Open Letter Against Libricide

To: Right Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Hon. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance
Hon. Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Environment
Hon. Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport Canada
Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of State, Science and Technology
Hon. Gail Shea, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

cc: Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada
Thomas Mulcair, Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada
Justin Trudeau, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada

The members of CWILA and other concerned Canadians deplore the recently publicized destruction of science libraries and archives by the federal government. The closure of facilities connected with numerous federal institutions such as Library and Archives Canada, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and the Transportation Safety Board, is lamentable. But the overt destruction of irreplaceable archival material at facilities such as the Saint Andrews Biological Station, the Maurice Lamontagne Institute, and the Freshwater Institute — destruction that occurred without assessment of the impact, in haste, while misrepresenting the truth about digitization of the material — is unconscionable.

As writers and scholars, we are deeply aware of the importance of libraries and archives of all kinds for the intellectual, moral, and spiritual health of our communities. The wanton destruction of irreplaceable material is an assault on civil society. The actions of the federal government in this regard disgrace Canada in the eyes of the world.


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