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____ Thursday March 24, 2016 ____

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Federal Budget 2016

New Investments For Places That Matter

National Trust responds to Federal Budget 2016

Ottawa – The National Trust for Canada applauds increased investments in heritage and culture reflected in the federal Budget tabled Tuesday, and welcomes the potential to direct substantial funding for infrastructure to existing and historic assets.

The Budget responded directly to the National Trusts’ recommendation to increase the Parks Canada National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing program, with a tenfold increase over past levels to $20 million over two years. This much-needed bricks-and-mortar investment will help save and renew places that are touchstones with history. Further, the National Trust’s recommendation to expand eligibility beyond National Historic Sites was also addressed to allow for funding of heritage lighthouses as well as heritage railway stations. In the past the Cost-Sharing program has helped save iconic places like the Dominion Exhibition Display Building II NHS in Brandon, Manitoba and Atlas No. 3 Coal Mine NHS in East Coulee, Alberta.

The Budget also includes $168.2 million over two years for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund – more than doubling the funding available for the renovation of arts and heritage facilities. Historic places including Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in Toronto and Spencerville Mill near Ottawa have benefited from this program.

“Historic places are an excellent investment in stimulating the economy,” said the National Trust’s Executive Director Natalie Bull, speaking from Ottawa. “Investment in rehabilitating older buildings and sites creates green jobs and promote environmental sustainability, with the added benefit of renewing a legacy of places that celebrate our history and our future on the eve of an important anniversary.”

The 150th anniversary is specifically addressed in the Budget with free admission in 2017 to national parks and national historic sites operated by Parks Canada Agency, and $150M dedicated to community projects to renovate, expand and improve existing community and cultural infrastructure in all regions of the country. The National Trust also applauds increases to the Young Canada Works (YCW) program, which offers students and recent graduates valuable work experience in heritage.

The National Trust welcomes substantial infrastructure spending to be directed to renovations, retrofits and affordable housing, and urges appropriate investment in heritage facilities wherever possible. “With climate change one of the pressing issues of our era, we look forward to working with Government to ensure that a robust strategy for renewing existing and historic places helps make optimal use of infrastructure funding,” said Bull.

The National Trust for Canada is a national charity that inspires and leads action to save historic places, and promotes the care and wise use of our historic environment. Your support is vital to our work.

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