Conservatives Rebranding Gatineau Museum as Canadian Museum of History

Article excerpt

'Civilization' giving way to 'History' museum

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GATINEAU, Que. - The Conservative government is spending $25 million to retool the Canadian Museum of Civilization in advance of Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.

Heritage Minister James Moore says the government will rechristen the institution the Canadian Museum of History, a move that critics are calling a waste of money.

The museum will highlight achievements, accomplishments and artifacts such as the "last spike" from the Canada Pacific Railway and Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope.

Former Montreal Canadiens winger Maurice "Rocket" Richard's iconic hockey jersey will also be on display.

The renovation, to encompass more than 4,600 square metres of space, will illustrate how Canada's identity has been shaped over the course of its history, said Moore.

"Canada needs a national institution that celebrates our achievements and what we have accomplished together as Canadians," he said.

"Our children need to know more about Canada's past."

The changes will be paid for through existing budgets, the government said.

Ottawa is also seeking input from Canadians about what sort of national milestones the rebranded museum should acknowledge, and is linking museums across the country for better public access to the country's shared history.

The Historica-Dominion Institute applauded the announcement Tuesday.

"It is essential that Canadians of all ages have access to public resources through which they may learn more about our shared history and heritage," the institute's Yves Fortier said in a statement. …

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