moved that Bill , be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to open the debate in the House on Bill , an act to amend the Museums Act to establish the Canadian museum of history.
This legislation would change the name and mandate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, an institution with a remarkable and proud history. It is a history that traces its way back to 1856 when it was then known as the Geological Survey of Canada. In 1968, its mandate shifted and its name changed again to the Museum of Man. In 1986, it was renamed the Canadian Museum of Civilization and was moved to its current home on the bank of the Ottawa River.
This museum is the largest of Canada's museums. It is the largest both in size, with over one million square feet, and visitors, averaging 1.3 million visitors over the past couple of years. It receives the largest share of government funding of any museum and it is one of the museums with the highest level of self-generated revenue.
While the Canadian Museum of Civilization is our country's most visible national museum, it is not our only museum. In fact, there are over 2,500 museums in communities all across the country, some large, some small, and all these museums tell our stories. They tell them in different ways and in different locations and they tell them in a way that is unique to these local communities.
For example, in the small town of Midway, British Columbia, there is an exhaustive display of material from the Japanese internment during the Second World War. Japanese Canadians living in the region collected materials and put together a narrative of what Japanese Canadians dealt with and suffered through in the south Okanagan during the Second World War. There are countless examples of exhibits like this in museums all across Canada.
This museum describes Canada's history, yet Canada does not have a national institution that connects all of these local museums across the country to tell Canada’s story.
Geographically, Canada is the second largest country in the world, but in terms of population, we are the 34th largest country in the world. Therefore, what unites us together as Canadians? What unites us as a people? It is our languages, our culture, the arts and the ability to tell our stories one to another and to have an understanding of our shared history. A museum devoted to our history will provide a focus on the people, the places and the achievements that bring us together as Canadians.
We are counting down to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. The road to Canada’s 150th birthday offers us an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate our history and the achievements that define who we are as Canadians.
Our stories are vast, and they deserve to be told. From Samuel de Champlain’s arrival on our shores to the last spike that marked the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks that took us from east to west and back.
From Terry Fox's journey in the Marathon of Hope that still inspires millions of Canadians today to raise money and fight cancer to Maurice “Rocket” Richard to James Naismith and his invention of basketball to our brilliant scientists like Frederick Banting and Charles Best, these are the people, the events, the stories that inspire us always and need to be told and retold again.
Canada needs and deserves a national institution that will tell the stories of Canada. Canada needs an institution that will independently research and explore Canada's history. Canada needs a national institution that celebrates our achievements and what we have accomplished together as Canadians. Our children need to know more about Canada's past. That is why last year our government announced the creation of the Canadian museum of history.
Let me read the mandate that we are proposing in Bill that is at the heart of this debate and of this legislation. This is what the new mandate of the museum will read:
|| The purpose of the Canadian Museum of History is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.
We have chosen not to build a new national museum from the ground up. We are doing that right now in Winnipeg with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We have also established the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, building on an existing institution.
The home of this new museum will be what is currently the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
We will build on its reputation and popularity to create a museum that will showcase our achievements as a nation.
The United States has the Smithsonian. Germany has the German History Museum.
Let me share with the House something I think is really important to understand about the details of what we are proposing here with this new museum.
Beginning shortly, the museum will renovate over 50,000 square feet of public space, roughly half of the permanent and temporary galleries that are currently part of the museum. Those areas of the museum that will remain as they are include the very popular Canadian Children's Museum, the First Peoples Hall and the IMAX theatre. A $25-million one-time investment will allow the museum to make this happen.
It should be noted that the current Museum of Civilization in Gatineau has not been updated in over 20 years. In fact, in the Canada Hall at the museum, aboriginal people are excluded from the narrative that is Canada's history. It is a museum that needs to be updated and needs to be improved upon, and that is what we are proposing.
The museum will also allocate internal resources to the project and will launch a fundraising campaign with the intent to raise $5 million. I am told that the fundraising campaign is already well under way and having success. This investment will be funded within existing budgets from the Department of Canadian Heritage at no new additional cost to taxpayers. It will allow the Canadian Museum of Civilization to begin the transformation that will be completed in time for Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.
More than changing the name, the mandate and the exhibits, more will change. We want to ensure this great national institution, which we have the benefit of visiting in Ottawa, reaches out across the country and connects Canadians. To achieve this, we are building partnerships, partnerships that will be created between the new Canadian museum of history and museums across Canada that have the same mandate, but are doing it at a local level. These local museums will have the opportunity to become official partners of this new great national museum.
