Canadian Museum of History Act

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I approach this issue with a fair degree of trepidation, because I think I might find myself somewhere between opposition members and government members. When I read Bill C-7, which was Bill C-49, I cannot find anywhere in the text of the bill the desire to destroy the Canadian Museum of Civilization or the new Canadian museum of history.

The mandate I find in the text 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.

In other words, I see what is happening at the Museum of Civilization. I can see that what is happening with the current management is disruptive to individual researchers. I read this in the press. However, I do not find malicious intent in the text of the bill, and that is what we have before us.

I ask my friend for guidance.


Stéphane Dion: In fact, Mr. Speaker, the mandate is a reversal of the former mandate. The former mandate was to focus on civilizations around the world, and through that, to learn about Canada. The new mandate is the exact opposite. We will focus on Canada, and as an afterthought, we will look at—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

Stéphane Dion: In fact, I would be very pleased to have a museum of Canadian history. The problem is that killing the Museum of Civilization to do that is not something the government should be proud of.