Salt Spring Island Archives

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Bill Huot

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Unknown Speaker 0:00
So as of today, I have launched an application process to Salt Spring Island, we changed the name salt mountain to change from one word, which is officially has changed. And I think back to two words Salt Spring, and they find that Salt Spring Island historically decided to phase out the application, putting it in about April of next year, today to launch the petition, and they've already started doing background research, and the supporting evidence to show that Saltspring and stewards use much more on a local basis. All of the data that I've looked at so far, some marks in businesses, etc. Saltspring. So that's the announcement that I'm making here. And I've got a petition format organized. Like to help distributed those petitions and famously happened to be the acting caucus. Having been born and raised on Salt Spring Island, I'm really looking forward to the day that I started to see that on, Macs correspond canadapost Saltspring Island, just whatever place today, I've seen using the word. So it's I think it's time to appreciate the attorney training packet. So anybody has any questions?

Unknown Speaker 1:34
Yes. Like to reinforce that idea of the Saltspring. Always been your previous guests. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 1:42
And thank you very much from the archives. We have been using the tutor has noted that.

Unknown Speaker 1:51
Well thanks,

Unknown Speaker 1:57
Eric, obviously, a topic of

Unknown Speaker 1:59
interest here today.

Unknown Speaker 2:02
If you saw the business would bring this part of me to a close from something that I've been in business for. Secondary

Unknown Speaker 2:17
on favor. Okay. So now we get on to the real purpose of the afternoon, talk and talk radio.

Unknown Speaker 2:31
Or can I make a housekeeping announcement? Bill who is the speaker is used to public speaking and would prefer to work without the microphone. So we're going to try it. And if people in the back do have a problem hearing everyone has problem hearing, we will go back to the microphone.

Unknown Speaker 2:45
And I will use it anyway. Well, I know more about him than I did 10 minutes ago because I know them for Dortmund. He came in, for example, when he grew up in Minnesota, before his university training in Minnesota, a Bachelor of Science in Business and at UVic, a master's degree in geography and public administration. And Bill is now with the community Aboriginal and women's services. Have I got that right, though? All the time. So you have to be really activated to get those things right. Anyway, essentially, he is a planner with the provincial government. He was the senior policy analyst with the heritage branch with the BC government for over 20 years. He knows what he's talking about. He's the principal author of the legislation that is used to protect heritage buildings, archaeological sites, shipwrecks and other heritage sites in the province, and is considered one of Canada's leading experts on heritage protection. Today, he'll probably be as far as I know, discussing the underlying causes of threats to our collective heritage and how communities can work with Heritage property owners to address those threats. That's pretty close. So I hope you'll join me in welcoming, they'll do it

Unknown Speaker 4:22
thank you. Yeah, I guess I'm, I'm a Luddite, I guess, which is why I don't want to be my job. And I also work in an office during the week in an office or office type of place. Yeah, pretty soft, just everybody else. So I don't get to talk very loud very often. I like to get walking tours I'm used to shouting out and so this is another opportunity for me to exercise my lungs a bit. But I certainly want to be heard. So if there's anybody who is having trouble hearing me please just raise your hand and then only take 30 seconds to do that Mikey. Hope you didn't come here expecting a slideshow. You have every right to expect to see slideshow when you come to a talk by somebody who's in the heritage business, I like to think I'm probably the only person who spent 20 years of career in heritage conservation as a professional hands conservationist. Few more years, doing it as a sideline, and I've never given a slideshow, I'm gonna go in the Guinness Book of Records for this. Part of the reason is because it's a lot of work to prepare a good slideshow, it really takes a lot of time and planning. And once you've planned it, you've got everything in sequence, you're pretty well stuck to say what you plan to say. And I never planned my things all that carefully in advance. So I don't like to put that much work into it. So and the other reason, though, is because my part of heritage isn't so much about the specific resources about what's the potential for a building like this, what needs to be done with a building like this, it's legal protection. And legal protection isn't really very amenable to images. And putting up a slide that says, This is the Heritage Conservation Act of 1977. With a bunch of words on it isn't much of a slideshow anyway. So I might as well just talk and you don't have anything else to look at, would be kind of nice to suppose to have the entertaining pictures. The it's been a couple of years since I've done a heritage talk. As they say for 20 years, I was a senior policy analyst with the heritage branch. But then the ministry after the new legislation was developed after a few years, I realized that all I was really doing was developing legislation anymore. I was just explaining the legislation to people and in terms of value for money, and they determined that they didn't need that job anymore. So my position was eliminated, and then moved to another job within same government. I still do land use planning type issues, but I don't deal with heritage itself. So it's been a few years since I've done my heritage talk. And I say I've never given a slideshow but I used to jokes in the presentation. And if I was trying to remember what are the jokes do you use for Hertz presentation? Something about the vintage when I started there? It's not quite not not jokes, it's changing lightbulbs jokes. How many government heritage policy analysts and how many government policy hours does it take to change a light bulb? Government change the light bulb the government hired a consultant to do a feasibility study on sustainable elimination to heritage conservation. This doesn't take change one of the famous les Paul's conservationists won't let anybody change the light. The way I'd like to talk about today is a little bit of everything. But I'd like your uh, your perspective, because I could easily talk all afternoon. And I'm sure that that's a lot longer than you want to sit here listening to me. But here it is. There's so many different aspects of heritage different things that our heritage and that was the thing that most fascinated me when I was dealing with heritage is a building such as the hall where en heritage is a home that people live in heritage is a cemetery heritage is a shipwreck heritage is a barn heritage is an archaeological site that scientists can study to learn more about the past. Heritage isn't a sacred Aboriginal place, all of those things are heritage. And there isn't a one size fits all one tool, you get to do the job to take care of all the different kinds of situations. So when I was in heritage, I would deal with all those different kinds of stuff. And any one of those could easily be a talk. shipwrecks. Fascinating area, for example, from a legal legal protection perspective. So I'd like to do is talk a little bit about just my involvement in developing heritage legislation. And I'm going to try and keep that down to about five minutes. Some about Aboriginal heritage, I'm gonna divide that into two sites, archaeological type sites, and the sacred places. And maybe I'll slip in a few minutes about the artifacts as well. Like talking about heritage buildings that are privately owned, and like to talk about the government's historic sites, because you may have been reading recently about the government is changing the format. And Alex managing the sites in Barkerville, for example, is not going to continue to be operated by the provincial government. Now, are there any of those topics that you'd like me to skimp on so that I can cover any of the other topics more thoroughly? Because I couldn't focus on any specific topic, if there's a specific topic. That's a particular interest you guys hear? On Saltspring? What are your local issues currently that you'd like to hear more about? Yeah, I have a question as well hang around afterwards, too. Okay, let me start with that one.

