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House of Commons, Pierre Nantel’s Question to the Minister of Heritage on Budget Changes

MP Pierre Nantel asks, “Why make cuts to the archives to change the purpose of such a popular museum?”

October 17th, 2012

Mr. Pierre Nantel (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, while his department has to make do with a budget that has been cut by $200 million, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages is going to spend $25 million to change what? He is going to change a winning formula—that of the most popular museum in the country—something that, obviously, nobody wants.

The current Canadian Museum of Civilization already focuses a large portion of its resources on Canadian history, but that is not all it does. That is what people like and that is what makes the museum great.

The government’s vision of archives, museums and culture is dangerously obtuse, narrow-minded and outdated. Why make cuts to the archives to change the purpose of such a popular museum?

Hon. James Moore (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, such is not the case. Library and Archives Canada will be involved in this process. However, unlike the NDP, we believe that we must celebrate Canada’s history. We are proud of our heritage. We will now have an institution, the new Canadian Museum of History, that will do just that.

The executive director of the Canadian Museums Association, John McAvity, said that the renaming of the museum is essential, that it is good news and that it will give Canadians greater access to their heritage and history.

This is what we are going to do: we are going to proudly celebrate Canada’s history and heritage.