Stop the Harper Conservatives’ attacks on libraries
Conservative cuts geared towards libraries are threatening access to information for Canadian communities
The Conservatives must stop their attack on Canada’s local libraries.
As part of the Conservatives’ austerity measures contained in their “kitchen-sink” Budget bill, the government is hurting local libraries in three major ways:
1. The Community Access Program (CAP): Shutting down CAP, which provides grants to libraries and community centres to maintain public terminals for internet access. In smaller communities, the CAP sites are too often the only reliable, high-speed internet connection available to everyone from seniors looking to download pictures of their grandchildren to students conducting research for their science projects.
2. The National Archival Development Program: The Conservative government is also eliminating grants used by hundreds of local libraries, communities, churches, and other non-governmental organizations to collect and preserve vital historical information for future generations.
3. Interlibrary Loans: LAC will no longer be lending material to libraries across Canada. From now on, people who want to access our national archives, for a genealogy project, for example, will be forced to travel to Ottawa.
“The Harper Conservatives’ treatment of local libraries will have a devastating effect on our communities,” said Liberal Heritage critic Scott Simms. “By slashing or eliminating programs that libraries depend on, this government is not only limiting our ability to preserve this country’s collective history, but they are effectively choking off the flow of information to our small, Northern and rural communities.”
“The government of Canada has a role to play in ensuring that all Canadians have equal access to information regardless of where they live,” said Mr. Simms. “Liberals will stand with local communities in fighting these measures.”
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