Archives Canada Removes “Obsolete and Redundant” Webpage on Prime Ministers of the Country

From “a lot of fanfare” on its release to an “evasive” deletion

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The National Library of Canada, which claims to be “the keeper of our distant past and our recent history,” has removed the prime ministers’ story from its website, as archivists have called it “obsolete and redundant.”

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A search of the Library and Archives Canada website now yields an error page, and a press release titled “Spring Cleaning” explains that the feature, called First Among Peers, has now been removed, along with a handful of other historical documents.

Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa online media outlet, which along with the Toronto Star first reported on the deletion, said there was “a lot of fanfare” in 1994 when the webpage was launched. .

The pullout comes as the country grapples with Canada’s history of residential schools, a heated debate that has even led to the burning of churches and the destruction of statues.

This latest count, which again touched on the history of such figures as Egerton Ryerson, Hector-Louis Langevin and Sir John A. Macdonald, came in the wake of reports that hundreds of anonymous graves had been unearthed in d old boarding schools.

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The Library and Archives Canada page on Macdonald made no mention of his role in creating the residential school system, the Toronto Star reported last month.

The library also removed a website devoted to the War of 1812 and an archive of poetry, a press release explained.

The government institution did not respond to the National Post’s request for comment at press time.

John English, former Liberal MP and author of biographies of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Lester B. Pearson, called it “elusive.”

“I understand you need to revise these things, but I think it would be a more deliberative process with proper discussion,” English said.

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In another section of the website, which explains the “renewal” process, staff state that some of the website content, written years ago, “does not always reflect our diverse and multicultural country, not presenting often only a facet of Canadian history.

“This is why redundant or obsolete content will be removed or rewritten,” he says.

The changes have been criticized by some Canadian historians, Blacklock reported.

“Honestly, I can’t understand why prime ministers’ biographies would be ‘redundant’ or ‘obsolete’ in a country that has a bad historical memory,” said Barry Wilson, who published a biography of Mackenzie Bowell, the fifth prime minister. Minister of Canada.

“It would be instructive to update the site to say that in the 21st century doubts or criticisms have been raised about the former rulers, but the answer surely is not to destroy online access to historical documents. . “

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