Significant work is required at home Legros, built in 1890
10 June 2020 17: 31
Built heritage in Quebec: the report of the Auditor general is not surprising in the Gaspé
Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun
Complacency, lack of vision and lack of leadership to preserve the built heritage of Québec. The director general of Heritage Gaspé peninsula, Jean-Marie Had shared the findings of the report very critical of the Auditor general of Québec (VGQ) was tabled last week.
“The built heritage, it has always been the poor relation of the ministry of culture. Finally, there is someone objective and credible who brings to light what we said for years,” says Mr. Been. It therefore goes without saying that when it took cognizance of the report, he was not surprised by its content. “It’s been years that all the stakeholders of the mid-shout as he takes a shot bar, it is hoped that the report will be heard today,” he explains.
In its report published on 3 June, the bureau of investigation of the VGQ note that “the ministry of Culture and Communications (MCC) does not assume adequately its responsibilities in the areas of real estate and does not exercise the leadership expected”. It also denounces unreasonable time-limits to process applications of the classification, often between 5 and 10 years. “Often, the building at the time of collapse 10 times before you get a response,” laments Jean-Marie Had.
In the Gaspé, many heritage buildings would need immediate attention, ” reports Mr. Had. For example, the house Legros, Pointe-Saint-Pierre in Percé. The iconic building on years of fishing for cod, constructed in 1890, would need significant work. “It is always frustrating to be told : “we would have liked to intervene, but…” when it is too late,” says the historian.
A broken link with the municipalities
To the director general of Heritage Gaspé peninsula, a fracture between the MCC and the municipalities could be the cause of this lack of leadership and a concrete plan. “When they have relegated this responsibility to the cities, money and expertise have not kept up,” says Mr. Been. They have a little bit said to the municipalities : “arrange with the disorder””.
The last support that the department should encourage municipalities to assist property owners, especially in the rehabilitation works. M. Had therefore proposed to the various levels of government cover the additional costs for the owners, as the work of heritage buildings are often more expensive.
Same goes for the member of parliament for Gaspé and spokesperson for the Parti Québécois in culture, Méganne Perry-Mélançon. “There are no attractive financial incentives for someone who wants to keep the built heritage in good condition”, she says. It also denounced “a culture of midnight minus one” of the department. “It is not normal that we are always in train to put out fires, to save the heritage in the piece !”
The project coordinator municipal development in connection with the built and natural heritage of Percé, Lisa-Marie Gagnon, has not been taken by surprise by the report’s findings and judge as it arrives “to the point”. “We feel that there is a management problem, a problem of communication,” she adds.
A culture to build
Unlike other states in North America, such as Ontario or Maine, Quebec does not have the culture of the built heritage according to Jean-Marie Had. “Here, we do not see the built heritage as a public good, while in others, they are really a pride of the preserve “, he says. According to him, the municipality should be proud of their architectural history rather than see it as a burden. “Often, municipalities take the approach of accounting rather than the historical point of view. It really is a shame”, laments Mr Had.