moved for leave to introduce Bill C-588, an act to amend the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (Sambro Island Lighthouse).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to introduce my bill for the protection of Sambro Island lighthouse.
Sambro Island lighthouse is found off the coast of Nova Scotia at the mouth of the Halifax Harbour, just off the small, proud fishing community of Sambro. It was the earliest lighthouse built in North America, and it is the oldest continuously working lighthouse in the western hemisphere.
In 2010, the government declared almost 1,000 lighthouses surplus to its needs, meaning that Fisheries and Oceans would no longer have the responsibility to care for any of these lighthouses.
The community wants to protect the Sambro Island lighthouse. It is a piece of our history, our story, and it is an iconic structure for the area.
However, it is not realistic to assume that the community can take on the responsibility of this lighthouse, a lighthouse that is located on an island, in the Atlantic Ocean, a lighthouse that quickly becomes inaccessible due to weather or swells.
My bill would designate the Sambro Island lighthouse as a heritage lighthouse under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, and put the responsibility for this iconic structure where it belongs, with Parks Canada.
I would like to thank the community members of Sambro and Ketch Harbour and area, and the Sambro Island Lighthouse Heritage Society, who have worked so hard to draw attention to the fate of the Sambro Island lighthouse and tried to develop a community solution.
I would also like to recognize the work of Barry MacDonald, who has worked tirelessly to protect our lighthouses across the country and who continues to offer his expertise to our cause.
I hope that all members can recognize the importance of the Sambro Island lighthouse to Canada, to our country, and that they will support the bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)