Question Period: RCMP Heritage Centre

By: The Hon. Marty Klyne

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Hon. Marty Klyne: Senator Gold, I was pleased to see Budget 2024 include an investment of $3.2 million over the next two years for the RCMP Heritage Centre. This investment will be managed through the Regional Development Agency, or RDA, PrairiesCan, and is a welcome and positive step towards learning the history of our national police force, advancing related aspects of reconciliation and supporting Prairie economic development.

However, while this will help the RCMP Heritage Centre’s operating expenditures over the next two years, it does not significantly move it closer to becoming a Canadian national museum, a process started in 2019 through a mandate letter commitment for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

I remind this chamber this was a 2015 campaign promise of both the Conservative and Liberal parties.

Can you tell us what next steps we can look forward to — perhaps in the Fall Economic Statement — relating to the Government of Canada delivering on its commitment and officially establishing a national RCMP museum?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question, and for underlining the importance — to all of us and to Canadians — of understanding our history and the role that the RCMP has played, and continues to play, in the daily life of our country.

You will understand, of course, that I’m not in a position to speculate as to what may be in the Fall Economic Statement or any other measures that have not yet been tabled or made public, but I will certainly take your legitimate concerns and preoccupations to the attention of the minister at the first opportunity.

Senator Klyne: Once established as a national museum, an annual investment of $7 million would provide part of the funds that the RCMP Heritage Centre needs to operate. Given its size and scope, this is a fraction of many of the other national museums. As a national museum, the RCMP Heritage Centre would continue to tell the stories of duty, bravery and service, and also the complex and difficult stories regarding injustices to Indigenous peoples and other challenging aspects of our history.

Does the government agree that sharing this history from diverse perspectives, and from a place of dialogue, reflection and reconciliation, is an investment in our federation’s identity and future?

Senator Gold: I have no doubt in my answering to you, Senator Klyne, that the government totally agrees with the importance of sharing our history and the values that are embedded in our institutions for the benefit of Canadians, both current and future generations, as well as all who come to this country in the hope of a better life.

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