There is a focus for the federal role here. It's obviously in the national historic sites it owns. That's the easiest part of the puzzle. The legislation can apply there quite directly, and it's quite easy to do that.
You have FHBRO now, which is an office that executes the provisions of that policy, but there's not a lot of teeth to it. That's what I was saying earlier. There is a body now. It operates within Parks Canada. What you're talking about to some degree already exists using the tool that's there, which I would claim isn't sufficient.
With respect to national historic sites owned by other bodies and by private individuals, I think it's much more difficult to do the same type of thing. You can say that no federal action should harm a national historic site owned by another body or by an individual. That can happen. I don't know how often it has happened, but certainly there are examples where that has happened. In several reports over the years this is always mentioned as something that should be done when this area is looked at.
The other thing of course is, with those other sites, how can you support, not provincial governments particularly, but private individuals who may own those sites? The thing the finance department traditionally prefers is a grants program, because it's predictable. They know exactly how much foregone revenue there will be from their point of view. That's very important as they try to predict things and do budgets, etc. They're much more leery, and you have to do a lot more fast talking, to get them to agree to do things with the tax system. I suspect even more so today, given the current situation.
There is more to be done here, and I think the cost-sharing is an easy way to start. I think to be complete you do need the tax incentive part looked at, but cost-sharing is....
Let me give you a very dramatic example. The federal program, when it existed just a few years ago, was $1 million for all classifications of structures right across the country. Just a few years ago the Quebec government itself had a program of $32 million for one classification of building, ecclesiastical structures. At one point I thought $1 million is so derisory as a program, all it's doing is raising expectations across the country and then they get dashed because the money won't be there. I came to realize that at least as a program it was a placeholder. It's much easier, if circumstances allow, to expand a program that already exists than it is to get a new program in place. I think the structure is there and it simply needs to be extended. They're doing it at $10 million a year now, hardly a huge amount of money, given what's involved.
Huge leverage is involved with this program. In other words you give out the money and you say for every dollar we give out, you have to raise two, or you have to show...there are all sorts of conditions put on it. There are the statistics to show that it works. Not only does it work, but then there is also the spinoff activity so it has all the economic and employment benefits, and so on.