In fact, we already signed our first memorandum of understanding with the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria. What this will mean for that museum and other museums across the country is they will have access to the 3,500,000 items currently in the collection at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, soon to be the museum of history. Approximately 90% of these items are currently sitting in storage because we do not have a network to moves these items across the country and share our history. This is a really important move forward to tell our history and allow us to tell our stories to all Canadians.
I am also very pleased to say that since we announced this project, it has received broad-based support from Canadians, including countless historians and people in historical associations from every corner of the country. These are not people, by the way, who frequently agree with our government, but they agree with the need to create a national infrastructure for the teaching of Canada's history.
I am grateful, for example, of the support of Douglas Cardinal, the original architect of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and a very well-known Canadian for all of his life's accomplishments. In response to the creation of this museum, he said, “I love the fact that the museum keeps evolving and growing, and people still feel that it’s a national monument that can expand and serve all of Canada”.
This project has the support of and has been celebrated by Canadian historians as well. It includes the award-winning historian and author, Michael Bliss, who said that it was very exciting that Canada’s major museum would now be explicitly focused on Canada’s history and he thanked the government for making the museum possible.
Jack Granatstein, who, as many in the House know, wrote the book Who Killed Canadian History? a few years ago said, “This move (to create the Canadian Museum of National History) is exactly what I thought should happen. I'm delighted the government and the museum are doing it”.
Deborah Morrison of Canada's National History Society said, “the potential for the new Museum to help create a national framework for our history is compelling. And the time is right”.
John McAvity of the Canadian Museums Association said, “the renaming of the museum is essential, that it is good news and that it will give Canadians greater access to their heritage and history”.
The Historica-Dominion Institute said, “We enthusiastically welcome the creation of this new Canadian museum of history”.
The Ontario Museum Association said, “We welcome the initiative to strengthen partnerships among museums in Ontario and across the country”.
John English, a former Liberal member of Parliament and a biographer of P.E. Trudeau, said, “Congratulations on the Canadian museum of history”.
That is a great boost for the museum.
From Marie Senécal-Tremblay, of the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums, representing volunteers from smaller museums across Canada: “We support these changes to one of our country's most important national museums.”
I am also very pleased, and I should highlight this as well, that the museum proposal does have the support of the mayors of Gatineau and Ottawa, Marc Bureau and Jim Watson. They both support this initiative as being important to the national capital region.
As well, many historians have added their names to the list of those who support this initiative: Réal Bélanger, Charlotte Gray, Anne Trépanier, Norm Christie, Yves Frenette, Bob Plamondon, Richard Gwyn, Jane Fullerton, Suzanne Sauvage, Brian Lee Crowley and many more. Again, people who may not be Conservative understand that on items like this we should work together, put partisanship aside and support the creation of institutions that bind this country together.
I think the Toronto Star said it very well in their editorial on this subject, and I quote:
|| It was welcome to hear [the government] announce...the rebranding of the Canadian Museum of Civilization...as the Canadian Museum of History. Canada's history should be celebrated in [this] revamped museum. ...we want to make history come alive, ensure we don't forget our shared past and [that we] honour our heroes.
In conclusion, I understand that this is an issue that has brought some great debate across the country. However, Canada's history is far from dead. It is alive and well and a story that needs to be told.
It is a true statistic, but a sad one, that in only four of Canada's 13 provinces and territories is it necessary for a child to take a history class to graduate from high school. That is provincial jurisdiction, of course, but it does not mean we should step away from the importance of it as a national government, as a national Parliament. We can work together and do what we can to talk about Canada's history and improve education, by supporting our museums, building a great national museum, uniting all of our museums and working together on this project.
In the past, this Parliament has come together. When a former Liberal government decided to create the Canadian War Museum, people said it was divisive, a waste of money and that we ought not do it now. However, the Liberal government had a vision and said it was the right thing to do. The War Museum is now one of the best museums in the world, rivaled only by Les Invalides in Paris and the Imperial War Museum in London. It is one of the great museums in the world.
We are now asking for what this Parliament has done before when it unanimously supported the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. We were working together, and it is going to be a great institution for all of Canada. This Parliament also unanimously supported the creation of the Canadian Museum for Immigration at Pier 21, in Halifax. It is a great institution and doing good things for this country.
