Canadian Museum of History Act

An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History and to make consequential amendments to other Acts

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2013.

Sponsor

James Moore  Conservative

Status

Third reading (House), as of June 18, 2013
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Museums Act to establish a corporation called the Canadian Museum of History that replaces the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It also sets out the purpose, capacity and powers of the Canadian Museum of History and makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

  • June 18, 2013 Passed That 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, be concurred in at report stage.
  • June 18, 2013 Failed That Bill C-49 be amended by deleting Clause 1.
  • June 17, 2013 Passed That, in relation 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, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the Bill and five hours shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said Bill; and that, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the report stage and at the expiry of the five hours provided for the third reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stages of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
  • May 29, 2013 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
  • May 29, 2013 Failed 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 exhibitions on world cultures when it is precisely these exhibitions that make it a major tourist attraction, an economic force and a job creator for the national capital region; ( c) removes research and collection development from the mission of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, when 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 actors; ( 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 exhibitions when this should be left to experts.”.
  • May 28, 2013 Passed That, in relation 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, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the second reading stage of the Bill; and that, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:25 p.m.
See context

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That, in relation 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, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage of the bill and five hours shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill; and

That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the report stage and at the expiry of the five hours provided for the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stages of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Mike Sullivan York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to speak. I have lost count now as to the number of closure motions the government has put forward to limit debate, but it is clear the members opposite have virtually no regard for what parliamentary democracy is all about. We are now rushing through debate and consideration of every bill that comes before the House. Yet, when it comes to the democratic process itself, the government has failed to provide the bill that it has promised for I do not know how many months on reforming the democratic system to allow Elections Canada to have more oversight over spending and how elections themselves are conducted.

The government is only interested in pursuing its agenda in a rapid-fire way, in a way that undermines the very ability of Parliament to study and debate matters, while at the same time refusing to put forward the changes to the elections process that it has promised over and over again. We are at the point where we honestly do not believe the legislation will ever come forward.

Could the government tell us when the reforms to the elections process will be coming?

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:25 p.m.
See context

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, very clearly the actions that were taken to move forward with Bill C-49 could not have had better testimony than the intervention from the member opposite. Even in this context of a 30-minute question and answer period, he wants to talk about another bill. He does not even want to talk about this legislation.

We are very pleased to have this legislation move forward. It is what we promised to do. On October 12, we tabled Bill C-49, the legislation to create the new Canadian museum of history. Now, more than eight months later, we have had time to debate and discuss this matter. We have had it through all stages of Parliament. We had a thorough conversation about this at the legislative committee process. Amendments were considered and debated. Witnesses have come forward. This has been debated in the media widely.

This legislation has had thorough discussion and debate. We are pleased to see it now move forward so we can have a new Canadian museum of history that will serve all Canadians for generations to come.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sadia Groguhé Saint-Lambert, QC

Indeed, it might be today.

We feel that this is a major challenge to our democracy. Whether we are here in the House or at committee, when a time allocation motion is moved, it challenges our democracy, which is taking a beating. At least, that is what the official opposition and Canadians think.

We are once again being gagged by a government exerting unacceptable but continual control over us. We, as parliamentarians from the government side or from the official opposition, are here to do our work, to represent Canadians and, above all, to debate the issues that are important to them.

Canadians across the country are not the only ones who feel this way. People around the world are taking note of this. We are really concerned and frustrated that another gag order is being imposed with regard to this bill.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to tell my colleague that we are extremely proud of this bill and of our government's new initiative to better support our knowledge of Canada's history in every region of the country.

Marie Lalonde, Executive Director of the Ontario Museum Association, supports this bill. She also supports the process to encourage MPs to vote for and pass this bill before Canada's 150th birthday in 2017. Ms. Lalonde stated that:

[I]n partnership with this new museum, local museums will be able to offer their visitors distinctive exhibits and initiatives that would otherwise not be available.

In addition, Yves Fortier, a member of the Historica-Dominion Institute's board of directors, said that, “the Historica-Dominion Institute enthusiastically supports the creation of the Canadian Museum of History”.

We are very proud of our process because we worked with members of the opposition prior to introducing the bill. We launched respectful discussions in the House. In addition, a great deal of input was heard in committee.

However, it is very clear that, after more than eight months of work on this issue, eight months of considering this bill and eight months of debate, it is time to proceed with the bill and pass it so the new Canadian Museum of History can be created.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:30 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I guess because the House leader is not here or does not have the courage to address the time allocation motion, here we are, once again. I think we are in the fifties of time allocation in the House. If we add committees, we are probably in the hundreds or maybe thousands of time allocation that the government has been imposing--

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I just meant that out of respect, not out disrespect for the minister, because I know he will be answering the question.

Do we really need time allocation on this bill? It is not controversial. There are some aspects of the bill that need to be discussed. I know there were some amendments put before committee. However, none of the amendments were accepted.