Unknown Speaker 9:29
If you have time, we're just starting your 10 part and starting a heritage just called put my accent, heritage rain project. And so it's going to use a lot of land to grow real heritage. And so if you have time, and if anyone's interested, I'd really

Unknown Speaker 9:44
simply seed keepers type organisms. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 9:48
The very most heritage all the old or

Unknown Speaker 9:52
if I forget slipping in remind me at the end. I have some observations about that. That is a fascinating field. Okay. Yeah. Obviously, I'm working Okay, the provincial government, I still work for the provincial government. And so I do have to be a little careful, I cannot seem to be critical of government's choices. Right. And so I don't have to say I like what they're doing. But I can't say what they're doing is wrong. I wouldn't say what they're doing is wrong. Well, I'll tell you why. People often think of government when they see there's a heritage building that is, say being neglected. And it's important and as part of the community. And so often what I've heard is what the government should acquire that, as if the government will be a better steward of heritage than private owners can be. That's not the case. It's not just here in BC, it's not the it's not a statement about our current politicians. It's not a statement about our past politicians. Government does not make a very good steward of heritage by and large, heritage is rarely a high priority for government. It's in there, there's a lot of people that like heritage value heritage, won't get to be the high priority, that many heritage properties need money to be invested in them. And frankly, private owners are far more likely to do a good job of protecting Harry's resources than the government is in many, many faces. There are there are exceptions to this. But for the most part, government does not make a real good steward of marriage. So for example, our current system of historic sites that we have around the province we have over in Victoria point Ellis house to create flower Manor car house. In the same system of sites, these are operated by the same branch they used to be a member of theirs Barkerville up in the north in Fort Steele, as well as a number of buildings over in Yale. You look at how those properties have fared while they were owned by the province. And we don't have to talk about the current government because they're only a relatively short time period in school looking at the previous government under the NDP, or under the sole crits. Before that, they did not do a good job of being a steward of those very properties that I just mentioned. Barkerville has barely hung in there in terms of the quality of maintenance that those buildings have received. Over in Victoria point LS house, they can give it a lick of paint regularly. So it appears doesn't look dilapidated. But it has not been getting the kind of maintenance it needs over the long term. Government will do that, almost invariably with heritage skimp on anything that's invisible. A private owner, somebody who cares for the property who really loves it is more likely, if they can, that's a big part if they can, to love the place. Government is incapable of loving. But think of the people that you know will inherit each houses, who loves their houses, who really wants to do the right thing by the fireplace, for example, they are far more likely to be the best stewards of the property. Therefore, for the most part of the theory buildings, you want them to be in the hands of people who can love them, and will in fact, even do the things that don't even make economic sense. Over in Victoria, there was a house I remember that lives up the city got it for taxes. And that ended up with it's a real wreck of a place over in Big West, I remember seeing the windows are all smashed in and vacant for years. It was one of those really over really gingerbread places, with most of the gingerbread having fallen off and stuff like that. And they put it out for an offer for somebody to acquire the property, put it out for bids who would buy it, but they wanted to keep the hair character. And their there was one couple who did on the job they were willing to take for $1 With every deed restrictions. And everybody in the heritage field in Victoria thought they were absolutely crazy. Those of us who volunteer in his house, so it wasn't in my resume. My ex wife and myself fixed up an old 1950s 1800 30,000 got a Heritage Award for the restoration work we did I know something about tweaking that kind of thing. And when I from that experience looked at this house, I thought nobody in their right mind would acquire that place. And if they did, they'd acquire it and then try and skip on heritage because you couldn't afford to do it. No, this couple have bought the place. It is beautiful now absolutely beautiful. They did not do anything that was economically sensible. This building isn't in a location that deserves this quality of work. It's just that this is a house that caught their their love. And they fixed it up. By and large for the most part, don't seek government to play or heritage seek find ways that conservation can be economically viable, wild owned by whoever happens to own the property or tried to get the property when it's sold to move into the hands of somebody who wants it because of the Heritage character not despite appearance character. So that's kind of where I would have ended up with it. But I'll be coming back to that theme when we get near the end of the talk. Let's are a little bit about the heritage legislation we have in British Columbia, basically, for your sins, very specific things about eating grapes and things. Our legislation to protect heritage started in 1925 with the historic objects Protection Act. And what it basically does is set up one tool and said the government could decide there's a provincial government Cabinet could decide that something is heritage could designated this heritage, and then it was protected, and anybody wants to make any changes to that something would have to get permission from from the government to make changes, whatever the changes might be, was mostly used for petroglyphs type sites. And Hudson's Bay Company for a few things like that. That tool was in the hands of the provincial cabinet. The other tool that was very common at the time in terms of heritage was for organizations to buy on behalf of the public. So farmers Institute's might buy an old farm and farm house because they thought it shouldn't stay in that too. We use very locally driven, and it was acquisition oriented. Fast forward, the next big change was in 1960, with the archaeological and historic sites Protection Act that brought in something that is amazing that we even have it. That's automatic protection from archaeological sites. It was brought in 1960s. Historians you'll notice that date is in the middle of the WAC Bennett years. And it was when a lot was happening around the province with developments and dams being built, and what was happening as archaeological sites were being destroyed by human development. And it was archeologists, not Native people who came forward and insisted that there ought to be studies of these places we can learn about our past. And they put forward as an archaeological lobby, a sufficiently strong case that the W AC government decided to bring in automatic protection for archaeological sites. In this legislation, there were some changes made in 1972, to the same legislation. And then a another next big change. Oh, and by the way, it also enabled, started in 1972. When they made the change to that legislation, they brought in another tool which allowed local governments to do heritage designation to take a place to say its heritage. So this old church, this old house, is heritage in the community, we will designate it somebody who needs permission from the council to make changes to the building. And we don't have to pay any compensation for this, because we're making this decision on behalf of the whole community. That was what was brought in in 1972 1977, the name changed and there were some revisions to the act to the Heritage Conservation Act. That added the BC Heritage Trust as a new player in the game at the provincial level. But by and large, global heritage protection legislation stayed pretty much the same. I started working for the provincial government in 1979, just two years after that, in already the policy analysts. And already they had accumulated a fairly thick file of letters. From people pointing out problems with the legislation, there was a lot of bugs, a lot of little things wrong with it, as well as some rather significant policy problems with it. And I was asked to start working to develop a bug fix package, we put together a committee of experts to help advise this and within a year had what looked like a pretty good package of changes that needed to be made. And it was well substantiated that the changes needed to be made. And then for the next several years, year after year, same thing always happen. Brad's we put forward this package already developed, this is what needs to change, but it has a low political priority. Contrary to popular opinion, legislators do not like to change the law. Only if it's something was really a problem. Are they sufficiently motivated to put up with the inevitable controversies that are associated with changing law, especially if you're dealing with something as close to property rights as heritage conservation? So inertia is on the side of not changing it unless it's a really serious need a big public demand coming out from out there, something must be done. And that really isn't the case. Harris movement is not really capable of mounting enough political pressure and based on need to bring in better legislation to protect air these places.

