To: The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Ontario Minister of Heritage
Re: Lister Block
Dear Minister Carroll,
As you probably know, negotiations between the City of Hamilton and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) over a new deal to restore the Lister Building have broken down over the stipulations of a condition bond to guarantee a second phase of development.
In accordance with the recommendations of the Ontario Heritage Trust report on the Lister Block, and given the danger that LIUNA may decide to demolish the Lister building, it is incumbent on the Ontario Government to designate the Lister Building as a provincial heritage site to prevent further neglect and/or demolition.
Designation will accomplish several constructive goals:
It will formally assert the building's established heritage value;
It will clarify the rules under which the owner of the building must operate;
It will give the province powers under the Heritage Act to enforce property standards and prevent demolition; and
It will eliminate the threat of demolition as a bargaining tactic.
LIUNA Vice President Joe Mancinelli suggested on a recent radio interview with 900 CHML's Bill Kelly that LIUNA may proceed with redeveloping the Lister without municipal or provincial involvement.
In this case, it is imperative that LIUNA understand they are dealing with a heritage building and may not demolish it.
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