Thank you for your question.
Obviously, this depends on the scope of the proposed legislation. First of all, we might think of legislation that would preserve national historic sites protected by and belonging to the federal government. As Mr. Alway said, the property rights make it impossible to legislate beyond that.
For sites under federal jurisdiction, we might imagine that these sites would have to undergo a series of assessments of possible interventions. For example, if the Department of National Defence owned a site, an assessment of the potential impacts would be required before making any changes to the use of the premises or buildings. After that, advice should be sought on how to make the necessary restorations.
Possible challenges are obviously the costs associated with maintaining historic sites in a state that meets the standards and guidelines we would like to see implemented. Clearly, if it were in the act, it would still have to be determined whether federal departments have the resources to meet the requirements of the act.
Right now we have to go through a policy and give advice of that nature. Subsequently, departments may choose to follow the guidelines or not, as this has not been included in the legislation. If you were to include these standards and practices in legislation, then it would be necessary to follow the standard. So that's the issue with historical sites.
With respect to all buildings that could be designated or classified by the federal government as having heritage value, there are a very large number of buildings that are owned by the federal government. If the legislation were to affect all heritage places and historic buildings, the same thing would be true, but at an even higher level. In theory, the question is how to meet the requirements of the bill that are related to conservation.
If departments were to dispose of a building or a site protected by legislation, the requirements would be very high. This is a rare occurrence, but if that were to happen, we would require that the building be considered for other uses, so that it would not be disposed of. If this were done, the new owner would have to meet the conservation standards. It could really create a more rigid framework, but that would obviously help to maintain the heritage value of those places.