I have approached this in as non-partisan a way as I can. I have reached out to my opposition colleagues in the NDP and the Liberal Party, provided them with the text of this legislation and tried to work with them so we can make sure this museum will go forward and be a constructive piece of Canada's social fabric. We have worked together in the past on institutions. This is a good project for this country, and I hope my colleagues will work with us to make it happen.
A couple of years away is Canada's 150th birthday. We deserve to have a great national institution that will teach Canada's history, bring Canadians together and work toward a celebrated goal of keeping this country united and strong. Support this bill.
Mr. Speaker, this evening, a number of members have noted the 's profound conviction when it comes to this bill. Unfortunately, it is strictly because we do not trust the Conservatives that the bill cannot be passed.
Today, I would like to bring the House's attention to some basic contradictions, which are typical of a government that wants to create a Canadian museum of history. It says it is interested in the country's history and wants to celebrate it and make the public more aware of it.
I want to mention something worrisome. This government has done more to hinder people's knowledge and understanding of Canadian history and to undermine research into our history than any other government. It should listen to the historians, archeologists, archivists, anthropologists and ethnologists, all the experts on our history.
This evening, I am not pulling this observation out of a hat, nor am I making it up just for fun. I made this observation after listening to experts on our history, in other words, people who help us learn more about our past. These experts dig into our past in order to better understand it so that we can, too.
These professionals, researchers and experts have told my colleagues and me that their field is in worse shape than ever before. They say that highway robbery masquerading as budget cuts, combined with the federal government's constant, dubious meddling in their affairs, their profession and their field of research, will have lingering negative effects on the work and research that help us understand our history better.
Everything this government does is rife with contradiction. On the one hand, it is so proud of creating a history museum to supposedly improve knowledge of history, but on the other, it is attacking all of the federal institutions that have been preserving, protecting and raising awareness of our history for over a century.
For example, Parks Canada is responsible for maintaining 167 national historic sites, places worthy of preservation because they are historically significant. Parks Canada looks after Canada's world heritage sites. Expert archeologists have helped the agency unearth artifacts from the past, identify them and explain why they are historically relevant. I am delighted to say that there is an archeologist among us today, the member for .
Curators—not Conservatives, mind you, but people who actually care about history—have also helped Parks Canada through their curatorial work. I apologize to the translators for my play on words, which is not translatable.
The Conservatives decided to lay off over 80% of the archeologists and curators who take care of our historic sites and preserve our precious artifacts. There are now only about 10 archeologists working for Parks Canada across the country in all of our national parks, national historic sites and world heritage sites. I should point out that world heritage site status is not a given; UNESCO can revoke that status at any time.
Tonight, the government has the gall to tell us that it wants to promote history even though it is abandoning fragile historic sites across the country. The same government is planning to remove carefully preserved artifacts from Parks Canada's regional facilities. For example, a large collection of artifacts dating back to the days of New France is currently housed in Quebec City. The government is planning to uproot the collection from its home and put it in storage in Ottawa.
That is what the government, which supposedly wants to make history more accessible and more widely known, is really doing.
Conservatives say they are interested in history, but Canadians are not interested in what they say. They want to know what the government is doing. Conservatives like to say they are interested in history but, in reality, they continue to destroy every single federal public institution that is responsible for protecting our history. They have not only destroyed Parks Canada, which is responsible for protecting our 167 national historic sites, as well as Canada's world heritage sites, they have destroyed Library and Archives Canada--we know that, we heard a lot last week--an institution that has been the guardian of Canada's archives for 140 years, both as the national archives and as a national library.
Library and Archives experts, archivists, professional librarians and others are recognized and admired around the world for their work. A few years ago, Library and Archives Canada was an exciting place for those researchers of our history to be. Some people here will remember that there were always exhibitions about Canadian history open to the public on the ground floor of Library and Archives Canada just a few years ago.
Who closed those exhibition halls? The Conservatives did.
Who cut millions of dollars from research and preservation of Canadian history? The Conservatives did.
Who laid off hundreds of archivists, librarians, digitization experts, historians and professionals at Library and Archives Canada? These guys again.
Who destroyed programs such as the national archival development program that supported small communities all over Canada to create their own local community archives, a program that allowed Library and Archives Canada to accomplish an essential part of its mandate? These guys.
