17 May 2012

Is LAC's parliamentary budget request misleading?

In a previous post I commented that the recently tabled Library and Archives Canada Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP), on the basis of which Parliament votes funding, is misleading as it does not included the impact of cuts imposed in the 2012 budget.
I wrote to Mark Melanson, listed in the RPP as the contact for information, and received a response from Marc Comeau, Strategic Communications Manager with LAC's Communications Bureau.

LAC's 2012-13 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) was prepared prior to the tabling of the 2012 Federal Budget, and as a result the measures in the Budget that will affect LAC are not captured in this edition of the RPP. The measures announced in the 2012 Budget will of course be reflected and addressed in any future budgetary estimates for LAC, and will most notably be covered in upcoming Departmental Performance Reports where actual results will be compared to plans and expectations expressed in the RPP.
This means that cuts in the 2012 budget come on top of cuts of 18.7% in the RPP making that document as useful as yesterday's weather forecast.
The organizations representing the Canadian genealogical community are notably silent on the situation.  Is that what you as a member expect of your society?
By contrast the Canadian Association of University Teachers has led the way with its Save Library and Archives campaign.
The Canadian Historical Association is hoping to work with other interest groups and parties, as it did with the census, to share concerns with the federal government’s plans for:
-Cuts to the Library and Archives of Canada including 50% of the archivists who handle non-government records and elimination of the Interlibrary Loan service.
-Elimination of the National Archives Development Plan which supported local archives
-Elimination of the Understanding Canada program which supported Canadian Studies in other Countries
-Cuts to Parks Canada efforts to protect and preserve our heritage resources.
LAC management has done little to endear itself to the genealogical community.
There is a dilemma in this situation, how does one express concern about the cuts without showing support for management's strategic direction?

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