Advocacy

Background

CAHP advocates to promote and represent matters relating to the business of general heritage practice. Our organizations’ growing constituency of private-sector heritage professionals reflects a wide range of specialized expertise and, as a result, CAHP contributes to the development and improvement of national, provincial and regional heritage matters or policy embracing many disciplines.

To this end, the significance of CAHP’s advocacy is two-fold: it establishes the principles through which the members work AND the number of charters and policies through which our members define principles and practices. In other words, CAHP’s aim for advocacy outlines what it affects and delivers.

CAHP’s earliest advocacy achievements were the Tendering Guidelines and Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. To assure fair and successful contracts, the Tendering Guidelines are procedures that both clients and consultants can utilize; and, the key principle of the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics stipulates, “Members must be qualified to perform the work which they accept.” These documents are general, however, can incorporate many disciplines that CAHP and the heritage community represents. Through the past decade, CAHP’s guidelines have received acceptance among the client community and its members.

Through our endeavors, new opportunities evolved as new knowledge and new ways of thinking about heritage issues expanded.  During this time, CAHP members have participated in roundtable discussions, workshops and meetings concerning federal initiatives provincial legislation.  Some topics were RFP procedures, streamlining tasks, and processes to accomplish heritage work.  CAHP’s recent advocacy activities include its participation with the Cultural Human Resources Council, Historic Places Initiative (HPI), Public Works Government Services Canada (PWGSC), and, in Ontario, the Heritage Act, Planners Act and Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists (Archaeological Fieldwork).

Much effort and many incidents have built one upon another in ways that have given CAHP its character and, if we can say, its corporate culture.  Members of CAHP have been discovered in a positive way and associated with quality and experienced heritage work.  As a result, some municipalities, such as the City of Toronto, are now making CAHP membership an essential prerequisite for the heritage consultants they engage.  It is through the activities of CAHP members advocating for better business practices and heritage standards that continue to follow-up and collaborate with heritage agencies on behalf of those who work in the Canadian heritage sector.

Given that historic places are the cornerstones of memory, sense of place and community. And given that CAHP has an obligation to support the conservation of our material and cultural heritage and to promote an awareness and understanding of conservation, CAHP should, where and when appropriate, be a public advocate for the principles and practice of good heritage management across Canada.

Justification:

“The heritage movement needs to lead and re-conceptualize a new way of delivering heritage protection. An old generation of heritage conservation has passed and we need to develop a brand new strategic plan.”

Heritage conservation has not been enthusiastically embraced by the general public. Heritage advocates are perceived as negative, using rules to prevent, not to enable, actions. Despite its beginnings as a radical social movement, heritage conservation in Canada has not broadened out to address a larger social mission (October 2011, The Heritage Canada Foundation‘s National Council, The National Heritage Summit notes).

Advocacy Intent:

“Historic places are the cornerstones of memory, sense of place and community. The conservation, rehabilitation, protection and celebration of heritage buildings, natural sites and communities in Canada create livable places, reduce landfill, yield economic benefits, and preserve memory, history and identity” (October 2011, The Heritage Canada Foundation‘s National Council, The National Heritage Summit notes).

“With the escalating development and co-modification of heritage for recreational, economic, and political purposes, the input of conservation professionals is now all the more critical…the process must be brought back into a cultural context so that conservation can address and help define the individual and collective expressions of human endeavor by establishing and ensuring connections between the past and the present” (Ethics and Policy in Conservation, F. Matero, The Newsletter of the Getty Conservation Institute: 15.1 Spring 2000).

Advocacy Role:

  • Actively support the conservation of material heritage wherever it is warranted;
  • Where possible enhance public regard for the heritage consulting profession;
  • Only provide a professional opinion after being as fully informed as might reasonably be expected.

Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics:

The Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, hereafter referred to as the “Association”, has several objectives in establishing a code of professional conduct and ethics, notably:
the establishment of guidelines for members to follow when conducting their professional affairs; the establishment of a set of standards to which members must comply; ensuring that the interests of the public in general and the clients in particular will be properly served by members of the Association.

Photo Credits: Edwin Rowse, 2009 Award for Environmentally Sustainable – Rehabilitation (Artscape Wychwood Barns, Toronto).