June 10th, 2013

The NDP wants to save the name and the mandate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization

OTTAWA - The NDP will support amendments to the Conservatives’ Bill C-49 enabling the Canadian Museum of Civilization to retain its name, thereby saving a brand that is internationally recognized.

"The government is once again attempting to whitewash Canadian history and remake our historical institutions in its image," said NDP Heritage critic, Pierre Nantel (Longueuil--Pierre-Boucher).

In addition to the name change, Bill C-49 strips a major component from the Museum's mandate which requires it to maintain and develop collections for 'research and posterity.' While the government has tried to downplay the proposed changes to the Museum's mandate, many experts disagree.

"Under this bill, Canada's most popular museum will no longer be a hub of research that ensures the inclusion of differing views of history, be they English, French, First Nations or multicultural," said Nantel.

"The Conservatives failed to consult before introducing this bill. They've begun making changes even though the bill has not passed Parliament. The fact is they’ve slashed budgets for heritage and cultural institutions, they interfere in museums that should be arms-length, and they muzzle independent voices of historians, archivists and librarians," said NDP Deputy Heritage critic, Andrew Cash (Davenport).