On May 14, Minister Kent, in consultation with government MPs with ridings along the canal, announced that Parks Canada would freeze recreational lockage fees along Canada's historic canals for three years at 2008 levels. During this time, Parks Canada plans to work with local Members of Parliament, community leaders and the tourism industry to develop and implement an improved operating model to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the canals operations on the system.
Taking a step towards that objective, the ‘Living and Visiting the Rideau UNESCO World Heritage Site' project is designed to help identify innovative new ways to ensure the Rideau Canal meets its potential as a vibrant and animated world-class site that contributes to local economies. This initiative will be managed through the collaborative efforts of Parks Canada, the Rideau Roundtable, the Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Lanark County, the Town of Smiths Falls, and the Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation.
Together, these groups plan to identify new experience concepts, innovations and enhancements to make these traveling the Rideau Canal a memorable experience for visitors.