Fisheries library merger draws fire in Quebec
OTTAWA — The merging of fisheries libraries in Nova Scotia and British Columbia is sparking some anger in the rest of the country.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada will close most of its nine libraries across the country and split their collections between just two — in Sidney, B.C., and at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth.
A third Library in Ottawa will be reduced in size but retain a physical location.
At the same time, the federal department is digitizing its collection to make it available online.
That isn’t good enough for Quebec New Democrat Guy Caron, whose riding of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques is losing a French-specific library.
Caron denounced the closure in the House of Commons on Monday as “ideological cuts” by the Conservatives, who he said are trying to “destroy our scientific institutions.”
Caron said the survival of the library is an official languages issue because it serves the francophone community.
“spokeswoman Erin Filliter … ‘Essentially, we’re digitalizing the electronic services, so everything is going to be electronic,’ ”
Does it necessarily follow that less staff is required to manage an electronic collection than one made up of books, microfilm and other more tangible media? It is difficult not to see this as simply cuts to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s libraries with the distraction of the movement of libraries to electronic collections.