York University professor Craig Heron told Postmedia News the Conservatives are “bleeding Canadian history dry” with cuts to Libraries and Archives Canada outlined in the 2012 budget. He is among the growing number of academics denouncing the spending cuts. Yet, 28 million was spent on a reenactment of the War of 1812 recently.
“It’s absurd the money that went into celebrating a war that essentially touched southern Ontario, that was highly inconclusive, and could hardly be said to have shaped Canada, but while millions in public funds finance (the reenactment), the actual institutions that preserve Canadian history are being badly slashed.”
said Heron, the former president of the Canadian Historical Association.
About 20 per cent of the 500 workers at Archives and Libraries Canada will lose their jobs under the Tories’ budget cuts. The layoffs will also close libraries at the immigration, transport and public works departments.
“Expertise is being lost, longtime knowledgeable workers are being pushed out the door and it’ll be much harder for Canada to record and write its history,” said Union of National Employees president Doug Marshall.
Responding to the calls for additional funding, a spokesperson for the heritage minister said Libraries and Archives Canada has enough money to fulfill its mandate.
“Library and Archives Canada is working to digitize its collection,” said Jessica Fletcher. “This means Canadians in all regions of the country will have access to our history, at less cost to taxpayers.”
However, under the 2012 budget, digitization staff will be cut by 50 per cent.
as found in the Calgary Herald, November 21, 2012 http://www.canada.com/Canadian+history+heritage+risk+from+cuts+Libraries+Archives+Canada