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What are the solutions to the many problems outlined on this website? I've compiled a few ideas.
- The Rideau Canal needs a dedicated manager with the same powers as the former Superintendent. Currently the Rideau receives part-time management from the Director of Ontario Waterways, who is based on the Trent-Severn and spends most of her time on Trent-Severn issues. There is now a new Associate Director of Ontario Waterways, based on the Rideau Canal, but it's also a part-time position for the Rideau with responsibilities for both the Rideau and Trent-Severn. The Rideau is a highly complex system not to mention being a UNESCO World Heritage Site - it needs and deserves its own dedicated management. The lack of attention to heritage issues over the last 4 years speaks volumes to the fact that the current management structure isn't working.
- The Rideau Canal needs a Manager of Heritage, someone with a heritage background qualified to develop and administer the many heritage requirements of the Rideau Canal - most importantly the Commemorative Integrity of the Canal. Currently there is no one in the management structure of the Rideau Canal qualified to do this job.
- The staffing of the Rideau Canal needs to be changed in order for Parks Canada to deliver its legislated requirement of heritage protection and presentation. Currently there is surplus of both business development and PR people, those could be cut in half to provide staffing positions that would allow Parks Canada to meet its heritage and public education requirements.
- Restore sustainable capital funding to the Rideau Canal. The infrastructure program dollars are very welcome and very badly needed, but the Rideau Canal still has no sustainable capital funding.
- The core of the many problems with the Rideau Canal lies in Parks Canada's headquarters which has seen a shift in corporate culture away from natural and cultural heritage protection and presentation in favour of revenue generation and simple tourism. For meaningful changes to happen on the Rideau Canal, Parks Canada needs to return to actually delivering its legislated requirements, something that their upper management is not directing the agency to do today. Their management has transformed Parks Canada over the last 10 years into a simple tourism agency (driven by revenue and visitor numbers), something that has no basis in legislation. Parks Canada needs to return to what its legislation (the Parks Canada Agency Act) says it should be doing.
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