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Was Harper’s gutting of DFO libraries illegal?

CBC reports, “Green Party Leader Elizabeth May thinks that it may (have been illegal for the Harper government to dispose of books and research material from Fisheries and Oceans scientific libraries across the country).”

The article highlights, “‘These materials are not the property of any government of the day to dispose of casually,’ said May in an interview with CBC News. ‘The government or the department is not allowed to dispose of them willy-nilly.'”

“May said the handling of library material contravenes sections of the Library and Archives Canada Act. Section 16 of the act says that ‘all publications that have become surplus to the requirements of any government institution shall be placed in the care and control of the Librarian and Archivist.’ Section 12 points out publications can’t be disposed of without the ‘written consent of the Librarian or Archivist.’ ‘The purpose of the act is to stop what has happened here,’ said May. ‘Material of value to Canada has been cast to the four winds and that violates the act.’ May said she talked to Hervé Déry, the interim librarian and archivist of Canada, and it’s clear to her the rules weren’t followed.”

“May is considered legal options, including a complaint to the RCMP.”

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has commented, “The Harper government is gutting all and any tools, rules, and science projects that stand in the way of corporate abuse of our freshwater heritage.”

Public Service Alliance of Canada president Robyn Benson has written, “Libraries being trashed, books being burned? Reminds one of another century—or of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Fahrenheit 451, about an age when books are banned and “firemen” are sent out to burn them. But this is now reality in Stephen Harper’s Canada.”

Further reading
Harper closes aquatic research libraries
Librarians and archivists muzzled by Harper government