Advocacy

04/30/12

2012 NADP - Advocacy Alert

On April 30, 2012, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) eliminated the National Archival Development Program (NADP), a $1.7 million contribution program administered by the non-for-profit Canadian Council of Archives (CCA) for LAC and distributed to Canada’s 13 archives councils to support archival activities locally. Through the councils, NADP funding is on the ground in our 10 provinces and 3 territories, ensuring that Canada’s history is preserved and accessible in local communities. Canada’s archival councils provide user-centered services, providing support to archives and archivists so that they may better serve all Canadians.

SCAA open letter - Saskatchewan impact

Federal funding in Saskatchewan - fact sheetsCall to action - Canadian Council of ArchivesCCA fact sheet #1 - NADP impact

CCA fact sheet #2 - highlights of independent audit and evaluation

CCA fact sheet #3 - revised briefing note on the elimination of the NADP, June 2012

CCA Facebook page | Twitter (@CCA_Archives)


Letters from our member:

Lloydminster Regional Archives:


May 10, 2012 to Hon. Gerry Ritz and Leon Benoit, M.P., Vegreville-Wainright


June 18, 2012 to Mr. Leon Benoit, M.P. and Hon. Gerry Ritz


Sept. 27, 2012 response from Hon. James Moore, P.C., M.P. to Mr. Leon Benoit, M.P.


Oct. 29, 2012 to Dr. Caron, Mr. Leon Benoit, M.P., Vegreville-Wainroght, Hon. Gerry Ritz and Hon. Mr. James Moore, P.C., M.P., Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages


Key messages:

Canada’s documentary heritage is preserved it its over 800 archival institutions. 

NADP supports archives to preserve Canada’s documentary heritage for Canadians

    NADP leverages financial and partnership opportunities for archives across the country

    CCA serves the Canadian public. CCA's work ensures the preservation of Canada's heritage for the benefit of all Canadians-now and for the future. Through initiatives such as www.ARCHIVESCANADA.ca , CCA is the window through which the world may access Canadian archival information

    Through the provincial councils, NADP funding is on the ground in our 10 provinces and 3 territories, ensuring that Canada’s history is preserved in local communities.

    Archives support Canada’s economy. Sustaining Canada's knowledge-based economy means sustaining and facilitating access to our knowledge resources. Archives are fundamental to the success of countless public, private, and educational enterprises.

    Archives preserve Canada’s past. Millions of historical documents, photographs, maps and audio-visual materials are held in archives across the country

    LAC’s stakeholder forum meetings cannot and will not take the place of an archival network of dedicated professionals and volunteers across Canada that took 26 years to build. The damage done by elimination of NADP will take years to re-build.

 

 Project Examples

The National Archival Development Program and its predecessor CCA grants program have made it possible for many archival projects in Saskatchewan to take place, increasing access to Saskatchewan's documentary heritage. The results of a number of these projects can be found online:

Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN)

        SAIN, the Saskatchewan component of Archives Canada, has been the focus of several CCA/NADP projects - starting with the first pilot project to create an online "union list" of holdings and development of the technical infrastructure; a later pilot project for the photograph database; many institutional and province-wide control of holdings and photo description/digitiziation projects (providing new content for the databases); and most recently the migration to a new generation of software.
  
 "The Truth is in There" - four short videos created for YouTube
        episode 1 | episode 2 | episode 3 | episode 4

SCAA Projects    Virtual exhibits / digital projects:

  •         Our Legacy - Material relating to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, found in Saskatchewan cultural and heritage collections
  •         Saskatoon Public Library Local History Room - photograph database
  •         Walter Murray: The Lengthened Shadow
  •         The Sheaf Online (University of Saskatchewan student newspapers)
  •         Student Yearbooks Online (University of Saskatchewan)
  •         A Doukhobor Song of Days
  •         All Frocked Up: Glimpses of Cross-Dressing in Saskatchewan
  •         Canada Quiz
  •         Main Street, Saskatchewan
  •         Combined Virtues: Saskatchewan's Ukrainian Legacy
  •         Medicare: A People's Issue
  •         Saskatchewan's 1944 CCF Election
  •         Saskatchewan and the Visual Arts
  •         Saskatchewan Presents: An Exhibition of Theatre and Drama
  •         Saskatchewan in Two World Wars
  •         The Saskatchewan Landscape
  •         Saskatchewan Quiz
  •         Saskatoon: The Early Years
  •         Regina: The Early Years
  •         The Avro Arrow
  •         Images of a Country: Canada's Flag Debate
  •         Balfour W. Currie: The Second International Polar Year
  •         Building the University of Saskatchewan
  •         Deo et Patriae: Events in the History of the University of Saskatchewan
  •         Hans S. Dommasch: Canada North of 60
  •         Frederic Harrison Edmunds: The Canadian Landscape
  •         From the Athabasca to the Mackenzie Delta: A Journey on Canada's Inland Waterways
  •         I've Been to England... (Ruth Hood and the Overseas Education League)
  •         ParticipACTION Archive Project
  •         The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool: A History in Pictures
  •         The Student Experience (University of Saskatchewan)

