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.