Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act

The Canadian public now has an important role to play in identifying and protecting heritage lighthouses, thanks to the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act which took effect on April 29, 2010.

The Act, which was shepherded through Parliament by a committed team including the late Senator Mike Forrestall, Senator Lowell Murray, MP Larry Miller and myself, was created to ensure the protection and conservation of heritage lighthouses by:

  • Providing for the selection and designation of heritage lighthouses;
  • Preventing the unauthorized alteration or disposition of heritage lighthouses;
  • Requiring that heritage lighthouses be reasonably maintained; and
  • Facilitating sales or transfers of heritage lighthouses in order to ensure the lighthouse’s public purpose.

The Act allows members of the public to petition for the designation of those lighthouses which they consider to possess significant heritage value. Petitions must be submitted to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada between May 29, 2010 and May 29, 2012.

Parks Canada’s website gives more information about the Act and about the petition process. Please visit:  www.pc.gc.ca/progs/lhn-nhs/pp-hl/index.aspx.

Under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act the Department of Fisheries and Oceans may sell or transfer heritage lighthouses to the Canadian public. On May 27, 2010, DFO published a list of the lighthouses in Canada it had deemed surplus. An updated version of this list and more information from DFO is available at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/infocus-alaune/2010/02/index-eng.htm.

I am now chairing the consultative group that was mandated to advise the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada as it reviews these petitions and considers recommendations to the Minister responsible for Parks Canada. We work with the Heritage Lighthouse Program Office, which is responsible for processing petitions.

If you have questions about helping to protect Canada’s heritage lighthouses, contact

Norman Shields
Manager, Heritage Lighthouse Program
Parks Canada 
Tel:  819-934-9096
E-mail: Lighthouses.Phares@pc.gc.ca

I also welcome your feedback: please contact me.