 

 

2007 City of Regina Archives

CORA: Report to Finance and Administration Committee

The City of Regina's Finance and Administration Committee will consider a report on May 8 that identifies the City of Regina Archives as a "discretionary item that is not a core service for the City of Regina" and recommends:

    the elimination of the City Archivist position
    that access to the collection be by appointment only
    and that the remaining archives assistant be assigned to work on records management projects
        Report to Finance and Administration Committee (PDF file)
        Note: Before being posted on the City website, the City Clerk's Office mailed this report to the SCAA and other organizations and individuals who had expressed interest in this issue; the SCAA's copy was received on April 19. The above link is to a scanned version of the copy we received.

The SCAA has prepared a detailed response to this report. Several elements of this report are troubling:

    There appear to be some basic misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions about both archival and records management functions
    In particular, there appears to be an assumption that responding to reference enquiries is the sole function of an archives. This couldn't be further from the truth, as detailed in the response. The report also fails to recognize the work (arrangement, description, and preservation) required in order to provide effective reference service
    There seems to be an assumption that other organizations will act to fill the gap left by a less than fully functional City Archives, or indeed that existing collections will meet researchers' needs. This ignores the fact that archival records are unique; and in particular that records created by the City, which are publicly owned, provide evidence of corporate actions over time
    There is an inference that there is a transitory nature to the value of records, and that access to information is easily achieved; and a troubling distinction being made between a "corporate archives" and one providing service to the public
        SCAA response (PDF file)

Advocacy Alert, April 5

5 April 2007

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

The City Clerk's Office in Regina has been asked to make substantial cuts to its budget for 2007. The civic budget - which will be considered at City Council on April 17 - shows a reduction in the Clerk's regular budget of $60,000.

This cut cannot be made without a consequent reduction in services to the public. The City Clerk's Office acts not only as the Secretary to City Council and its committees, it administers Freedom of Information legislation for the City, oversees the city's records management program, and makes the City's historical records available through the City Archives. Any reduction to these services will reduce the ability of the public to access information in a timely and effective fashion.

The Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists (SCAA) is very concerned about the effects of this budget cut, particularly the potential effects on access to civic records both now and into the future. We would like to encourage all of you to contact Regina City Council and urge them to see that the continuing free and unfettered access to information in Regina is protected.

The SCAA has created an information package (including an analysis of 2007 City of Regina budget figures), available for download from its website at: scaa.sk.ca/publish/pdfs/advocacy-cora/CityOfRegina_InfoPackage.pdf

Regina City Council will be meeting to discuss the 2007 budget on April 17. Submissions to Council (which can be in the form of letters only and do not need to be made in person) must be received by 1:00 pm on Thursday, April 12. For more information about making submissions to Council, please see the City of Regina website, here:

    www.regina.ca/content/city_hall/council_meetings/index.shtml

The Mayor can be reached by e-mail via cityhelp@regina.ca. You can also e-mail all members of City Council through this form: www.regina.ca/content/city_hall/ward_map/email_all.php3 Full contact details are available in the information package.

Thank you for any support you can offer to this effort to avoid these cuts.

Sincerely,

The Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists
Key messages:

    the budget of the City Clerk's Office is being cut by about $60,000 in 2007. This represents a cut far beyond what will be achievable through "efficiencies" and will surely result in a reduction in services
    the average budget increase, across City departments, is 5%, while the corresponding cut to the City Clerk's Office is about 5%
    the City Clerk's Office plays a vital role in the democratic process. Through its records management, freedom of information and archival functions, it provides timely access to authentic and accurate information, both current and historical.
    Anything which impairs the ability of the City Clerk to act effectively in this role reduces our ability to exercise our rights as citizens
    while a cut to the City Clerk's Office budget is putting services at risk, other departments will see substantial increases, including special funding for communications exercise called "Branding Regina," and the new positions of a Mayor's communications consultant, Director of City Manager's Office, Manager of Government Relations, Manager of Strategic Planning and Performance Management, and Manager of Quality and Innovation.

