Oh boy! It's Ontario Heritage Week. The London Free Press clearly should be avoided this week, as it surely will be passing more heritage wind than usual:
"Downtown London has been gutted, like a fish filet -- meat on both sides, the guts out of the middle," said Robert Shipley, who teaches planning at the University of Waterloo and is a leading expert on Ontario's heritage stock.An appropriate level, to be determined and enforced by the ministers of heritage. And if the owner of a designated heritage builiding cannot afford the "appropriate" repairs, will the city seize the property if it is not maintained according to such necessarily arbitrary standards?
Shipley describes the recent demolition of St. Peter's Rectory, for example, as a continuation of the "vandalism" of heritage.It would have been a bad idea for St.Peters to repair the rectory, for the soundest economic reasons: long term safety and preservation. I suppose we should have forced the church to spend their funds as the heritage fascists would have liked, even if such extravagance would negatively impact their budget in the long run when the walls caved in. The ministers of heritage would have us all running up huge debts, much like the way the city, province and country is run, which is to say, irresponsibly. Before long the entire city will be reduced to relative rumble and as everyone will be bankrupt, there will be no more pockets to pick, which we can, after careful research, claim results from the vandalism of private property.
Why not apply this logic of force to the situation at Fanshawe Village, which has fallen to ruin, although they get free unearned money from the city. Maybe they should have been forced to manage their money properly or give up and get out of 'business'.
Perhaps they would have more money for repairs if the village's directors didn't spend $30,000 on a consultant to determine and shape the village's "mandate". Mismanagement will not be rectified by further seizures of public funds.
Despite the continual promises made by village leaders that they would raise more private revenue, they continue to rally for more city money, passing the buck to next year. The broken record continues to skip. Don Pearson, board chairperson of Fanshawe Pioneer Village attempts to justify the misuse of yet further public funds in an article written by Ian Gillespie:
Pearson agrees the historic village is in shabby shape and that after visiting, many people won't want to return.Good riddance - I won't miss you and apparently most Londoners won't care either. I suppose they can always lobby the province. Sounds like Ontario Tourism and Recreation Minister Jim Bradley would be happy to help the village beg for money:
Asked about London's struggling Fanshawe Pioneer Village, Bradley said his ministry would like to hear from London if it could be of any assistance in marketing.