Who almost put a complete stop to the acquisition of historic documents and artifacts by cutting Library and Archives Canada's $1 million budget to $12,000 a year? They allowed irreplaceable manuscripts, relics of our history, to slip through our fingers and be purchased by auction houses and unscrupulous speculators and exported to shady warehouses in the United States. Who is responsible for this loss, this drain on our priceless cultural heritage? Who else but these guys, the Conservatives.
After the serious damage they have caused, no one would dare say that the Conservatives care about history. That is hogwash. On the contrary, the contradiction is obvious. The Conservatives are not at all interested in the history of Canada or all of the work that goes into the difficult research required to explain our history. The Conservatives are only interested in spectacular and superficial things, such as seeing a wax replica of John Diefenbaker, cutting a ribbon or walking down a sparkling, somewhat cheap red carpet that a person could trip on. They think that, by supporting anything glitzy and glamourous, they are supporting and preserving history. That is very unfortunate for those who know something about history.
I would like to spend a few minutes talking about the specific changes set out in Bill . The Canadian Museum of Civilization is an institution that has existed in one form or another for almost 150 years. Its collections existed even before Confederation. The museum has a mandate that, for 30 years, has allowed it to be independent and to truly become a world-renowned institution, as well as an important economic driver for the Outaouais region, where it provides many jobs and attracts a large number of visitors.
I would like to read the Museum of Civilization's current mandate. It is important to remember this mission, which has been key to the museum's success for years.
|| The purpose of the Canadian Museum of Civilization is to increase, throughout Canada and internationally, interest in, knowledge and critical understanding of and appreciation and respect for human cultural achievements [I would like to place special emphasis on cultural achievements] and human behavior by establishing, maintaining and developing for research and posterity a collection of objects of historical or cultural interest, with special but not exclusive reference to Canada, and by demonstrating those achievements and behaviour, the knowledge derived from them and the understanding they represent.
The Conservative government, which never wants to jump in when it is needed, but is always prepared to interfere when its help is not wanted, wants to scrap that and replace it with the following:
||...enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events, experiences, people and objects that reflect and have shaped Canada’s history and identity, and also to enhance their awareness of world history and cultures.
What is the main difference between these two mandates? The words “critical understanding” were eliminated. The government seems to have an aversion to the word “critical”. What a scary word. The museum will no longer have the mandate to share its wealth of knowledge with the rest of the world. It will no longer be mandated to carry out its work “throughout Canada and internationally”. The museum will now be interested only in local issues.
I imagine that the Outaouais tourism industry will have something to say about that. Gone are the human cultural achievements and human behaviour. That was part of the museum's mandate, but we are apparently no longer interested in humanity. The government wants the museum to deal specifically with Canadian history and identity, a rather simplistic formula.
Here is what is most alarming: the museum's mandate no longer includes the obligation to maintain collections and conduct research. The Canadian Museum of Civilization was, above all, a museum of collections and researchers. This public institution dates back to 1856. It was initially a place where the Geological Survey of Canada could present its collections. It became a place for anthropologists, ethnologists, geographers and linguists. The museum's entire history is made up of research and collections.
In deciding to change the mandate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the government is casting aside more than 150 years of collections and research tradition. The government is contradicting itself when it claims to care about history but then quashes the work of experts, which is a necessary part of our history.
At this time, over half of the resources at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau have already been assigned to Canadian history. That is why we wonder about the government's real intentions. We are not going to be impressed by a $25 million cheque. The government is sending one single cheque to the museum, usable only once, while tasking it with dismantling and rebuilding such exhibits as the wonderful Canada Hall, which took 20 years to build. This is a renovation project of epic proportions.
Even worse, $1 million has already been committed. A total of $500,000 will be required just for the administrative costs of the change, but $400,000 has already been spent on round tables and Post-it notes, not to mention the promotional materials for the new museum that are already being distributed, even though Parliament has barely started studying the bill.
The reality is that the museum's heavy load and limited resources have forced it to lay off some of its staff. Two weeks ago, the museum cut 14 positions for budgetary reasons. This may well turn out to be just the tip of the iceberg, now that the government is trying to shift the museum's mandate away from its obligations to conduct research and maintain its collections.