Unknown Speaker 19:24
And the kinds of problems that were erupting weren't these kinds of stuff that caused great political problems for the politicians of the day. This happened over several years until rash director took advantage of an opportunity with a new premier coming in. This is Bill Vander Zahn was very consultation oriented. And in order to establish that something really ought to be done, put forward is our ministry's proposal. We're in the Ministry of Tourism at the time that we should do a study of the Heritage legislation, we determined whether it really did need to be changed, and others put it at arm's length from specific another. Another way of thinking is true He ate a political momentum by setting up an advisory committee of people trusted by the government of the day. That's exactly what happened. They set up the committee. And they took a backbench MP from Sokrates at that time, whose name may be somewhat familiar to you, but they were named now went on to become the Prime Minister of Canada. Kim, Kim Campbell was the chair of this committee. She was a backbencher in the WAC government, well respected as being a social conservative, you know, and therefore, if she believed an economic uncertainty, if she believed that legislation needed to be changed, that would carry a lot of weight with the cabinet. And that's exactly what happened. It was called Project pride. They went around the province, they heard from various people, and they came up with a number of recommendations that said, Yes, legislation really doesn't need to be changed. Didn't change the political dynamic, though, that there isn't a great amount of political pressure on the house to change things. So what happened was, you get to the point where and this is fairly familiar and you have ever worked for government, this may sound familiar to you, there's certain things that you have to be seemed to be working on. And that's more important than actually making the changes just have to be seemed to be doing. And so the government wanted to be seemed to be working on the heritage legislation. So I was assigned more or less full time, over the next 10 years, working on heritage legislation, developing a package. And that was more of a technical type exercise, putting forward things and what we did. And then, and because it was one of the things you must be seen to be doing, not necessarily that the deputy minister or the minister really wanted to have a product out of it. I didn't get an awful lot of other logistical support for this, I was working on all by myself. That by the way, in retrospect is kind of neat, because that meant that I was not getting any political direction as to what the policy content should be in this package. Nobody ever expected I would come up with a package that would be sufficiently uncontroversial that anybody would ever move ahead with it. So I was given a lot of latitude to try to put together a package. And that's what I did over the next several years, I put together a package legislation did consultations very informally, with the various stakeholders to try to get back into that wouldn't have anybody screaming bloody murder, but legislation that deals with property rights under a social credit government. Anyway, we developed package and the way the government works is in baby steps, first ended up putting out a white paper that described the principles about what the new legislation could do, and to a certain extent, implemented the recommendations of this project prior Oh, I made some significant policy changes, then next baby step was to say, Okay, well, you get that kind of good reception, people are getting a lot of good feedback, the government, nobody was opposed to it. And so then it was a matter of putting forward a bill write a bill and actually does it. And the general feeling was probably, and we got this in writing, because it sounds good. But a lot of these things sound like a conflict with each other. But you can do it and say it quite that way. But that was the gist of what came along. So I wrote the bill. And the decision was made not put forward as Bill put forward as a white paper, and other baby steps. Again, the political will is not real strong here. And so when I was a white paper, and this is under the very dying days of the social credit government went out as a bill. And again, we got the feedback coming in. Then the new government came in the NDP government, Darlene Rosario was the minister. And this is where we had the biggest problem with the package has to do with Aboriginal heritage with regard to the built environment, the protecting heritage buildings, and mostly done by local government. They're all supported being expressed for the package by the union of BC municipalities, Gordon Campbell as the president at that time, the Harry's conservation is like the package. And the Urban Development Institute also liked the same package. Nobody ever expected, you could ever get all three of those parties liking the same package. But the Aboriginal side, what we had was silence from all of the groups that speak prefers nations. I knew why that was. Partly it was a decisions made by the middle and upper level bureaucrats. Not to let me do formal consultation with First Nations because no of what you're going to stir up if you try to do any formal consultation. But I have been doing a lot of consultation. And what we got was informed silence about the legislation. They saw it as a step in the right direction. But let's face it, how can First Nations accept the idea that the provincial government is a steward of their ancestral heritage? But Darlene Mazarin, received some input from a friend of hers who was a member of the must be first nation who was a failed law student can we do it written a paper while in school every year she got to be on paper, analyzing proposed legislation and came to the conclusion that this is my first nations would want and there's no wench, Darlene Rosario, the incoming Minister asked what is the position that's been taken by the First Nations by the First Nations summit, the BC union of Indian chiefs, she was told well, we haven't had any formal consultation with them. So we go into consultation mode. And when you ask them to not be silent, big position on legislation, you get what you would expect not to have these a lot to be desired. So we went into formal consultation with both both groups, both groups to speak first nations not going along with each other very well at all. So we went in using a principle that said, we will not change anything unless there's consensus among the government, and each of the First Nation groups about what the change should be. Well, I was able to salvage a fair bit from the package, but there were a lot of things that we were not able to change. So there's a lot of unfinished business in the package. But we ended up them with a package that had both of those First Nations group to speak for First Nations all around the province, saying they wanted the legislation to move forward, as well as the Urban Development Institute, and you need to BC municipalities, and heritage conservation, you're all wanting the same thing. And this starts to get a little bit harder for government to say that they're not going to move ahead, because there's no baby steps left, you got to bet on a bill that people have seen already out there that they like, and you can't do anything other than introducing the legislature. And that's basically what happened. Bill Barr Lee was the minister at the time, that was a real surprise to me. He is very heritage conservation oriented, as you know, anybody's watched his television show, but he's not legislation oriented. He was really quite uninterested in the legislation. But it did get through the legislature and it passed. So that's all if it doesn't sound like what you might expect, that was just something you might expect it's driven by a politician shocking that

