Culture Minister Aileen Carroll’s 15 months of shame

Aileen Carroll

Aileen Carroll

Posted by Bob Foster

Dear Mr.Premier,
Today marks exactly 15 months to the day that we lost beautiful & historic Alma College in St.Thomas.The Alma supporters thought our culture minister would surely step forward after the horrific fire and designate the property to protect the 2 remaining buildings and outdoor amphi-theatre,but sadly we were mistaken.Aileen Carroll has FAILED to do anything of importance,when it comes to Ontario’s built heritage.Countless buildings have been demolished on her watch,and with 14 months left before the next provincial electon,we are sure to lose many more before Ontarian’s realize what a failure this Liberal government has been,on so many fronts.Aileen Carroll was recently voted the 2nd most invisible provincial cabinet minister by the people in her own riding.Letters were sent to the editors of several newspapers by the voters in her riding,claiming she does not respond to e-mails,letters or phone messages.A spokesman for Carroll claimed she likes to work quietly behind the scene to get things done.Now that statement is laughable,Minister Carroll doesnt work quietly,in fact she doesnt work at all,at least not for the protection of built heritage.I’ve seen Minister Carroll on the evening news,at the opening of several art galleries and other regal events,but have yet to see her do anything of significant value in the area of built heritage.96 Moore Street has always been a candidate for Provincial Heritage Designation,and the Ontario Heritage Trust recommended such designation,but the ministry of culture hid the OHT report for months,letting the “demolition by neglect” to continue,until the college was burned to the ground 15 months ago.Will Minister Carroll now give 96 Moore Street the honor it so deserves,will she finally recognize the contribution Alma College made to our province for well over 100 years,or will she continue allowing historic buildings and properties to be demolished and bulldozed.The Alma supporters await designation for this historic property,anything less would be an insult to 100 years of service.We await a response,but according to voters in her own riding of Barrie,responding is not a top priority for Aileen Carroll.

Bob Foster

7 thoughts on “Culture Minister Aileen Carroll’s 15 months of shame

  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….Barbra Scurley

  2. I’m from Port Dalhousie where the Ministry has taken NO action on a 17 story condo in a heritage district.
    Frankly, we should all get together and picket the Ministry Offices. It is contemptible that we are paying taxes for such total inaction.

    Sheridan Alder

  3. Sheridan: Have been following the Port Dalhousie condo story via Built Heritage News. Not only total inaction, a complete lack of communication on the matter of some of Ontario’s finest built hertiage. Ian

  4. I am delighted in the decisions and support the Ministry of Culture has given towards the redevelopement of Port Dalhousie. Aileen Carroll as did the various levels of Government, looked hard at the big picture. they all offered extensive public participation and when all things were considered, they rendered a very good decision.
    During the course of the application and hearings 3 things became obvious;

    1) The arguement stemmed from defining what is heritage, is it always something pure and true to historical fabric or can it be new (newer). Would todays developments not become tomorrows heritage ?

    2) The use of fear tactics, misinformation and skewed or missing facts and data by the local community heritage group damaged their case obviously. Rather than discuss, meet, negotiate or make any attempt at joint resolutions to the differences was simply not happening with the heritage activists.

    3) Heritage assets belong to everyone, not the few and not to a single special interest groups focus and views. Sustainabbility also factors in, who pays for heritage assests, Public or Private ?

    In the case of the Port Dalhousie redevelopment the system and the public process worked perfectly.

  5. Curt: Have been following situation in Port Dalhousie and glad it worked out. Too bad it was the exact opposite outcome in St. Thomas with Alma College. Aileen and her ministry shirked all responsibility – in fact wouldn’t even come to the city to view what became the top endangered heritage site in the country before arson took its toll. No engagement of dialogue, no public meetings … no interest whatsoever. Not my problem.

  6. Ian: read what Harley is saying more carefully!
    It should be pointed out that Curt Harley is the prospective Project Manager for the Port Place Tower project, and has a vested interest in seeing it go through. He cites the opinion of the OMB adjudicator, Susan Campbell, who is described as, “never having met a condominium she didn’t like”. The builders and the OMB are in cahoots with each other, and their rationales for building in Port Dalhousie have nothing to do with heritage or history,and everything to do with profit-taking. Curt is no friend of heritage, but rather of plowing, paving and pouring concrete onto anything that pays well.

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