Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why government buildings should be owned by the people.

  1. GOC buildings were built by the people of Canada...they are Crown assets.
  2. The C.D. Howe Building in Ottawa houses Industry Canada, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada and the Passport Office. Canadian passports are a hot commodity on the black market; identity theft is a major international problem. Privatizing federal buildings is tantamount to handing criminals the keys to the kingdom, a treasure trove of documents that can be forged.
  3. GOC buildings store and produce classified documents, they own machinery that prints money, and the Royal Canadian Mint stores tonnes of gold. The vaults at the Revenue Canada Building, the Connaught Building, store millions of Canadian tax dollars. I often visit Library and Archives Canada,  LAC is now "divesting" thousands of documents; photographic material, maps, letters---
     Glenn Gould a voluminous amount of material to the Archives, including his hats and fingerless gloves, diaries, letters... An American woman stole Glenn Gould documents from LAC, and tried to sell them on E-Bay, LAC officials flew down to Texas to retrieve the items. Many Canadians donated their archives to LAC, including architect Arthur Erickson, Malak Karsh, Moshe Safdie, Roloff Beny and Douglas Cardinal. Cultural property, donated in good faith, should remain in Canada; not scattered to the wind, or sold on the Internet.
  4. Many federal buildings, in particular post offices and the CNR train stations, were heritage buildings. Once a heritage building is transferred from a federal Crown corporation or agency, the museum, armoury, aircraft hangar, etc.  loses all heritage protection. The Grand Trunk railway station on Montreal Street in Kingston, Ontario is crumbling, and blue tarp covers the roof.  What a shameful way to treat Canada's architectural history. In the United States, federal buildings are called "symbols of democracy".

    1973 photographs of the Grand Trunk Railway Station in Kingston, Ontario.
     People contact Service Canada if they want to apply for, or get information about:  Permanent Resident Cards; Temporary Resident Cards; Work Visas; Social Insurance cards; GST/HST credits; Canadian passports; Employment Insurance; Apprenticeship grants; the Canada Pension Plan; the CPP Disability Plan; Old Age Security; Maternity Benefits; Universal child-care tax benefits; The Guaranteed Income Supplement; the Veteran's Disability Fund; the War Veteran's Allowance...the list goes on. The Joseph Shepard Building is also a Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre.The Americans would never sell their FBI National or Regional Headquarters; the National Archives in Washington D.C.; the Pentagon; the Smithsonian or any other world-renowned American government institution. The reason? National security. In Canada, a former RCMP building in Toronto is a luxury hotel:

The Grand Hotel on Jarvis Street in Toronto, Ontario.

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