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Pana Merchant

The Hon. Pana  Merchant, B.A. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Pana Merchant represents the province of Saskatchewan and the Senatorial Division of Saskatchewan. She has served in the Senate of Canada since December 12, 2002.

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National Archival Development Program

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Statement made on 18 June 2012 by Senator Maria Chaput

Hon. Maria Chaput:

Honourable senators, my question is a follow-up to the questions asked by Senator Mitchell about Library and Archives Canada, but more specifically about the National Archival Development Program that has been cancelled.

This program directly supported more than 800 projects at the local and regional levels. More than 800 projects were supported over 26 years. These were community projects: museums, heritage, parishes, communities, Aboriginal people, multiculturalism. The assistance provided was very modest — ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 — but the impact these projects had on many communities was priceless. This money enabled them to talk about their history, to promote awareness in the community and to develop local archives to help preserve our history.

Once again, by cancelling the National Archival Development Program at the local and regional levels, minorities will be deprived of important funding and our country's history could be lost.

Can the leader tell us what will happen to all of these community initiatives that helped build our archives? We could have the best archives in the world, we can talk about distributing information through new social media, but if the basic work is not being done in our communities, what will happen to our history?

Please click here to read the full text of the Senator's question

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