Cuts at Library and Archives Canada devastating for preservation of Canada’s history

The following is a press release issued by the Canadian Association of University Teachers. It is about the present Conservative Canadian government’s further attempts to change the landscape of what it means to be Canadian, disguised as budgetary restraint.

I urge you to write your MP and light your own small candle for Canada’s heritage.

(Ottawa,May 2, 2012) Recent cuts to staff and programming at Library and Archives Canada

(LAC) will have devastating effects on our nation’s ability to acquire and preserve its history.

On April 30, LAC presented 450members of its staff with affected notices, with 215 of those

positions to be eliminated.

“The cuts to jobs at Library and Archives Canada are an attack on one of Canada’smost

important cultural institutions,” said James L. Turk, executive director of the Canadian

Association of University Teachers. “Staff at our national archives and library are the stewards

of our collectivememory.”

“These cuts will further undermine the capacity of Library and Archives Canada to fulfill its

legislatedmandate to acquire, preserve andmake accessible Canada’s history.”

The announced cuts include:

• the elimination of 21 of the 61 archivists and archival assistants that deal with nongovernmental


• the reduction of digitization and circulation staff by 50%,

• a significant reduction in the number of staff that deal with preservation and conservation

of documents,

• the closure of the interlibrary loans unit.

The National Archival Development Program(NADP), which supports programming at

provincial, regional and university archives across Canada, will also be eliminated. Many of

these are the small, local archives were to be part of LAC’s new distributed Pan-Canadian

Documentary Heritage Network.

As a result of the NADP cut, the Canadian Council of Archives office will be closed in Ottawa

andmany summer work projects already planned across the country will be cancelled.

“Canadiansmust act now to protect their cultural heritage,” said Turk.

Please visit for updated information and to view the new video by historian

Craig Heron on the importance of Library and Archives Canada.

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