Unknown Speaker 26:49
to 13x

Unknown Speaker 26:55
don't really have number bills have number and Bill 77 At the time, but it's there, it's the Heritage Conservation Act, is the is the package that deals with giving powers to the provincial government. And then there are amendments that are put into the Local Government Act. They're called part 27. And it's a lot of powers that are, that was part of the policies, put it into the Local Government Act so that every planner has their desks. So that's what the legislation came up to be. And that was my involvement in it. And as I say, in the process, I was dealing with all kinds of things, from shipwrecks to archaeological sites to buildings such as this one. One of the things I learned while I was doing this, one is dealing with heritage buildings that are privately owned. This is the if you look at anything else, if you can't remember anything else, from what I said today, they're really likely to remember, you cannot have a community Heritage Program be effective. If Heritage property owners feel that they can become the victims of the Heritage movement. Does that make sense? If here's property owners think that by owning a heritage building, they might be susceptible to unfairness that people would not do to somebody who didn't own a heritage building, you will not have been you cannot have a good Heritage Program. People will own heritage buildings that are fairly dilapidated, the first hint they hear that the government might do something to protect their building will go for the demolition permit right away, before you have a chance to ask why wouldn't they if they think they can be treated unfairly. And that's really important. So one of the changes that we made in the heritage legislation, and again, this isn't driven by politicians. This is a policy added analysis that said this, the way we had to go is previously, the power of various designation by the crop by the province and by the government said they could designate property. And they would never do it until the 11th hour. That's where politicians are, and they heard you wait until something's really imminent for it, and you have to make a decision until you get around to making a decision. So at the 11th hour after somebody probably has already developed their plans as to how they're going to reuse their property in some other ways when you make the decision, okay, now we got to finally decide is inheritance is not, and if it is heritage, because you're hearing so many people out in the community, probably with placards out in front of the bulldozers that you made the decision, yes, we will decide that it's heritage and we will stop the person from doing whatever it is they intended. Right. That was the way it couldn't be done before. That's the way it was done before. Change legislation. Now with heritage designation, if the government's gonna pick and choose and say something is heritage, not the automatically protected archaeological heritage something in his heritage, because we've decided, using a judgment call that this is heritage versus the neighboring building that isn't heritage, they have to pay full and fair compensation to the owner for the loss of property value that that new legal status brings in and that means that you cannot use the heritage tool designation, the shaft somebody and that means that now with the legislation you can quite reasonably decide to as politicians to develop an inventory Are you what's heritage in your community, I'd recommend nothing as part of official Community Plan, Do it as a separate thing. There's a specific tool called the heritage registry that's specifically used for this, where we put our minds to what we've had, here's Advisory Committee help us to scan all the properties, say on the island and decide these are the ones that we think are heritage. We're not bringing in legal protection at this time, we're just putting out in public. So anybody can see a list of these the properties we consider to be heritage. Equally important is that we've also put our mind to the other properties that are not on the list. And we are telling the world that those properties we do that, as the current generation of politicians consider those to be of sufficient heritage value in our community that we would use our legal protection powers to protect the place, or put a lot of money on the table as parents to encourage people to keep those bills, we're letting people know, some properties are heritage, some people are properties are not heritage, I know it's a brutal dichotomy to make. Things don't fall into two categories. And if you want to use ABC lists and things, you can do that as well. But you can do that. And by telling people their heritage, you are not telling them you are susceptible to the capability of being designated later. And losing money on the deal that can't happen under the legislation. What you better be selling them is we you got a bargaining chip in your hands, we are as a community are telling you, the owner of this property, we like your place, we want it to stay as part of our community. That's important to us. And so if you've got issues with regard to try to keep that marriage building, let's say for example, it's getting ready to hear grid, it needs a new roofing job and you'd like to do a next authentic roof using the original heurists Oh my God, that's awful darn expensive. And you really can't justify that, as property owner, I can keep the rain off my head with a metal roof or with asphalt shingles. But to do it properly, can cost three times as much or more. You should be able to go into community and is there something they can do to help you financially make this a reasonable thing for you to do or the foundation work? The building really it should be replaced by this time? Is there anything that community can put on the table, tax breaks, flexibility in the regulations, whatever. Maybe the reason you haven't, it's a heritage, check this whole house on the property and the rules say under zoning, you can only have one residents per parcel that want to keep the old place but I don't want to live in this 900 square foot log cabin anymore. My family wants a 2500 square foot one level thing because we don't want to have to go up and down the stairs. I mean, I've been upstairs and we have a ladder to get upstairs and things like that. And we're not allowed to have two buildings on the same property. Well, that's easy for the government to do, they can just say okay, in your case, you're allowed to have the two separate residents, if community really wants to keep the old log cabin, and you're willing to have a somewhat greater density and having two residences on the same parcel, maybe allow a subdivision where you wouldn't allow a subdivision to separate them into separate parcels. They use your flexibility to find a way to get around the whatever the problems that are leading the owner to want to demolish the old place, or to alter it in ways that are not sympathetic to heritage. Frankly, the community has a very reasonable expectation, say we care about Harry's when we look at the outside of a building, you have less of a right to say we want you to keep the old bathroom. And it would be very rare situation where the community whenever you intervene at somebody in terms of what they're doing in the inside of the house. Even though many old places. The inside the character the inside is in fact, it's very much in their own interest to keep that character. Over in Victoria, for example, we have McClure houses up in Rockland in Rockland area. Now, anybody who buys a Maclaurin house today, where it still shows from the clerk character, it would be very foolish to buy that property if your ambition is to live in a modern type house and you think you can get the inside and change the character the inside to look modern. The reason is because you're going to pay a heck of a premium to buy the house, the marketplace is putting a premium on the character inside and the outside. If that's the type of property you want, a private type of place you want to live in, that's probably a place where you're not going to be wanting to buy because it's gonna be so much more expensive compared to it. Another house, maybe not that far away that doesn't have the McClure character. The market is protecting McCullers character much more so than any legal protection. Let's talk about houses. See what we did. Aboriginal heritage,

