CBC News has learned Heritage Minister James Moore will ask Library and Archives Canada to consider restoring a program eliminated during recent federal budget cuts that helped hundreds of small museums across the country preserve local history.
Archivists, historians and public service sector unions have argued the loss of the National Archival Development Program has put Canada’s history at risk.
The federal grant program, with a budget of about $1.7 million annually, was cut as part of $9.6 million in reductions to the department.
Doug Marshall, the president of the Union of National Employees which represents the staff at Library and Archives Canada, said when Ottawa first announced the cuts last year, the federal government said people would be able to search the archives online.
But according to Marshall, the staff responsible for digitizing the material were the ones impacted by the cuts.
“Less than two per cent of the materials are digitized and at the rate they’re going, it’s going to take seriously hundreds of years before they actually get what they have in digital form,” Marshall said.
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