Gatineau-Ottawa: infrastructure heritage federal decrepitude

News 25 August, 2017
  • Chris Roussakis/ QMI Agency
    24 Sussex in Ottawa

    Christopher Nardi

    Thursday, 24 August, 2017 19:28

    Thursday, 24 August, 2017 19:41

    Look at this article

    OTTAWA | More than one-quarter of the infrastructure of heritage federal in the Gatineau-Ottawa region fall into ruin. In lack of funds, the organization responsible for maintaining the alarm rings in the face of this “critical situation”.

    “We are at a pivotal moment where it is believed that it is the right time to sound the alarm. If we do not act now, the situation will quickly become problematic […] Yes, the situation made worse since the past few decades,” says the spokesperson of the national capital Commission (NCC), Nicholas Galetti.

    It was reacting in the wake of the publication Thursday of an audit of the Auditor general of Canada (VG), which found that 27 % of the assets of the NCC were in a state “fair, poor or critical.”

    The NCC is the public body which manages the majority of the thousands of buildings and infrastructure heritage in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, including six official residences (including 24 Sussex), two interprovincial bridges and the Gatineau park.

    The report, however, stated that the Commission suffers from a lack of funding for many years and would not allow him to repair its infrastructure at the same rate as they were deteriorating.

    “If the Company’s assets continue to deteriorate, it could not fulfill its mandate, and the assets could lead to risks to health and safety,” warns the report, which was critical of the Commission have avoided to advise the federal government of the seriousness of the situation.

    More budget

    The conclusions of the report of the VG not surprising that the spokesperson of the NCC, which indicates that the annual budget of the body has been cut regularly for the past few years by the federal government.

    While Ottawa she be granted more than$ 27 Million in 2013-2014, this amount fell to 22.7 M$ this year.

    “The situation has become critical […] To date, it was most possible with the resources that we had as we focus on the critical projects. But our workforce have aged and the repair costs increase, so it is the pivotal moment where we need more resources,” said Mr Galetti.

    On the side of the cabinet of the minister for Heritage, who is responsible for the NCC, it refuses to commit to increasing the funding of the Commission.

    “Our government expects all government agencies comply with the budgetary resources allocated. As for all requests for new funds, the government must balance the many financial pressures and the funding available,” said by e-mail to the spokesman Pierre-Olivier Herbert.