Original language of petition: English
The Government would like to thank the petitioners of Simcoe County for expressing their concern regarding the preservation of the 1907 steamship, the S.S. Keewatin, in Port McNicoll. It appreciates the work accomplished by the numerous local volunteers to conserve the vessel and offer public tours of the steamship.
It is the Government’s understanding that the S.S. Keewatin was originally owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and operated between Port McNicoll and what is now Thunder Bay; that the ship was decommissioned in 1965 and sold to a private individual and moved to the United States; and that it was purchased in 2012 by a private entity and returned to Canada, where it now resides in Port McNicoll.
As you are aware, the Minister of Canadian Heritage administers the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. Through tax incentives, this legislation supports the transfer of significant cultural property from private hands to public institutions that are designated. Designation allows organizations to apply for these incentives on behalf of the donor or seller. Under the Act, the Minister may designate organizations that demonstrate the capacity to preserve and make heritage objects accessible to all Canadians, but the Act does not allow the Minister to direct a private entity to donate or sell their property to a specific institution.
Applications for designation related to the potential donation of a specific object or a collection are submitted to the Department of Canadian Heritage with the support of the donor. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the objects are preserved by professionally run organizations and are made accessible to Canadians for generations to come. The application for designation presented by the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston and Skyline Investments Inc. is deemed eligible and, as such, the Government of Canada does not have any grounds to reject its review and must render a decision based on the technical and financial assessment process in place.
In closing, while the Government recognizes that the decision surrounding the donation belongs to the owner of the S.S. Keewatin, we remain hopeful that it will be donated to a heritage organization in Canada so that its story can continue to be told.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||2|