The Conservatives are promising to give Canadians free admission to the country’s national museums if they form government this election.
Inspired by the free Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canadians and visitors should be able to visit Canada’s museums at no cost every day.
“These incredible institutions belong to all Canadians,” he said this morning from the Ottawa Marriott Hotel.
There are nine national museums in Canada, seven of them located in the capital region. They include:
- National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)
- Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Que.)
- Canadian War Museum (Ottawa)
- Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa)
- Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (Halifax, N.S.)
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Winnipeg, Man.)
- Canada Science and Technology Museum (Ottawa)
- Canada Aviation and Space Museum (Ottawa)
- Canada Agriculture Museum (Ottawa)
The Parliamentary Budget Officer says eliminating these facilities’ admission fees would cost about $20 million in 2020-2021 and rise to $22 million a decade from now.
Scheer also is promising to designate the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, which celebrates the history of the national police force, as a national museum and offer free admission.
Saskatchewan MP and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale already has promised to upgrade the heritage centre to a national museum.
A Conservative government also would designate the gravesites of former prime ministers and Governors General as national historic sites, said Scheer.
“Because I believe Canada’s history should always be celebrated. Is it perfect? Of course not. But we must never allow political correctness to erase what made us who we are,” he said.
“We should celebrate the giants of our history, like Macdonald, Mackenzie-King and Laurier.”
The Liberals are offering a $200 “culture pass” to every child turning 12 to cover the cost of theatres, museums, art galleries and other cultural venues.