It is a repair job

There was a status on Facebook the other day about the repairs needed at 24 Sussex Drive.

A large number of people commented on it and I was glad to see that the majority were in favour of getting it done. The main problem was the huge cost of the project.

The National Capital Commission is the custodian of official residences on behalf of the Canadian people.

In 2008 this commission said that they saw there were repairs needed and deemed them as urgent, but Harper refused to let them be done. In 2011 the commission again asked Harper to let them get the work done, again he refused.

We cannot put the full blame on Harper; none of the prime ministers in the last five decades have allowed the commission to do repairs.

Nobody wanted to be the one who got jumped on by the people for “wasting taxpayer’s money”. They all just left it for the ‘new guy’.

So instead of having a million dollar fix here and there over the years we now have a 10 to 15 million dollar fix that can no longer be put off. This new guy can’t even move into the house.

Let’s be clear here, this is not a redecorating job or even a renovation, it is a repair job.

This is the house where the leader of our country lives.

This is where he is expected to entertain leaders of other countries. I wonder what those other leaders think when they see the way this historic house has been neglected.

This country is not that old, we do not have that many historic buildings.

These buildings are part of our history and need to be preserved. Some people understand this better than others.
Fort Macleod and Camrose are two Alberta towns that went to a lot of work to preserve their heritage, and they can be proud of the result.

Whenever we see someone preserving their history we are happy to heap praise on them, as long as we are not the ones doing the work or paying for it.

The official residences of this nation belong to all of us; they are part of our history. We are the ones that have to preserve them.

We are the ones that have to do the work and pay the piper now for the next generation. Then that generation will have to do it for the generation after that and so it goes on.

Just imagine a history teacher of the future taking a class on a field trip to an empty lot and telling them this is where our prime ministers used to live. What kind of impression do you think that will make?

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