01 December 2012

Moore on LAC

Concern remains about the direction of Library and Archives Canada. This is well expressed in a lengthy letter to Minister Moore from the Bibliographical Society of Canada here (pdf)

On Thursday in Question Period Heritage Minister James Moore answered a question on LAC.

Mr. Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, NDP):  
    Mr. Speaker, what we are hearing on the news makes us wonder if the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is already on Christmas break. It would not be surprising because there is nothing on the government's legislative agenda, no proposals, nothing.
    The TVA network is reporting that not a single management position will be among the 200 positions cut at Library and Archives Canada. Some managers will even receive bonuses and promotions. It is unacceptable to see the minister wash his hands of this.
    How can the minister allow Library and Archives Canada to cut all these positions and public access?
Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC):  
    Mr. Speaker, I saw the news on the TVA network. Quite frankly, the allegations are absolutely false.
    If my colleague would like to learn more about what is happening at Library and Archives Canada, I urge him to invite Daniel J. Caron to the heritage committee. We could certainly discuss this matter. What we are doing is reinvesting in order to open the doors of Library and Archives Canada to more Canadians than ever before and give them access to its services and contents. We will continue with this work in order to improve the situation for all Canadians.
By inviting the heritage committee to call Caron, rather than offering to appear himself supported by Caron, the Minister continues to 'wash his hands" of the issues as pointed out by M. Nantel.

At a hearing by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage later in the day M. Nantel indicated he would be raising the question of M Caron appearing in an in-camera session of the committee, one followed immediately after the Minister's appearance. Whether the Conservative majority on the committee will permit this is to be seen.

For the record, on Tuesday Minister Moore introduced Bill C-49 "An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History"

The Bill states that "The purpose of the Canadian Museum of History is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures."

While the initiative changes the emphasis of the museum in maintains a broader view than Canadian history as was present in the predecessor Museum of Civilization. Had the proposal been to rename it the Museum of Canadian History I'd have been concerned. In my view this is a change to support.


Barbara Tose said...

If the mandate is more or less the same and the support from the government for the museum isn't changing (according to our illustrious "leaders") then why the expensive name change? The cost of this change will be enormous and must be absorbed by the museum with no extra funding from Treasury Board. This sounds like a cut to me with absolutely no justification for the change. Outrageous!

J said...

I agree with Barbara Tose.

Anonymous said...

All the LAC staff know that the cuts to teh EX category were fake. How can the Minister say this with a straight face - oh, wait I forgot who we were talking about, Mr. Everything will be fine, it will all be digitized


Anonymous said...

Again in the news....