Parks Canada

Parks Canada

August 29, 2007 17:30 ET

New Federal-Provincial Agreement Ensures Future Sustainability of Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 29, 2007) - A new federal-provincial agreement between Parks Canada and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission to ensure the future sustainability of Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada was announced today by the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of Tourism. Both governments also announced significant financial contributions to protect and operate the fort, recently designated as part of Ontario's first World Heritage Site.

On behalf of their respective governments, Mr. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, and Mr. Jim Brownell, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Member of Provincial Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburg, joined together at the fort's popular Sunset Ceremony to sign a new memorandum of agreement that marks a renewed commitment to Kingston's most iconic heritage tourism attraction.

The agreement provides for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, to continue overseeing all operations of the fort, including its various heritage interpretation programs. Parks Canada will oversee capital conservation of the historic site.

Parks Canada will invest $19.5 million over seven years to assure the future protection of Fort Henry, beginning with $1.5 million in new funding in 2010/11, and a $3-million commitment in each of the succeeding six years. Over the past five years, significant work has been undertaken at Fort Henry which has resolved the fort's most urgent and pressing structural problems. This new federal funding will continue this stabilization program.

"I am pleased to be here, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to announce this contribution and new agreement for Fort Henry National Historic Site of Canada," said Mr. Brown. "With the recent UNESCO designation of Fort Henry, the Martello Towers and Rideau Canal as Ontario's first World Heritage Site, our investment will ensure the long-term sustainability of this important heritage site."

The province will continue to provide annual operating funding for the fort, investing more than $25 million over the next 10 years to support such award-winning programs as the renowned Fort Henry Guard, live interpretation and guided tours, museum displays and a range of special events that bring Canadian history alive for visitors from across Canada and around the world. Beginning in 2010/11, the province will also contribute an additional $2.8 million over seven years for conservation efforts.

"On the strength of our programming, Fort Henry contributes $25 million annually to the regional economy, and accounts for more than 10 per cent of local visitor spending," said Mr. Brownell. "The Ontario government is pleased to partner with Parks Canada to preserve and promote the Fort as a unique heritage landmark that contributes to economic vitality and pride of place in eastern Ontario."

On behalf of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Chair Peter Watson underlined the Commission's commitment to maintaining strong stewardship of the fort. "We will continue to provide engaging visitor experiences, so that the heritage of the fort and its role in our history is preserved for future generations."

The new agreement between Parks Canada and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission solidifies an ongoing partnership between the federal and provincial governments, which has seen extensive stabilization work already done at the fort. It ensures that the cultural heritage of Ontario and Canada is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future.

(Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    John Grenville
    National Historic Sites Program Manager
    Eastern Ontario
    613-545-8666 ext. 102
    or
    Ontario Ministry of Tourism
    Gary Wheeler
    Communications Branch
    416-325-8391
    or
    Parks Canada
    Gavin Liddy
    Field Unit Superintendent
    Eastern Ontario
    613-283-7199 ext. 235
    or
    Fort Henry National Historic Site
    Bryan Mercer
    613-544-7546 613-544-7546 ext 202
    or
    St. Lawrence Parks Commission
    Susan LeClair
    613-543-3704 ext 2461