Hughes pushes government to protect heritage lighthouse

MP pushes for enduring repairs to Manitoulin tourist attraction

Ottawa – The federal government has a responsibility to make appropriate repairs to tourist destination lighthouses before handing them over to caretaker groups, says Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes. 

 Hughes brought the concerns of the La Cloche Manitoulin Lighthouse Association to question period as parliament resumed Monday.  She relayed their hope to have the government undertake immediate and enduring repairs to the Mississagi Lighthouse’s roof to ensure the key tourist attraction remains structurally sound.

 “Tourists are drawn to these national symbols; driving the economy in communities across the country,” said Hughes.  “But the Conservatives are allowing these heritage sites to crumble and fall.”

 The La Cloche Manitoulin Lighthouse Association is acting as an advisory board for the Dawson Citizens Committee who have applied to take over the structure.  Concerns that another short-term fix will place an extraordinary obstacle in the path of any group taking over the lighthouse are growing.

“If they don’t fix the roof now, there won’t be any lighthouse left to transfer to local ownership,” said Rick Nelson, co-chair of the Association.  “Placing a tarp over a leaky roof is just not good enough.”

 Hughes, who has advocated on the association’s behalf throughout the application process, posed a blunt question to the government.

 “Will the Conservatives reconsider their temporary patch-ups and truly commit to protecting our heritage lighthouses?”