The minister is more of a conciliatory type individual. From his point of view, would it not have been better if we had just sat down, come to some kind of agreement, accepted some amendments and decided that maybe we did not need to have time allocation on the bill?

I am asking the minister if that is possible.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did indeed try to reach out to opposition members in this House, all parties, to try to gauge their support for this project itself. I approached the member for Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, and showed him the language in the legislation before we tabled it in Parliament; equally with the NDP; as well I extended it to the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who is the leader of the Green Party and showed her the legislation of what we had in mind. We consulted with the opposition before we tabled the bill. We invited them to support this legislation. It has broad-based support, not non-ideological, I can tell members, but broad-based support across this country, from historic institutions, museums, galleries, heritage organizations and communities all across the country that are supporting this initiative.

I did my best to reach out to the opposition, to invite them to support this legislation before we tabled it, showing them that this was a genuine effort to try to build a great national institution that would be national in consequence, not just a beautiful institution here in the national capital, but one that would benefit everybody. That is why we have broad-based support.

The Liberal Party, to its credit, did show some openness in the early days. Unfortunately, it backed away from that. Yet, we still have the support of the leader of the Green Party. We have the support of the member from Thunder Bay who was elected as a New Democrat. We have support from individual Canadians. Provincial governments, NDP, Conservative and Liberal, have all come out and openly supported this legislation and the creation of this museum because it would benefit every region of this country.

We are moving forward after eight and a half months of consideration on this matter. I think it is time. We are looking forward to the doors opening at this new, great institution, with this new vitality that would be injected as a result of our investment and this legislation and its new mandate.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

NDP

Pierre Nantel Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again today, we are being cut off; we are being prevented from speaking on this subject. Even though the Minister of Canadian Heritage felt that this was something simple that everyone would rally around, unfortunately, that is obviously not at all the case. What is shocking today is to see how hard the government members are pushing to pass his bill, his idea. That is the problem: it is his idea. That is where the problem lies.

People have spoken out many times to say how important it is that the bill be supported by everyone. Today, everyone is pleased to see what phase 2 of this museum will be, travelling exhibits and exchanges with other museums in Canada. However, it is quite cunning on his part to have included that aspect in the bill, an aspect that was already part of the existing museum's mandate. We are focusing a lot on that, but less on the fact that we could very easily have improved the existing museum rather than demolishing it in order to build another one. That is what is happening.

In conclusion, I would like to ask a question. The minister says that he consulted everyone and that everyone is happy. What then does he think about the comment made by Mr. MacDonald, a director whom I am sure he knows very well? Mr. MacDonald said that he was outraged to hear the minister claim that aboriginal peoples were excluded from the exhibits in the Canada Hall. He added that it was clear that the minister had not understood the mutual obligations nor the meaning of this exhibit to aboriginal communities on the west coast that make a living from fishing. We are talking here about the famous Nishga Girl. Again according to Mr. MacDonald, the pressure that the minister is exercising to have that exhibit removed contradicts what he claims are the very objectives of his bill.

What does the minister have to say on the matter?

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, to begin with, I said that the museum bill has broad-based support in every region of Canada, but that does not mean that everybody supports it.

Nothing is ever fully unanimous. However, we should take note of two things that are most important to take away from the intervention by the NDP member opposite.

I will comment first on the second thing he said. He said that the decision to not put on the Nisga’a presentation at the Museum of Civilization was a demonstration that it was not in the best interests of Canadians. He has also commented that I should interfere. On the other hand, he also got up in the House this past week and said I should not interfere with the museum when it was going to put on an exhibit of underwear. The NDP has to decide. Does it want us to have an arm's-length relationship with museums or not? We think it should be arm's-length. Museums can decide the exhibits that they choose to put forward, first of all.

Second, the most important thing to take away from the comment by the NDP, and why we have had this roadblock against the NDP on this subject altogether, is he has said the NDP does not support this because it is an initiative that I, as the minister, have personally brought forward. On the other hand, we hear from New Democrats from time to time, chastizing other cabinet ministers, asking why they do not show leadership, come up with ideas, do something innovative, why are they not taking risks and moving forward. That is what we have done here.

Yes, I had the idea to create a Canadian museum of history. I brought it to all of the opposition parties, invited them to contribute to support this initiative going forward. We have NDP provincial governments that are supporting this. We have Liberal and Conservative governments supporting it. The leader of the Green Party is supporting it in this House. This has broad-based support because we have approached it in a way that we thought was collaborative and responsible. If the New Democrats do not think cabinet ministers should show some initiative and leadership, then frankly, I think they do not understand part of the responsibility of being a minister.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I am proud to stand up for Canada's history, to put in place a great institution that will champion Canada's history as Canadians wish to tell it to each other.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Oak Ridges—Markham
Ontario

Conservative

Paul Calandra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for those responses. I just want to touch further on a bit of the independence that he talked about. The member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher in his speech said governments should not be deciding what is in our museums. That seems like a pretty obvious principle.

