Budget Includes $21 Million for Heritage Properties
The budget brought down on February 21, 2012 by finance minister Kevin Falcon included $21 million for the provincial Heritage Properties. This collection of 10 provincially-owned historic sites, including Barkerville and Fort Steele historic towns, was devolved to private operators a decade ago. The new funding will be distributed over three years for “maintenance and operations”.
For years, Heritage BC has been urging the provincial government to come to a sustainable resolution of the Heritage Properties funding question which has overshadowed all other heritage issues and priorities. With this latest funding, the provincial government has now committed over $50 million to the Properties since devolution began in 2002, while all other heritage spending has dwindled to almost nothing. It is to be hoped that this is not just another stop-gap investment but the beginning of a long-term plan for the Properties.
The cover story of the HBC Spring 2012 Quarterly examines the history of devolution and the prospects for the future.