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Harper Government Disrespects the Past While Failing the Future

Harper Government Disrespects the Past While Failing the Future

The Harper government’s war on knowledge continues.

30 or more national historic sites across Canada will be less accessible because of the Harper governments budget cuts.

Riel House, where Louis Riel lay in state after being hanged for treason, is losing access to funding for interpreters to work for school tours and summer tourists. These cuts mean that fewer Canadians will get to see and learn about the country’s history.

At the same time, the government has shut down departmental libraries, laying off librarians and they’re cutting the budget and the acquisitions at Library and Archives Canada.

We should have known when the government ordered all documents related to the gun registry destroyed in case another government had the idea to start it again that they were looking to erase the past and create their own history. We should have known when they decided to put an end to the mandatory long form census, handicapping researchers in the future. We should have known when they named an economist as the Head Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

The government is telling Canadians that digitization would mean that Canadians have access to records everywhere, so it doesn’t matter that services and hours are being cut at Library and Archives and that historic sites are shortening their hours and going unstaffed.

Ask any trained librarian or archivist and they will tell you that paper books have outlasted every form of technology so far.

This government is spending money to celebrate Canada’s history the multimillion dollar commemoration of the War of 1812 is proof of that; they even made an app but they also appear to be picking and choosing which parts of our history deserve to be saved and celebrated.

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Photo Credit: Peter Vanderheyden

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62 comments

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11:13AM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

Unprecedented: Class Action Lawsuit Against Church, State, Big Pharma Given Green Light. To All Who Inhabit This Earth – End Denial http://wp.me/pWDrY-1cq

5:55PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Pope John Paul was quoted as saying :

"That the cure for Communism may turn out to be worse than the illness."

The neo cons in the States and the neo-Conservative Party of Harper in Canada are now beating up on folks who at most would describe themselves as politically middle-of- the- road.

1:09PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

From Rick Smith, PhD, Executive Director, Environmental Defence - Bad laws won't silence us! Sadly, Parliament passed Bill C-38 late last night [June 18.12]. But I want to assure you that despite this, we will continue to work to fight global warming and help Canada embrace solutions that cut emissions and create jobs.

12:55PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

We as Canadians have to SPEAK OUT!!! if we don't like what our government is doing.
Remember 'never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the country (world). Indeed it's the only thing that ever has.' Margaret Mead.

7:44AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

The problem is one of basic math. There aren't enough Opposition members to vote against the bill, unless by some chance EVERY Opposition member voted against it AND enough Conservatives were absent or abstained. And considering that *every* money-related bill is deemed a confidence vote and also is a whipped vote (the members are not allowed to vote their conscience or constituents' wishes, but must vote as the party leader directs), it would basically take a miracle.

We did have a small chance that enough Tory ridings would be declared vacant due to the election fraud issue, but that didn't happen (yet). There was also speculation that a dozen or so Tories would cross the floor to other parties or sit as Independents. That didn't happen either.

7:23AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Is it not possible to have a vote of no confidence on this omnibus bill? Can a Canadian or anyone else enlighten me on the rules( if that's they are called) of no confidence votes in the Canadian parliamentary system?

6:57AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

wim z why are you clicking the "add comment" button several times on each poll?
Are you a slow...no very slow learner?

5:36AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Stephen Harper’s political games and reckless agenda are harmful and Canadians are angry. In most cities across Canada JULY 1, 2012 will now be known as NATIONAL STOP HARPER DAY! One only needs to mention Steven Harper in public and his unpopularity with Canadians is very apparent. Harper's general dislike isn't without merit, in fact the list of reasons is too large to fit in a regular conversation, and expands daily. People who have the privilege to know have a duty to act. PLEASE JOIN US! http://www.facebook.com/events/294607607283595/

12:06AM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Here in the US we've reached the point in our ever nastier right wing conservative paradise that we now argue about whether it's OK for armed citizens to shoot and kill unarmed people that they feel threatened by. They call them Stand Your Ground Laws. We have school systems that avoid teaching evolution or feel compelled to give equal time to the fairy tale of "Intelligent Design". We have workers stripped of bargaining rights. We have the presidential candidates that ran in the republican primaries demanding that we adopt torture as national policy. We all ought to save ourselves a lot of misery and stand up to this neo Nazi insanity now. There's no possible way that decent people who have known freedom will consent to live in the neoconservative vision for the future. When this hateful nonsense loses it's power and decency takes control again we have got to punish these criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We have to make an example out of those who subvert democracy that is so severe that no one would even consider it. Since much of this nonsense seems to support large flows of the nation's wealth to a privaledged few, the seizure of assets has to be part of any justice.

11:36PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

This seems to be happening everywhere. They used to use the bogeyman of international Communism to scare us. Apparently, the real bogeyman is international neoconservatism. Everywhere they use the same playbook. Use fear of terrorists who live in caves as justification for erasing our personal liberty and civil liberties. Do nothing to repair the world's economies that were largely damaged by their fiscal irresponsibility. Use the continuing poor economy as excuse to erase any gains made by working people in the last 150 years. Strip workers of their right to bargain and make it more difficult to vote. Once you've destroyed every means that average citizens had to influence their society, you then lower the boom and get everybody working for peanuts. You make sure all the while to pump up the fear. Keep everybody scared of terrorism or crime or gays and then nobly agree to protect them for the low low cost of what's left of their freedom and dignity. One big republican world where miscreants like Mitt Romney will make sure your children and grandchildren live with less and have absolutely no choice but to accept it.

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