The Role of the Province in Heritage

Does the Province of British Columbia have a heritage register?

The Province has Registers that record sites, objects or land of historical importance. Unlike the City’s Heritage Register, the sites on the Provincial Register have all been designated as protected heritage.

How does the Province protect historical sites?

For a site to be provincially protected, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must designate the object or site as a “provincial heritage.” This designation may apply to a single property, part of a property or a number of properties owned by different people.

Can the province provide temporary protection to heritage sites undergoing construction?

Yes, if the Minister believes a site is at risk, he/she may issue a stop work order for 120 days while the site goes under review.

How is a building “designated” by the Province?

Before a site can be designated, the Minister must notify the property owner and all associated parties. If the persons notified object to the designation, they must do so in writing within 30 days. The Minister has 30 days to present these objections to the Lieutenant Governor and the designation process becomes under review. The Lieutenant Governor may then cancel or instate the designation within one month and must notify all parties regardless of the decision. Once a site is provincially designated it is protected by provincial law and is registered on the appropriate Provincial Heritage registry.

What about compensation of designated property?

Like the City’s compensation process, the Province must also compensate the original property owner with an amount agreed upon by both parties. If an amount cannot be agreed upon by both parties, compensation will be decided by binding arbitration.