Friday, July 27, 2012

Many federal buildings are landmarks

       A person at the Federal Heritage Building Review Office told me that, once the Canada Lands Company acquires a government building, aircraft hangar, train station or museum, the building loses all heritage designation and protection.
     At one time, Dominion Buildings were located in every city in this nation, and many towns and villages. They housed Canada Post, Canada Customs, RCMP detachments, passport offices, Manpower...Many Government of Canada buildings feature clock towers; the Peace Tower in Ottawa is a clock and bell tower.
     The mass privatization of GOC buildings has had a deleterious effect on at least one democratic national institution---the Canada Post Corporation. Canada Post substations are now located in 24-hour convenience stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Staff do not even have to wear uniforms. In 1992, the word "Canada" was removed from all delivery trucks, mailboxes etc.
     Mr. Dennis Mills (Broadview-Greenwood):
     "In 1980 we put the Canada word mark on every postal unit in this country. Whether it was a post office, a post box or a truck that delivered the mail, we put the Canada word mark on it. It was a symbol of the national government's presence in not just the larger communities but in small towns.
     A few months ago the Prime Minister was talking about patriotism. I support his view that we should be more patriotic.
     I would like the member to give me his reasons as to why the post office was stripped of the word "Canada" in close to 40,000 units across Canada. They were stripped of the Canada wordmark. In all postal operations across Canada, the word "Canada" was painted out on trucks and post office boxes. They were stripped of it.
     We spent millions of dollars of taxpayers' money in 1980 to put the word "Canada" up there to give people, especially those in disadvantaged regions, smaller regions and smaller towns of our country, a feeling that the national government was present."
   (May 15 1992  House of Commons Debates.)
     At one time, the words "Canada" and "Canadian" were going to be removed from the wordmark CN Tower. According to an April Fool's joke, Wal-Mart is planning to buy the CN Tower in Toronto:
     "Walmart Corp. to buy CN Tower - Walmart announced today that they will buy the CN Tower from the current owner, Canada Lands Company. Once the deal is complete Walmart will rename the CN Tower the Walmart Canada Tower...Walmart has offered to rescue one of Canada's most famous landmarks."
     If the Walt Disney Company buys the tower, a flag bearing an image of the rodent Mickey Mouse will fly atop this landmark.
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada is selling 1,000 lighthouses, even Peggy's Cove.
    The commercialization of lighthouses will pave the way for the ultimate demise of these iconic symbols. Canadians have already lost hundreds of lighthouses, because of privatization and neglect; previous owners including community groups, could not afford to own a piece of Canada's history, never received any grants and walked away. Many lighthouse owners put chain link fences around the properties and posted "No Trespassing" and "Private Property" signs.
     The government is planning to sell $10 billion dollars worth of Crown assets.The Dominion Public Building in downtown Toronto, near Union Station, is worth $74,153,000 dollars, while the CN Tower was appraised at $105,354,000 dollars. Oscar Wilde once wrote: "The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."
     The Sinclair Centre in Vancouver is beautiful, but the government planned to "divest" it in 2007.
 Once a GOC building is privatized, it is stripped of Canada's Maple Leaf Flag and the Coat of Arms plaques, which are made with gold, silver and platinum.
The Sinclair Centre in Vancouver, B.C.

The Dominion Public Building in Toronto, Ontario.



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