Unknown Speaker 34:33
this question about heritage in Victoria, what does the City of Victoria do? Do they have a tax break system? I forget that

Unknown Speaker 34:42
for here to tells us they have a pool of money that you can apply to to get for work that you need to do on the house. And basically you'd have to show the way I've described before that as a reasonable and prudent property owner this reroofing you know, it's not at all unreasonable to expect me to collect $5,000 into the work I need to do it. Do it really Harry's authenticity, it will cost about $10,000. And you can you can apply to Victoria for that another 5000 hours to make up the difference. If your building is under designated, it's under heritage protection, there is a pool of money that's available. And a lot of people have enticed by that carrot, and willing to bring in voluntarily legal protection on their property to be able to have access to that. And because there are people who when they own the home, love the home, and they're willing to accept that, well, maybe a heritage designation might in the future, when I'm ready to sell the house, drive away some potential buyers who might have might want to gut the place or might want to tear down the old house. But frankly, I don't care if I drive away those. That's the way by the way, if you only Heritage House and anybody here who owns that Heritage House, it feels the love I'm talking about, you'll know exactly what I mean. You worry about what's going to happen after you're not there to be the steward of it, you feel the stewardship responsibility. And part of your concern is after I'm not here, what the choices will be made when I drive by. And years later, after I move away my stomping scene place still there, I still can see the old apple tree in the back. Swings still gonna be there. Okay, so these might be rather important to you just be like it that way. So people voluntarily accepted heritage designations for houses.

Unknown Speaker 36:18
pool of money is that the city councilors and what is the pool of money? What who has that?

Unknown Speaker 36:24
It's the City Council has stuff that they delegate authority to a committee to decide to bet that that avoids being political decision actually takes a lot of hassle off the shoulders of an advisory. The advisory group was one to decide here in Salisbury, you don't quite have the same structure I know through the islands trust. And by the way, it's somewhat more awkward for you to try to develop care programs, the way you would do it is if you've turned to having a pool of money, the best way to do would be through the items trust fund. But currently, the island trust fund is only oriented towards natural heritage. I know it's not, that's not the access. But there are they are reflecting the wishes of the people that we have in trust area. By and large, I don't question that they are making a choice that reflects what the people are asking of them. People such as yourself, can be the core of asking them to add to their priorities, the resources being available to deal with human history aspects or heritage as well. So that'll be your easiest way to develop a pool where there's cash available to be used as grants to deal with things by way of tax breaks, the way there is a way to do that as well. And Eric, you'd be involved in that. Basically, the way the legislation works, the lead would probably come from the local Trump's committee. If they were to identify a place that they would like to give a tax break to that they please the people on the island would be willing to everybody else pay slightly higher property taxes so that one property can pay off in lower property taxes, the league would probably come not so much from Eric's position but from there because their land use leadership role to ask you through the through the CRD to give a tax break in the tool is available to be able to do that. The but again, that as far as I know, there's never enough, there's been no demand on politicians to try to set up these kinds of carrots. here in Salt Spring today. Frankly, there has to be some kind of carrots though financial as well as you flexibility with the non financial dealings to be able to solve the problems that all buildings face. Jonathan knows better than anybody else more problems, that we're talking real economic realities here. For those heritage buildings, something has to be done and coming from the community to help. And I want to the thing has been done most readily under your current legal system is just do the Regulatory Flexibility. But relaxed setbacks allow subdivision where you wouldn't, but you'll probably have to go beyond that at some stage for certain property. Farm

Unknown Speaker 38:55
properties are the same.

Unknown Speaker 39:04
But you wouldn't want to set it up that just says you're automatically entitled to have to because then you can tear down the Heritage House and you can have two modern built houses instead of one. The way you would do it is the tools we have in the legislation that is called the heavies revitalization agreement, your best bet for that we in which basically it says you're allowed to have two residents, as long as one of those residences is the old heritage building, you'll hear the building where for example, to burn down, then you no longer have a right to a second residence, where there will be a real incentive to put in the sprinkler system, which is exactly what you want to put into the sprinkler system, rural landscape but the tools are available when I was developing legislation. I was thinking rural landscapes as well as urban landscapes and the tools are there. There's a lot of tools in there. I don't I don't want to go into the details here. Different tools to enable you to do to develop something to deal with just about any circumstance. Because the political will is there and the political will to be there means that the public has to let the politicians know. And the best way to do it really is to try to do the registry thing. And then best try to decide in advance when there isn't an issue about specific properties, what it what it what's, what's heritage, what are the things that you really do want to do something special to make sure it stays here. And when you're developing that you go talk to the owners, so they don't get scared of the heritage, there still is a fear of the Heritage label, there's still people to think why that heritage means I can be I can be shafted. And therefore, if they start hearing people sniffing around the idea of putting a special assessment property, their inclination might be to tear it down right away, you're gonna have to talk to them, it's like, that's not what's gonna come out of this. It's gonna be what we do to help you not what we do hurt. There's the reason

Unknown Speaker 40:43
for that fear. Because I've owned the Heritage property inside, we volunteered at a designated time and we asked for things they said no new evidence.

