Question Period: National Gallery of Canada

By: The Hon. Patricia Bovey

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Maman statue and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Hon. Patricia Bovey: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.

Senator Gold, the recent, unexpected and sudden firing of four senior staff members of the National Gallery of Canada has created controversy at home and internationally among artists, arts professionals and many donors. Three were long-time employees, one of more than 20 years. Their work, exhibitions, acquisitions, publications and specialized conservation has been widely acclaimed here and abroad.

Has the minister reached out to the interim CEO and board chair to gain an understanding that can be shared with taxpayers and the public as to why those decisions were made? What are the implications and consequences for the upcoming programs of Canada’s flagship and the gallery as a whole?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question.

We have all followed the developments within the museum with interest. I do not know the answer to your question, but I will make inquiries and report back.

Senator Bovey: Perhaps while you are making those inquiries, Senator Gold, you could ask if the minister has responded to the letters of concerns from the unions within the gallery that had been sent to him before the firings and those letters he has received subsequently from former staff.

Senator Gold: I will certainly be pleased to do that. Thank you.

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