The Progressive Librarians Guild – London Ontario Chapter:
Position Statement on the Cancellation of the National Archives Development Program
In the 2012 Federal Budget, the Federal Government significantly reduced funding to Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC). This budget reductions have led to a reduction in staffing at LAC and, significantly, the cancellation of the National Archives Development Program (NADP).
The National Archives Development Program has, for more than 25 years, supported the development of archives across Canada. The monies distributed from this program supported the operations of the Canada Council of Archives and the thirteen provincial and territorial archives associations. Monies were distributed as grants to local archives institutions to fund a wide array of project that improved access and the preservation of Canada’s rich documentary history.
The cancellation of the National Archives Development Program is a threat to the long term preservation and access to Canada’s rich information history. Without the NADP or a successor program, the ability of Canadian archivist to preserve Canada’s documentary past will be limited significantly reduced. The fund distributed from the NADP were used to leverage financial and partnership opportunities for local archives across Canada. Archives will find it increasingly difficult to take advantage of these opportunities without Federal support. As a result, archives’ ability to preserve and provide access to Canada’s rich collection of historical documents, photographs, maps and audio-visual materials will be severely diminished.
The London Ontario Chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild believes in the founding tenets of the the Guild and recognizes that libraries, and by extension archives, are foundation of an enlightened citizenry who can engage and participate in a independent democratic civil society. Further, the chapter is opposed to the commodification of information.
The decision of the Federal government led by Stephen Harper to cancel the National Archives Development Program threatens the ability of Canada’s archives to serve Canada’s citizens and help promote democracy in our country.
The Progressive Librarians Guild – London Ontario Chapter calls upon the Federal government to reinstate the National Archives Development Program so that Canadian archivists can continue their work, preserving and providing access to Canada’s rich documentary history.
 Canadian Council of Archives. http://www.cdncouncilarchives.ca/CCA_FactSheet_EN.pdf. Retrieved May 15, 2012.