LETTER: Time for Parks Canada to take over McLean Mill

National historic sites are a service that small cities cannot afford…

To the Editor,

In November 1993, the first plan was put together to guide the development of the McLean Mill National Historic Site. The agreement between the city and federal government that set the city to run it for 42 years and government provide one-time capital funding of $2.6 million was signed in 1996. Now the McLean Mill Society is going to deliver yet another plan.

National historic sites are a service that small cities cannot afford, and should not have to, and usually don’t. Why? Because National historic sites are for all Canadians. Perhaps that is at the root of why the past 26 years have been so difficult.

In the Niagara region of Ontario, Fort George National Historic Site attracts millions of visitors a year, is a large contributor to the local economy, and is run and maintained by Parks Canada.

A Society called “Friends of Fort George” holds fundraisers, gets grants, hires students, and runs a gift shop but all of the infrastructure and permanent staffing is Parks Canada’s responsibility.

It’s time McLean Mill was the same.

If 26 years has taught us anything it should be that despite all the best intentions and tireless work of volunteers, city leaders, and local business people, and many more millions in local tax dollars than government gave us, preserving old buildings and infrastructure properly using old technology in a new regulatory environment is far too much for a city of 18,000 to manage.

Stop beating around the bush with new plans that are essentially the same as the old plans.

It’s time the mayor and council call Ottawa and start negotiating a new agreement for McLean Mill National Historic Site that puts the responsibility in the right place for all of Canada to enjoy forever.

Chris Alemany,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

Well-known Port Alberni politician, philanthropist Gillian Trumper has died

Community remembers Trumper as generous to her community, and a groundbreaking politician

Port Alberni cancer patients get new ride to appointments

Qualicum Beach woman donates van to Freemasons’ transportation program

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address other issues of importance

Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs improve to 6-0 at home

Bulldogs take down top-ranked Penticton Vees

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read