In reality, the government is interfering and reshaping the museum because it fancies itself a museum expert. The government, perhaps despite itself, is taking part in the history debates that are raging in academia. The government—a bit naively, I might add—is wading into an academic debate because it wants to abandon the social and material approach to history that the Canadian Museum of Civilization is known for, in particular because of its stunning and spectacular depiction of Canada's history. Those are the very exhibits that the government is proposing to dismantle.
The government is proposing a generic narrative for our history. It wants something linear, something based on the tales of heroes and prominent figures, on biographies, monarchs, colonizers, missionaries, dates and monuments. That approach marginalizes the stories and life experiences of the individuals and groups who anonymously built our country's history from the ground up.
That approach marginalizes the events that make up and underpin our history. Those events cannot be summed up in a date or a famous face or in a museum devoted only to heroes and battlefields. It gives the impression that the government is not looking to create a history museum, but a wax museum.
As New Democrats, we respectfully ask the government to stop acting like a museum expert at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Archivists have repeatedly suggested that the toxic and disastrous head of Library and Archives Canada, Daniel Caron, stop pretending to be an expert in digitizing archives—as he has done at several international conferences—when he is neither an archivist nor a librarian. Similarly, we are asking the government to stop doing the work that experts know how to do and can do better.
Governments should not be deciding what is in our museums. This seems like a pretty obvious principle. Apparently, there are a few libertarians on the government benches; despite the government spending like there is no tomorrow, they have been pretty discreet. However, they might agree with what I am suggesting, that the content of museums should be left up to the experts and professionals; to historians, archivists, ethnologists and curators; to conservators, anthropologists and the people who do the research and the hard work to help us understand our history. The government and we as legislators have no place in determining the content or the orientation of a national publicly funded museum.
I am relying on the words of the when he announced at the heritage committee that in fact he had been planning this new museum himself since at least May 2011. We know that the minister has been a regular visitor at the Museum of Civilization and he was a regular visitor at the Canadian War Museum. Clearly, this does not come from the Museum of Civilization's ethnologists. Clearly, none of the curators at the museum suddenly decided that they were missing Maurice Richard's hockey jersey. Clearly, what happened was that people high up decided to toy with our most important national museum.
This is a completely backwards plan. Instead of listening to the many experts, museum specialists, historians and professionals at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and elsewhere in Canada, instead of consulting first and then moving forward, the government chose to do things its own way and then see what happens.
According to the minister himself, he has been planning this Canadian museum of history since at least May 2011. To hear him talk, it is as though he were building miniature models of the museum in his basement, unbeknownst to everyone or even to the museum.
First the museum consulted with people in the field and then it took the consultations public across Canada. These were held in half-empty rooms or shopping malls, between the Walmart and the hardware store, where shoppers were invited to put colour coded Post-it notes on images of Pierre Elliott Trudeau or Roberta Bondar.
This is no joke. It is true. We asked the minister who he consulted. What interest group, what professional association and, most of all, which first nation and what delegation of Metis and Inuit did he and the museum consult? The minister's answer was a non-response. He said that they proceeded with consultations, but he failed to tell us who they consulted. We did not get an answer.
This lack of transparency occurred on this side of the river, here in Parliament.
We spent months in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage listening to talk of Canada's 150th anniversary. How is it that there was never any mention of this museum plan, when it was in the cards and being prepared all along, and now we are told that it is being planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation?
The official opposition is calling on the government to leave it to the experts to decide the content and direction of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, to listen to and consult with the public, and to invite and listen to the representatives of countless professions whose job it is to survey and enhance our knowledge of history.
We also note the predominance of this government's troubling, detrimental and dubious desire to intervene and obliquely meddle in Canadian history and to rewrite our history.
The Conservatives may find it effective and advantageous, for election purposes, to eliminate all traces of peacekeepers and replace them with Laura Secords who run through the forest, but they have no mandate to revise history. No party is mandated to reinterpret and revise history.
We are asking that our history be more than just instances of official commemoration chosen by the government. It must be a window into the past that belongs to all of us, and it should reflect our many complex and multi-faceted journeys, including the history of the black Loyalists, the Winnipeg unionists in the early 20th century, the creators and pioneers of the National Film Board, the War Measures Act and the deportation of the Acadians.