Unknown Speaker 40:55
I remember I mentioned a restore to here at Chelsea, banking 100 in Victoria, when I was doing so there was a dispute this is in the City of Victoria. In my neighborhood, there was I lived in a parish neighborhood a bunch of underage houses. And I as part of a kind of neighborhood solidarity, we try to keep the area from being redeveloped, put forward voluntarily a proposal to allow my house to be designated. And what I've heard from other heritage, people who've already been designated is what you're doing that so far, don't you know that because you're already known to be a hertz person, they're gonna expect all that much more more of you. And so I hedged my path. I said, in principle, I like the second designation. But I would like an acknowledgement in advance, in principle that I would be allowed to put in an upstairs bathroom. This is an old house that effectively was built with an outhouse not an historic bathroom, the only bathroom was downstairs, all the way down the stairs, going back the whole way through the kitchen to get to these little add on place for the bathroom was at some point there on again, upstairs bathroom, fully practicable way to do an upstairs bathroom, would be to add a dormer on the north side of the house, to give you the headroom to be able to have a bathroom. So I just wanted in principle, I couldn't afford to do it at the time, in principle, I could do that. And I got such a hassle from the committee. We can't commit to something like that. And we will only approve it after you've come forward with the architectural drawings, the actual design for the dormer I don't want to be treated that way. So heritage person, especially because I happen to be average person that they know cares about heritage. So I withdrew my willingness to be every having heard his designation. There's another tool by the way, if it's a voluntary deal, I strongly recommend I don't like his designation. It's a regulatory tool. And in later, when it comes time to enforce, enforce it, let's say if somebody breaks the rules. You're if a politician was making a decision, will we enforce the regulations. And a lot of people are not really that sympathetic to regulations. And in any given circumstance, they might not be very similar. They might be sympathetic with property owners situation, a better tool is told here a conservation problem. That's a voluntary contract that a property owner can enter into, to basically give veto power to somebody else is done by contract law. Here on the island. I know that one is being worked on by I think it's a matter of public record isn't. You don't want to pick it. Up Yes, I can tell the public. Yeah, Nina is doing it for conservation. For her property, we have the Land Conservancy, and basically giving them veto power over changes that can be made to the building and I assumed for the property, you would new construction on the property subdivision in the property, afternoons. Maybe you build lots of stuff in there, it's a voluntary agreement was entered into it by a property owner. One of the things I really liked about it is the very people who are most inclined to not like regulations, people who are socially on the right end of breaking into the political spectrum. They don't like government, interfering with my life and regulating the very same people who believe in the sacredness of contracts. They believe in that they're far more likely to keep their promised than they are to obey the spirit of the law. And therefore if they buy a property in a with a contract on it, they are accepting that contract. And so the very kind of people who you're most likely to want to get in the face of government and be willing to do whatever they can and go over the edge of the rules are less likely to go over the edge of the rules, when it's in fact the contract that they have been a willing party to fly like that. The other is when you go to court to try to enforce it. If you're enforcing regulations. The principles of court say that basically the playing field is slanted. It's the cycle against the government. It's in favor of individual People who are being regulated. And the burden of proof, therefore, is a lot higher that somebody has broken the rules, and any ambiguities of interpretation will always be interpreted in favor of the property. And that's just the way the courts work. under contract law, it's an even playing field, there's no automatic bias in favor of the property owner. And so therefore, in in principle, enforcement of a covenant should be more if you ever have to do it through the courts, you're more likely to get a successful thing. The other thing is that you can write into the covenant whenever you want, you can put it as tough or as loosey goosey as you want. You can cover things like the swing has to be hanging from the apple tree, if you want to say that. I asked about subdivision you can stay subdivision of substance such that would be allowed. Or you can say it wouldn't be whatever rules you put in place you can put into that contract. I think it's a very good tool. If you're looking for trying to bring in legal protection, where you're dealing with a willing property owner who is wanting to protect something, be sure this needed to be protected in the future.

Unknown Speaker 46:11
They wish to not legally they party would go to the holder of the covenant. So let's use them as an example of me the Land Conservancy, and say, here's what I would like to do I appreciate that it would call for an amendment to the contract to allow me to do this. And the holder of the Covenant would probably look at it and see is this consistent with the objective of why there was come and put on the first place? They might look at it and say what's in it for us? Whatever can happen, that's one of the reasons why by the way, I like the idea of the covenants not being held by the elected representatives by the local government. Because it's easy for a developer, for example, to say, Well, if you allow me to tear down Nina's house, I could subdivide this into 14, high, high value residential parcels and the property tax that you will receive is quite considerable. That's what's in it for you. And that's, I believe, would be better for the community and the current looking at the overall what's best for the community to have a degree of control over what's going to happen on individual property. But frankly, that's exactly what we have right now with private ownership. So it's it's fully consistent with our current system and network.

Unknown Speaker 47:29

Unknown Speaker 47:36

Unknown Speaker 47:43
on that state,

Unknown Speaker 47:44
there's tool for area planning. And that's probably what you're thinking of Fernwood. It's not here, these designations using a different tool. Remember, I said there's a lot of different tools, they're using a different tool, but first thing is

Unknown Speaker 47:57
stone emerald stone entries.

Unknown Speaker 48:03
Yeah, that's in a place like in a rural area, the character of Bendis road for a long time. That seems to be one place that sticks in my memory a couple of times. There are cases where we see the Old Snake fences in various states of dilapidation was really a sense of antiquity of the relatively to driving, there's one place where you have to the road jogs to avoid the barn, you don't burn, which is in pretty rough shape. England for example, you know, those are the things that give you the sense of the of the roots of this community fences, things like that. The same principle applies a fence has to do a job, you know, and so it doesn't really good to say you have to give the old belt you have to keep the old dilapidated fence and you can even back it up with a newer fence, because we want the old celebrity offensive the guys on the other side of the fence, somehow, that's a functional problem. But for the most part, I suspect you'll find that people will have those Old Snake Snake fences, and then we'll agree with it. One of the nice things by the way of the country's covenants and by the way, second place voluntary designation. One of the things that we have again, this is for people who are more right wing side of political spectrum, really believe in property rights, particularly when Property Rights says it's my property and I can do whatever I want with it. And generally speaking, when you hear somebody say that, what they're saying is I can degrade this property, I can do things that are inconsistent with what the community wants as much as I want because my property I can do whatever I want. I can make changes that will forever affect this property. I have a right to do it. Okay, that same logic says, I can enter into a heritage conservation covenant to protect this prop Read from all future owners, I have a right to do this because I own this property. And what happens is in the covenants on the property, or laundry designation, and then when the property is put on the market later, people who are looking to buy the property will see that as a factor about the property, there is the Old Snake fencers, this house is like that, too. I love that property for what it is not for what it could be if I tore down the snake fence and the old house that you're affecting, who's going to be interested in buying the property, somebody who just loves heritage, you haven't added a lot to them. And they already had surge protection on but if they had bought the property, they can put it anytime they want, and add anything, but you have discouraged certain people for wanting to buy the property. And they might be exactly the kind of people who you want to discourage from buying the property. I helped somebody up in Balkan Beach, some elderly sisters who had a house that had been in their family forever, and they were gonna move away. And they were really concerned because they had, I believe it was six acres in in the town of qualicum. Beach. And we didn't go by without a realtor knocking on their door asking about buying the property because of the subdivision potential. I think I exaggerate about the size, it was about two hectares. It has the capability of America being divided into eight logics and my dad, and they were constantly having people, they're constantly saying no, the people in speaking with tally sheets of women sisters, she's acknowledged, you know, if you designate if you put her to protection of property, you will lower the value of property, those same people are coming your door knocking coming knocking at the door, because he said zactly very good, fine, we are willing to accept, we're talking about loss of a million dollars in equity, to put the protection on the property to make sure that those kinds of people will never be able to own my property and never wants to own my property. After the pair's protection is in place, then the only people who are going to respond to an ad sales of it are people who are willing to accept the house as it is, with its potential under the rules that have been set up. Because if we feel the same way about you're just going to be really annoyed. By the way, you also get a opportunity to apply for your property taxes we reflect that is your property really isn't worth as much now, but you can do it because you own the property. People want to put asphalt or you can just be you on it.