 

Update, 13 April 2007

"An Alternate Service Level for the City of Regina Archives"

Background:

We had been concerned that, given the responsibilities of the City Clerk's Office, City of Regina, any cuts (proposed at $60,000) would likely harm its ability to properly manage and provide access to the current and historical records documenting the City. These proposed cuts appeared unnecessary in view of proposed increases to other departments, particularly Communications.

Update:

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

It now appears clear that the proposed budget cut within the City Clerk's Office will specifically result in some change to the City Archives. That unit currently is staffed only by one professional archivist and one assistant (currently on secondment). The Archives' non-salary budget is correspondingly low. We are extremely concerned that any cut - particularly a reduction of $60,000 - can only result in significant harm to both public service and the ability of the City of Regina Archives to continue to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the permanently valuable records of the City.

In response to some letters sent to the City concerning the matter of the budget cut, the City Clerk's Office has refused petitioners the ability to speak to the broad proposed budget at Council on April 17th, and has referred them to a more detailed meeting of the Finance and Administration Committee on May 8th. That meeting is reviewing the specifics of how each department is managing its budget within the framework established by the proposed budget as a whole. Significantly, the City Clerk's written response has included the statement: "An alternate service level for the City of Regina Archives will be considered by the Finance and Administration Committee on May 8th."

We would greatly appreciate additional e-mails being sent directly to Regina city councillors before Tuesday's budget meeting. We are not confident that e-mails sent only to the general e-mail address ( cityhelpregina.ca) will be forwarded to councillors, particularly after the deadline for briefs. Names and full contact information are available in the information package at scaa.sk.ca/cityregina.php. Their e-mail addresses are as follows: lbrowneregina.ca, jhutchinregina.ca, fclipsharegina.ca, mfougereregina.ca, bgrayregina.ca, wmurrayregina.ca, sbryceregina.ca, modonnelregina.ca, thincksregina.ca, jflegelregina.ca, cityhelpregina.ca

Sincerely,
Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists

Key messages:

  • the budget of the City Clerk's Office is being cut by about $60,000 in 2007. This represents a cut far beyond what will be achievable through "efficiencies" and will surely result in a reduction in services
  • in response to letters received already on the broad proposed budget, the City Clerk has said that "An alternate service level for the City of Regina Archives will be considered," clearly indicating that cuts to the City Archives are planned.
  • with only one archivist on staff now, one has to ask what would be left after a reduction in service. Public access to the archives and ongoing acquisitions, as well as the Archives' ability to provide meaningful support to City Council and Administration, would most likely be in question
  • given the proposed increases city-wide, including one-time costs for communications initiatives, with minor reallocations we believe it would be possible to maintain the current level of funding for the Archives without compromising other City initiatives. This is an issue to be addressed at the special budget meeting on April 17.
  • The civic corporation itself, as well as students, teachers, historical researchers, genealogists, journalists, social and political activists, property owners, local historians and any one else who ever wanted to know why things are the way they are have a vested interest in timely and effective access to the archival records of the City of Regina
  • across Canada, Fredericton and Charlottetown (substantially smaller communities than Regina) are the only provincial capitals that don't have city archives. Red Deer - population 67,000 - has a better-staffed city archives than Regina. It would be shocking if Regina - where almost 1/5 of Saskatchewan's people live - effectively lost its City Archives

CORA: Report to Finance and Administration Committee

The City of Regina's Finance and Administration Committee will consider a report on May 8 that identifies the City of Regina Archives as a "discretionary item that is not a core service for the City of Regina" and recommends:

  • the elimination of the City Archivist position
  • that access to the collection be by appointment only
  • and that the remaining archives assistant be assigned to work on records management projects
    • Report to Finance and Administration Committee (PDF file)
    • Note: Before being posted on the City website, the City Clerk's Office mailed this report to the SCAA and other organizations and individuals who had expressed interest in this issue; the SCAA's copy was received on April 19. The above link is to a scanned version of the copy we received.

The SCAA has prepared a detailed response to this report. Several elements of this report are troubling:

  • There appear to be some basic misunderstandings and mistaken assumptions about both archival and records management functions
  • In particular, there appears to be an assumption that responding to reference enquiries is the sole function of an archives. This couldn't be further from the truth, as detailed in the response. The report also fails to recognize the work (arrangement, description, and preservation) required in order to provide effective reference service
  • There seems to be an assumption that other organizations will act to fill the gap left by a less than fully functional City Archives, or indeed that existing collections will meet researchers' needs. This ignores the fact that archival records are unique; and in particular that records created by the City, which are publicly owned, provide evidence of corporate actions over time
  • There is an inference that there is a transitory nature to the value of records, and that access to information is easily achieved; and a troubling distinction being made between a "corporate archives" and one providing service to the public