Local MP John Aldag hopes new legislation will protect Canada’s heritage sites.
Aldag worked for Parks Canada for more than three decades before entering politics and he says Bill C-23, the Historic Places of Canada Act, will help protect these sites and will add representation to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit persons on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
“Bill C-23 will give legal protection to Canada’s historic sites for the first time and ensures Indigenous Peoples have a stronger voice in identifying and protecting places of historic significance in Canada,” Aldag said.
Among his 32 years with Parks Canada, he led parks, historic sites, and programs in eight provinces and territories, including a stretch as administrator at the Fort Langley National Historic Site before entering the realm of politics.
“As we build new monuments such as a national monument to survivors and victims of residential schools, Indigenous representation is critical. This bill will designate three seats on that board specifically for First Nations, Métis and Inuit representatives.”
Aldag said the board will rely on Indigenous knowledge when making its recommendations.
“Canada has historic places from coast to coast to coast,” he said. “Canada’s inclusion of Indigenous representation will take an important step in advancing our commitment to recognizing Indigenous history.”
If passed, the new bill will require the heritage value of historic places in the country be protected, conserved, and defended against threats.
“These protections along with Indigenous representations will conserve our historic sites for longer and strengthen the historical representation of Canada.”