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An Open Letter to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea – DFO Library Closures

Posted on January 15, 2014

The Honourable Gail Shea

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

200 Kent Street

13th Floor, Station 13E228

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

 

January 15, 2014

 

Dear Minister Shea,

I am writing with regard to your department’s recent closure of seven libraries across Canada.
As I am sure you are aware, these libraries were state of the art facilities which contained information and documents which were extremely valuable to government officials and scientists.

I am sure you would agree that the loss of this information is a national travesty – made even more tragic by the many stories appearing in the media by heartbroken DFO officials who have witnessed these events firsthand.

Minister, I would like to ask you if you stand by your claim that this was done to benefit Canadian taxpayers? Was it not enough that DFO has already downloaded numerous costs and responsibilities onto the backs of Canadian fishers, slashed or ended crucial programs such as the Ocean Contaminants and Marine Toxicology Program, the Experimental Lakes Area, the Institute of Ocean Sciences, the Habitat Management Program, the Freshwater Institute, the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, the Kluane Lake Research Station, or any number of Search and Rescue, Marine Communication and Traffic Services centres, or Fisheries Licensing offices? Is there no end to this madness?

Minister, I sincerely urge you to reverse the baseless, ideological decision to close these libraries, save what resources have not already been destroyed, and bring some legitimacy back to the department of fisheries and oceans and the government of Canada.

The fact is the buck stops with you – you are responsible for the decision to close these state of the art facilities. You are responsible for how improperly this was handled and for neglecting to consult with all public officials and scientists who work at or use these facilities. You are responsible for the trucks and dumpsters which have been filled with the libraries’ holdings. And Minister it is only you who can change the course of the department of fisheries and oceans.
For the sake of the future of our country, I strongly urge you to do just that.

 

Sincerely,
Lawrence MacAulay, P.C. M.P.

Cardigan

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