We reject this government's troubling, detrimental and dubious desire to intervene and to meddle once again. We reject the government's tampering with history. That is exactly what hundreds of thousands of Canadians have told us in recent weeks. Having seen the carnage at Parks Canada, Library and Archives Canada and now the Canadian Museum of Civilization, thousands of citizens have signed and are continuing to sign an on-line petition stating that they are fed up with the interference in and rewriting of history.
We are calling on the government to restore funding and stop interfering in federal organizations responsible for preserving and protecting our history. That was their responsibility long before the Conservatives took an interest in the matter.
This evening, we are asking the Conservatives to show that they care about history. They should prove that they are passionate about the past by not interfering with the work of historians and various experts who contribute to our understanding of history. Above all, they must stop gutting the public institutions that promote and preserve our history.
I would like to conclude by moving the following motion:
|| That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following: “the House decline to give second reading to Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, because it:
||(a) represents the government’s interference in Canadian history and its attacks on research and the federal institutions that preserve and promote history such as Library and Archives Canada and Parks Canada;
||(b) transforms the mission of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the most popular museum in Canada, to give a secondary role to temporary exhibits on world cultures, when it is precisely these exhibits that make it a major tourist attraction, an economic driver and a job creator for the national capital region;
||(c) removes research and collection development from the mission of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, although the Museum is an internationally renowned centre of research;
||(d) puts forward a monolithic approach to history that could potentially exclude the experiences of women, francophones, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and marginalized groups;
||(e) was developed in absolute secrecy and without substantial consultations with experts, First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Canadians and key regional players;
||(f) attacks a winning formula at the expense of Canadian taxpayers; and
||(g) does not propose any measure to enhance the Museum’s independence and thereby opens the door to potential interference by the minister and the government in determining the content of Museum exhibits, although this should be left to experts.”
I would like to take this opportunity to say that this motion is seconded by the hon. member for .
Mr. Speaker, I want to continue by thanking my hon. colleague from for his graceful intervention.
I mentioned my hon. colleague from Stratford, who was the chair of the heritage committee for quite some time, and he spoke eloquently about museums and what museums are all about. I am glad he is here this evening. On many occasions, he has spoken about the importance of the history that is being told in front of us. Whether it is Stratford, Bunyan's Cove, Gander, Vancouver or Ottawa, which is germane to what we are talking about today, it is by far the most important element of what we talk about when we talk about our history.
Our history is the absolute reflection of who we are as Canadians. I have heard from the minister and the critic from the official opposition, and I find myself in the middle of debate on many occasions trying to figure out how we are going to deal with the context we are going to put this museum in.
I have the utmost respect for the Museum of Civilization and what it has accomplished over the years. As my hon. colleague pointed out earlier, it was the Museum of Man, which later became the Museum of Civilization and so on. That is the important question. Do we take that next step and call this the Canadian museum of history in conjunction with our 150-year celebration in 2017?
On several fronts, there are points to talk about. One, should this museum, this institution, share itself with the rest of the country? Absolutely. It should share itself with the virtues that have been put on this nation by places like Stratford, Yukon or every little town in Quebec.
Cities in Quebec as well. It is very important to all of Canada, not just to one region of this country, but to all of them. It is for Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia.
Mr. James Lunney: Vancouver Island.
Mr. Scott Simms: Sorry, Vancouver Island.
I want to say to my colleagues that what has been put forward so far in the debate, as we have heard in two substantial speeches, is that as Canadians we want to illustrate the history of this country, and we want to do it not just from a national narrative. We all cheered in 1980, when Terry Fox ran across this country. He made it to Thunder Bay. There was not one dry eye in this country looking at Terry Fox on that stretcher in northern Ontario as he wept because he could not make it. In fact, from northern Ontario right to B.C., every Canadian in this country completed that course for him.
In addition, we can look at every hallmark in this country with a sense of pride, whether it was winning the gold medals in the Olympics or the events that mark us as Canadians, such as the recent marking of the War of 1812. A great deal has been brought forward to this country in the celebration of the War of 1812, which we should look at.
Now, here is the problem. We get into the debate about whether we should have spent $35 million to do that. We have done it. I am not sure if that was the right dollar amount to do it, but it was certainly worth marking. There are many aspects in this debate regarding Canadian history, and there are many hallmarks and many monuments in this country.
Whether it is the big wooden moose that stands in Goobies, Newfoundland and Labrador, or whether it is the large nickel in Sudbury, these are the hallmarks of our country. We need to look at every aspect of the