NDP heritage critic Andrew Cash
Credits: ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA -- The Canadian Museum of Civilization will soon be history - at a cost to taxpayers.
The federal government announced Tuesday it plans to introduce legislation to change the Gatineau, QC museum to the Canadian Museum of History.
The new museum will present the story of Canada's history and tales of its people, says Heritage Minister James Moore. Exhibits will highlight "national achievements" including the construction of the Canada Pacific Railway and items from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.
"Canadians deserve a national museum that tells our stories and presents our country's treasures to the world," Moore said. "It is about a new vision and a new approach that builds on the successes of the past."
The change will cost $25 million, already budgeted though Canadian Heritage.
Renovations are set to be complete by 2017, before Canada's 150th birthday. Changes will be made to more than 50,000 square feet of space through existing resources and partnerships with other museums.
NDP heritage critic Andrew Cash has slammed the decision and says the government's move looks like "rebranding in the image of the Conservative party."
"It's a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul. First they announce cuts to Library and Archives Canada"¦ with it, we lose all of this institutional knowledge," Cash said. "Then they throw around splashy money on a ribbon-cutting event for the Conservatives."
Moore says the creation of the museum is "entirely non-partisan."
"This is what is in Canada's best interest," he said. "There will be a time when all of us that are currently politicians are no longer politicians. I hope we all look back on moments like this and realize that this is not a left wing issue or a right wing issue."