23 October 2012

LAC to be an important part of the Canadian Museum of History

In response to a question in Parliament on Monday Heritage Minister James Moore may have let slip a change in LAC's reporting relationship. If so expect more soon.

Pierre Nantel: Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservatives came to power, they have done their best to undermine Library and Archives Canada. Their cuts and neglect are jeopardizing the preservation of thousands of historic documents.

If the Conservatives really love Canadian history, they must protect our archives. This is about our history and our heritage, which must absolutely be preserved.

The Conservatives would rather rob Peter to pay Paul. Instead of rewriting and politicizing Canadian history, and leaving taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars, can the minister confirm that Library and Archives Canada will maintain complete control over Canadian archives?

James Moore: Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, Library and Archives Canada will actually be an important part of the new Canadian Museum of History as we move forward, because it is the guardian of a lot of our past. It will be a very large part of this project as we move forward.

I hope that the NDP will actually decide to support this initiative, because this is in fact an effort to bring all Canadians together to talk about all of Canada's stories. Therefore, I would hope that my hon. colleague would put away the rhetoric he has used yesterday and today in the House and would work with me and other members of Parliament to make this institution what it should be, which is an institution for all Canadians.

Louis Plamondon: Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives definitely love history, especially when it can be altered to suit their interpretation. Why bother with reality when symbols will do?

The Conservatives are spending tens of millions of dollars to celebrate a war that took place 200 years ago—they are exaggerating its importance, especially to francophones—and now they are changing the mandate and the name of one of the top museums, located in Quebec, in order to glorify the Conservative version of the Canadian identity.

Why do the Conservatives want to politicize history?

James Moore: Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely not the case. We are working with the museum. It makes decisions about its programming independent of the government.

Marie Lalonde, a leader in Canada's museums community, said that, “in partnership with this new museum, local museums will be able to offer their visitors distinctive exhibits and initiatives that would otherwise not be available.”

Our support today for this new project will help all museums across Canada, including Quebec museums. It is unfortunate that the Bloc Québécois continues to be against Quebec.

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