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CFLA Election Priorities and the 2019 Ministerial Mandate Letters

CFLA Election Priorities and the 2019 Ministerial Mandate Letters

December 13, 2019

During the 2019 Federal Election, the Canadian Federation of Library Association (CFLA) identified and advocated for four main issues:

  • Advancing Social Infrastructure
  • Copyright
  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Language Preservation
  • Support for Accessible Formats

The ministerial mandate letters released today by the Prime Minister include policy objectives for several ministers which touch on and support the recommendations from the library community:

Advancing Social Infrastructure
CFLA-FCAB recommends that the next government support a targeted library upgrade investment fund which will enhance learning and education, build stronger, equitable, and more inclusive communities.

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities (Catherine McKenna)

  • Continue to work with other Members of Parliament to implement the Investing in Canada Plan. Your focus must be on the successful, timely delivery of our growth-generating investments in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure, as well as key strategic infrastructure that will increase trade. The key objectives of this plan are increasing economic growth and creating good middle class jobs with infrastructure that improves people’s quality of life.
  • Create a National Infrastructure Fund to seek out and support major nation-building projects that will benefit people across various regions, connect our country and improve quality of life. This should start by supporting the Newfoundland-Labrador fixed transportation link.
  • Work with the Minister of Indigenous Services to co-develop and invest in distinctions-based community infrastructure plans, and move forward with addressing critical needs including housing, all-weather roads, high-speed internet, health facilities, treatment centres and schools in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities by 2030. These plans should also include new investments to support the operation and maintenance of this infrastructure.
  • You are the Minister responsible for the arm’s-length Canada Infrastructure Bank, now fully operational. With the support of the Minister of Finance, ensure the Bank has the support it needs for its core purpose of attracting private sector and institutional investment to expand the scope of public infrastructure investment in Canada, in line with the Government’s public policy objectives. In particular:
    • With the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and with the support of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, work with the Bank to deliver high-speed internet to 100 per cent of Canadian homes and businesses by 2030.

Minister of Indigenous Services (Marc Miller)

  • Supported by the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, work to co-develop and invest in distinctions-based community infrastructure plans, and move forward with addressing critical needs including housing, all-weather roads, high-speed internet, health facilities, treatment centres and schools in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities by 2030. These plans should also include new investments to support the operation and maintenance of this infrastructure.

Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry (Navdeep Bains)

  • Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and the Minister of Canadian Heritage to deliver high-speed internet to 100 per cent of Canadian homes and businesses by 2030.

Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development (Maryam Monsef)

  • Work with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to increase high-speed broadband coverage in rural Canada by leading the rollout of existing investments, developing and implementing programming towards further improvements and ensuring that investments by the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial partners and the private sector are coordinated to best prepare rural Canada for success in the digital economy.
  • Support the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to improve Canada Post services in rural and remote areas.

Copyright
CFLA-FCAB recommends that the next government commit to balanced Copyright legislation that will support access to government information, protecting Indigenous languages, fair dealing, and preservation of knowledge.

Minister of Canadian Heritage (Steven Guilbeault)

  • Work with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry in reviewing the Copyright Act.

Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry (Navdeep Bains)

  • Work with the Minister of Canadian Heritage to review the Copyright Act.

Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Language Preservation
CFLA-FCAB recommends that the next government commit to supporting Indigenous ways of knowing and language preservation to support Canada’s efforts in truth, reconciliation, action, and education.

Minister of Canadian Heritage (Steven Guilbeault)

  • Continue to fully implement the Indigenous Languages Act in order to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages in Canada, with long-term predictable and sufficient funding to support the implementation of the Act.
  • Co-develop, with Indigenous Peoples, a framework for repatriating Indigenous cultural property and ancestral remains.

Support for Accessible Formats
CFLA-FCAB recommends that the next government commit to continued sustainable funding for the production and delivery of accessible formats to ensure that Canadians’ with print disabilities have equitable learning opportunities, maintain dignity, achieve inclusivity, and can build autonomy.

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion (Carla Qualtrough)

  • Continue your efforts in leading the Government’s work to promote disability inclusion:
    • Ensure the timely and ambitious implementation of the Accessible Canada Act, putting relevant policies and practices of the new Act into place and supporting the operationalization of the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization, in consultation with the disability community;
    • Conduct a comprehensive review to ensure a consistent approach to disability inclusion and supports across government that addresses the unfairness and inequities in government programs and services, and challenges the biases built into government processes. This includes a definition of disability consistent with the Accessible Canada Act.

 

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