Unknown Speaker 52:36
I want to go on with question because it's a really big concern. Landscape Saltspring are kind of

Unknown Speaker 52:45
rural assets, is inch by inch eroding. There are problems with rural landscape that are going to say this helped and hurt by the agricultural land reserve. agricultural land reserve is what keeps the development pressure off those properties to subdivide them, and the law includes the character like that. But it's the agricultural land reserve that says you are entitled to a functional barn. Not this old wooden rack of a place that's on there now and you are entitled to have a big new metal building. As frugal as is built under the freezer use current accepted practice in the farming business Knackles land commission will be quite considerate of your perspective as a property owner and wanting to do things on your property as long as functionality is what's driving. And so you can keep the rural landscape as it will either be not used for anything or used for farming fields will be open. But in terms of the development of the buildings, especially the working buildings on the property, it's somewhat inhibited by the agricultural land commission in terms of being able to add these new metal sheds and buildings might be able to do something to return to keep the old if there's not land involved. Keep the old, ramshackle thing that used to be the buyer and the seller more of a ruin, because it really is eating up too much of the prop of the land. And you could use a hedge of protection on it. Maybe cut a deal with property owner, most property owners would be very pleased if you can afford with something that's finds a way that they can, some community money will will come forward to help them with the data. Your best bet though is if you have people who are promoting heritage, get together in some kind of a group and go and talk to the owners. Find out what are the issues you face. Let them know that you really appreciate your property and community would like to help somehow, but we need to know what the problems are. It might be that you will encounter somebody who's just an old curmudgeon who is just honest Look for the steak boxes. There are people like that they really and not amenable to wanting to do it. But if you come forward with a proposal, most people will be very pleased to hear the community wants to help rather than insist that they do whatever it is the community wants rather than what they want, and would be amenable to enter into dialogue, try to identify what could be them

Unknown Speaker 55:23
having trouble with the parameters of large properties, you know, this will last a while

Unknown Speaker 55:36
this trade holds

Unknown Speaker 55:46
in the real estate, because again, we're a registry can really help.

Unknown Speaker 55:57
This cases, the trust

Unknown Speaker 56:00
and the urges natural and natural,

Unknown Speaker 56:04
environmental people should

Unknown Speaker 56:05
be, you won't be able to deal with everything because I was driving over here from the ferry, for example, coming along that stretch, which I remember from 20 years ago. And that's the tacular view down into the harbor. And now I drove along and saw a post as cedar hedges go, this is another attractive cedar hedge. But the main thing I was aware of is liberalism was not seeing. And they came into an area where there was all their effort. I knew I was there, somebody put up their privacy. Right, so so there's a curmudgeon you just wanted to die people, if you just for the sake of denying people's view. I'm not talking about doing here, there was a stretch where basically the viewers walked on purpose by anybody, because all countries that have grown up as all countries are likely to do. So my dad, I would come agian. Again, I don't know the individuals involved, that it might be difficult to approach people who will who put up the cedar hedge assuming and people who put up are still the ones who live there. And say, we'd like to see if we cut a deal with you to take down the heads that you put somebody put a lot of money into your fries. So that we could have the view, although you might be able to cut the deal, somehow. On the other hand, the people with the alters might be very amenable to something that says, you know, if the community put together a party, we got people who do chainsaws and stuff like that. And if we had a community consensus that in fact, it would be nice to get rid of the elders rather than having people say, no, there are trees and please not be kept. It would be seen by the community as a gift from you to the community to allow us to talk on a work party. To bring back our view of the harvest its discussion, you get into the discussion to see whether this something maybe a little money on the table because of the loss of privacy would help or a tax break or something. In which case whenever you do something where you're putting something on the table, you want to protect your investment. So that's when you start looking at Marriage Protection, frequently, different community putting enough on the table to make something happen and you want to be lasting something say a lot of money towards fixing up a heritage building vCards trust for example, when they were given provincial funds for working on calls such as this one, there was money available for Heritage do heritage work, but part of the price tag was we need to be assured that five years later the community will make a decision to carry on the building and we've put a lot of money to fix it up. So they would they would expect season heritage protection to be put in place on that property as a protection for their investment you can use the same logic at the bat is pretty much on the table whether it be urban rural landscapes or urban buildings

Unknown Speaker 58:58
in terms of Byron's I think John was probably the best person I from policy government policy point of view, I can tell you why they happen.

Unknown Speaker 59:18
To get the.

Unknown Speaker 59:31
Most either way, there's a factor.

