to put the government in line with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action 79.

Can you or anyone else give an update on the progress towards achieving the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action 79?

June 9th, 2022 / 7 p.m.
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Vice-President, Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Parks Canada Agency

Christine Loth-Bown

Specifically, Bill C-23 responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action 79(i), adding three distinctions-based indigenous members to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board—one Inuit, one Métis and one first nation. It would prescribe in legislation that when looking at nationally designated historic people, places or events, all indigenous perspectives are brought to bear and indigenous knowledge is brought into consideration with these historic designations.

In addition to that, Parks Canada continues to have cultural practices whereby we look at opportunities to work with first nations communities. For example, recently Parks Canada worked with the Poundmaker family and the Poundmaker first nation to repatriate Poundmaker's staff back to the family.

June 9th, 2022 / 7 p.m.
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NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

The departmental results report shows that Parks Canada's target for the number of natural and cultural places managed co-operatively with indigenous peoples hasn't been met.

If Bill C-23 is passed, how would it impact how the agency works with indigenous peoples to co-operatively manage culturally or historically significant places?

June 9th, 2022 / 7 p.m.
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Christine Loth-Bown Vice-President, Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Parks Canada Agency

With respect to funding for our heritage assets, as part of the broader funding allocated to the organization for asset maintenance and rehabilitation, we focus on our heritage assets. The legislation that you noted will further seek to protect and conserve. It puts in place the legal requirement for all federally owned assets to follow the standards and guidelines.

The bill that the minister tabled earlier this week—Bill C-23, the historic places act—will apply to federal historic places. It will also make changes to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board and add three additional members.

June 9th, 2022 / 6:55 p.m.
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NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair. I want to say thank you to the witnesses, both for being here at our committee today but also for all the work you do with Parks Canada. I really appreciated the questions and comments from my colleagues, especially from Madame Pauzé. When talking about infrastructure, I think we need to think about our forests as green infrastructure and protect them for the long term.

This week the government introduced Bill C-23, the historic places in Canada act, to replace the Historic Sites and Monuments Act. In 2017 the environment committee did a study on protecting Canada's heritage. That included a number of recommendations, some of which are addressed in the new bill. However, some other recommendations, notably ones addressing the need for adequate funding to protect Canada's historic places, were not addressed. The report found that many places of historic significance no longer exist or are in danger of disappearing, often because they have been neglected, and that there is an urgent need to take action to protect and preserve Canada's heritage sites and buildings.

The question is, generally, does Parks Canada currently have adequate funding to ensure the preservation of Canada's existing heritage places?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

June 7th, 2022 / 3:10 p.m.
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Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Cloverdale—Langley City for the important work he did on advancing this very important issue.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plays a central role in our country's official historic designations. Ensuring representation for indigenous peoples on the board is an important step in responding to call to action 79.

Today, I introduced Bill C-23. The strong legislative framework, the first of its kind in Canada, would help ensure that Canada's treasured historic places are protected. The proposed legislation not only strengthens indigenous voices at the table, but also provides flexibility to adapt and reuse historic places as sustainable ways of addressing the climate change crisis.

Historic Places of Canada ActRoutine Proceedings

June 7th, 2022 / 10:05 a.m.
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Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change