Canadian Museum of History Act (Bill C-49)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, as members will know, I am planning to support this bill, but I have concerns. One of them is that initially I thought $25 million was a good amount for distributing and sharing exhibits with more of our regional museums across the country. I recently met with some folks who knew what it really costs to put together an exhibit. The First Peoples Hall had initially cost $20 million, so $25 million begins to sound as if it would not be sufficient to get the exhibits and share them with museums.

Does the hon. member for Wild Rose have any idea if there is thought to augmenting the budget to ensure that pieces of our history, including women’s history, first nations history and the complex dimensions of our history, are actually sufficiently funded to meet all the demands of smaller regional museums across Canada?

Blake Richards: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member raised this issue, because it is one that I believe is a very key part of this new mandate for the museum, including the sharing of our key national treasures with other museums across the country, and vice versa. They will have the opportunity to share theirs with the museums in the capital region. I appreciate her giving me the opportunity to highlight that one more time, because I believe it will be a huge benefit to museums all across Canada and to Canadians, by extension, whether it be at local museums or key national museums here in the capital region, to have greater access to some of the key artifacts and treasures of so many great aspects of our Canadian history.