Unknown Speaker 59:38
Either way, that one factor to consider with regard to putting a metal roof on something like that. One is that it's very expensive. To do the alternative. Go back to the old wooden shakes because by the way, you shouldn't be looking at sawn shingles on something like that. You'd be looking at old split, three foot long shakes, and the cost of doing that would be considerable. Now, if something's in a heart of hearts, especially historic park like rattle, it's the kind of investment you might well see as being appropriate and will give you a longevity of the building. Putting a metal roof over the top of its currently dilapidated roof is what we call stabilization. Keeps the building watertight for a period of time it is reversible, you can you can make a decision when you're ready to put the money into it to do something different than we did clarification on that when the bomb was stabilized about 15 years ago, we weren't going to take the stick to change that. Hill says very, very expensive. I think that's why you think of this. I appreciate the metal is not as attractive as the old wooden shakes. But one way of looking at it, I found this weird this thing, but it's an opportunity that is still there. Because the metal roof is just the electrics keeping the building watertight. And if you couldn't afford to do the shingles, and you just let it sit there leaking won't be long before they will not be anything they're introduced to restore in the future anyway. So it's called we call it stabilization. I think I think a repple they have something for these props just to hold things up to keep you from falling over, as well. Another type of stabilization, it's cheap and buys you a few years.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:28
As a quick question, occasionally you've used the word community money. I wanted to ask, Eric, do we have community? I've never heard of having community.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:41
I'm not aware of the trust fund, again, on your structure is the is the government's vehicle for community money. Another form of community money would be let's say and by the way, most historical societies are not heritage advocacy organizations. So if you're isn't I'm not saying you should become one, because that they are different types of roles. But if they start to say, for example, decided it wanted to have a heritage advocacy role, and wanted to, for example, set up a pool of money that could be available when needed in the community. You could decide to do that put your energies into whatever fundraising is necessary to have a pool of money, it doesn't have to come to government. And increasingly, again, with government priorities the way they are. Don't count on government, provincial government or local government, although they're just gonna be backed by Barkerville. But I started to talk about that the government in general isn't a good steward. Looking at what's happening now. It's they are doing something that they have been testing already in Victoria over the last Oh, I think six years at least. And the best example is car house. I live right around the corner from powerhouse. visited. You know the one I mean, it's Emily cars birthplace, Richard car, her father was only built, it's built in a team. Jonathan, you know, 1862, we're talking about building was built out of redwood was a well built. He was a he was a reasonably prosperous merchant in James Bay. And because it was Emily Carr's birthplace, or reasons that place still stands. It was acquired by a nonprofit organization. And then they turned over the province and the province ended up owning it. A few years ago, the building, John Adams, who's in charge of the strike sites for the part of the province started to recognize that government was not doing a good job of stewardship and was not doing a very imaginative job of operation for its historic sites. So he got an okay to move ahead with an idea this by the way, under the NDP government, to allow other parties to be operators. And in this case, it was Mike and Jan Ross, a couple who wanted to set up a business and they would run carhouse. And they've been doing it for six years now. The government was doing the capital maintenance on the building, but it did not they were the ones who set up the little store who operated these operated as a historic site and try to make the feel of it. They ran into some problems in that if you're doing this on what amounts to a year to year license from the government to do it, you're not going to be able to borrow money from the bank to invest in your business. So you need a longer term tenure people do it's something they wanted and wanted for some time now is give us a 15 or 20 year right to be the ones to run this so we can actually go to the bank with our tenure. Invest in growing our business here knowing that we're growing a business I mean that game that's what I'm we're kids on the road, and they weren't able to do that before. What the government has done is they did this for a number of sites and they decided to expand that the government, this government and made the decision As part of its core, the the core review, part of the core jobs of Ministry of Community Aboriginal women services did not involve running tourist attractions. As the runners of tourist attractions, the government had not been doing a good job for some time. There has not been any money budgeted for advertising for the government's historic sites for eight years. Zero, not a penny budgeted for advertising for somebody who's running tourist attractions. Ooh, charts would not last very long, wonderful place that it is if they did not invest in advertising. The government had made the decision some years ago to stop investing in advertising, and see whether anybody screamed bloody murder, and nobody did. So they've been doing this for years and years, we've been running down, I think you're standing up because I mean, in my time, off the running down the site Barkerville has been getting less and less attendance by large over the last few years. So it's not surprising if you're not advertising. This, by the way, is not a just a local phenomena. I was asking John Adams about this the other day, and he'd been looking at worldwide. One would say, my policy analysts had on that with the aging of the baby boomers. Let's face it, look at look at the average age of people in the room here. Whereas interested in history, and inherited, it's something that grows with you over time through one's lifetime. Younger people are less interested in heritage and older people, by and large, people who are not interested in heritage and history when they're in their 20s. Find them they get their 50s and 60s or other interested in these things. So one would think that with a demographic shift being the way it is in Europe, and in North America, we would be seeing an upswing in visitation to museums and historic sites. The reality has not been the case. Fact is that from that from the perspective of just plain visitation, we are not seeing that society is more interested in heritage now than they were 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. I don't know why exactly. That isn't, it might be good for starting to charge money used to be built to the Senate for free. And now it's a point during family to historic sites to be a pretty sizable chunk of money. What if we're going to reason that it's not just here? This is all across Europe, North America in the Western world. In any event, it's a phenomenon. People are gone. Warriors are the last people not here to museums. Yep, we are. I must admit, I'm not a big museum visitor. I'm interested in heritage. I don't go to very many historic sites is a bit of drive. I'm not sure why. Partly because I resist paying money. I think it's something I could get the money that they did 10 years ago. Tourism itself is growing. The Heritage piece of tourism hasn't been growing. I've got obviously you have five minutes ago, about two minutes, two seconds, two minutes. Give me one more final thing about Aboriginal heritage, because I think it is important. We have two kinds, remember I mentioned is the archaeological lobby that brought in the protection of the places that we have now an automatic protection to places that have physical remnants that are on there. Other types of heritage, it's important are in places that are important to the Aboriginal people, because they're sacred sites and things like that we don't have automatic protection for places like that. It is an area where we really can't, I believe government can real bridges to the First Nations by approaching them to at least try to find out where are the places that are important to you. And to the extent that we can, and if you want us to, we will use our authority to try to bring in protection for those places. If you think if First Nations think it'd be helpful, it's a way of building bridges and land use do we do not have good relations between First Nations and our local governments, etc. It's a it's a real promising area, I think it's also one where most politicians feelings will be fooled rushing in that it is a danger and trying to open these things up the ones you know, sleeping dogs live and be another use for something like that. But personally, I believe that's a real promising area to help build better relationships, First Nations and the islands trust is a suspect, working on trying to do things, although not necessarily as a heritage belief. I think one would think that heritage heritage is a grasping the nettle thing that you are different from my dad, I think it's the best approach to take rather than save it until after we've built

Unknown Speaker 1:09:31
trust in other venues.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:35
So getting back on the high side.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:38
I'm really sorry to interrupt. You have a great discussion, as you said you'd be available for private questions later. I think today we've been treated to an expert, an expert, legislator, expert conservator. And last but not least an expert for a very much

Unknown Speaker 1:09:59
thank you