Library and Archives Canada

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been outraged by the dismantling of government libraries, such as those dealing with fisheries, forests, and health. Under the Library and Archives of Canada Act, these materials are protected as the documentary heritage of Canadians. Surplus materials are to be placed in the care and control of the Librarian and Archivist, and materials and records cannot be destroyed without written consent. I have spoken to the current Librarian and Archivist of Canada, and it appears to me the act was not followed.

Will the Prime Minister commit to immediately investigating whether these acts of closing libraries and casting the materials to the winds, to dumpsters and to looters, are legal, and will he restore and protect the documentary heritage of Canadians?

Gary Goodyear: Mr. Speaker, nothing of the sort could be any further from the truth. Original materials will be preserved. Duplicate materials that nobody wants will be disposed of in the usual manner. Information that was available in the libraries continues to remain available in the digital world. Welcome to this century.

I will say that this allows more people to access that information and at less cost to the taxpayers. That is the truth.