He went on to say that the contents of museums should be left up to the experts and professionals and that the government, and we as legislators, have no place in determining content or the orientation of a national--

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is kind of odd, since one of the members talked only about the bill with respect to election reform.

As I mentioned that quote, there was also a lot of mention from the members opposite with respect to time allocation. They were talking about the fact that they want more debate, but when we look at committee and what was presented to us with respect to amendments from the opposition, both the NDP and the Liberals, the vast majority, in fact, almost 99%, just dealt with adding one word to the name and had nothing to do with respect to independence.

I wonder if the minister could talk about a couple of things with respect to this. Why does he think that no substantive amendments were brought forward at committee by members of the opposition? Why, and how can we, guarantee the independence of this museum? Could the minister also talk about the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau and why it is important, if they support the bill, that we move forward with this?

The members opposite noted that this is the 50th time we have had to bring in closure. I think it is a damning indictment of the opposition members that 50 times this government has had to force them to debate issues in this Parliament and to stop filibustering bills that have broad-based support from Canadians across the country. Imagine that, 50 times the Government of Canada has had to force the opposition to actually work in Parliament. That is a damning indictment of the opposition and either their inability to work on behalf of Canadians or their inability to get how important it is that we focus on jobs and the economy, and, of course, something like this, which would bring immense pride to all Canadians and help all regions of the country.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, only in overly bureaucratic, centre-left thinking does it constitute going too fast when we have eight and a half months of debate on legislation that, frankly, is very non-controversial. The legislation itself is only a couple of pages long. It is not complicated. The change to the mandate of the museum is only a couple of sentences long. It is not complicated or difficult to understand.

The members opposite took a position very quickly. As a matter of fact, there was a leak from one of the stakeholders who supports this museum. In his enthusiasm to support the bill, he spoke to a journalist and said what our government was planning on doing, on October 11, 2012. On October 12, we announced it, but before we tabled the bill in Parliament, NDP members had already commented on October 11 that they were against it. They were opposed to the legislation.

It is a bit rich for New Democrats to suggest that we should debate this more and be more thoughtful and substantive with the legislative process as we are now coming to the end of consideration of Bill C-49 when they showed no respect whatsoever at the introduction of this legislation to wait for it to be tabled before they actually took a position. Before chastising others about our approach to Parliament and how we deal with legislation, it would be great if the New Democrats would show some leadership and some example at the introduction of legislation with some open-mindedness in supporting a bill.

The Toronto Star supports this legislation. Here is what it said, showing open-mindedness. They say, “Oh, wow, the Toronto Star”. The New Democrats like the Toronto Star. It endorsed them in the last election. Here is what the Toronto Star said:

Canada’s history should be celebrated in revamped museum....it was welcome to hear [the government] announce this week....rebrand the Canadian Museum of Civilization....as the Canadian Museum of History....we want to make history come alive, ensure we don’t forget our shared past, and honour our heroes.

People get it who are not Conservative supporters. They understand that this is an institution that will benefit all regions of the country.

Even if New Democrats rejected it before we tabled it, we are happy to go forward now eight and a half months later to have final passage of this bill so we can all move forward and celebrate Canada's 150th birthday in our biggest and best museum.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:45 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to quote Joe Dassin, who stated that, “life is but one day after another, and every day is the same”. This is the 47th time allocation motion. If members were looking for a sign—as if one were needed—that the government is tired and no longer knows what to do, they would be hard pressed to find a better example.

I would remind members that time allocation motions are usually for a specific purpose, and denote some urgent need to act. However, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages certainly knows how to play up the benefits of his bill, and has been doing so for some time. Despite cutting short debate—which he has done 46 times—his colleagues and he claim that they do occasionally have ideas, but that they are not overly interested in debating them. They also claim that they want to be more efficient and insinuate that the parliamentary system is a hindrance to Conservative governance. Basically, the Conservatives wonder whether they might not simply do away with the parliamentary system altogether.

In my opinion, when the House reconvenes in September, an omnibus bill will be introduced that clumps together all the legislation that has been discussed over the course of the year. That will mean voting once, and only once.

Bill C-49—Time Allocation Motion
Canadian Museum of History Act
Government Orders

June 17th, 2013 / 3:45 p.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

I can already hear the applause, which is proof that this is, indeed, the approach the Conservatives intend to take.

For once, in a debate on time allocation, might we not debate the urgency of completely disregarding any and all procedure in order to ram through bills that members would still like to debate? I would like to have time to make my rebuttal concerning the bill itself, and I hope that I will have a few minutes remaining to do so. I will not do so during this debate because it deals with time allocation.