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  Graphical element LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA

Introducing Library and Archives Canada (LAC)

Legislation Creating Library and Archives Canada Proclaimed (May 21, 2004)

On May 21, 2004, the Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada was proclaimed into force by order of the Governor in Council. Consequently, the National Archives Act and the National Library Act are now repealed. All employees of the two former institutions automatically become employees of the new Library and Archives Canada.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Hélène Chalifour Scherrer, has asked Mr. Ian E. Wilson, the former National Archivist, to assume, on an interim basis, the duties of the newly-created position of Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

The vision for the new Library and Archives Canada was one conceived initially by both the former National Librarian, Roch Carrier, and the former National Archivist.

On May 26, 2004, employees bade farewell to Roch Carrier at a special proclamation ceremony held in Ottawa. In his remarks, Mr. Carrier encouraged employees of the two former institutions to join forces in building the new institution.

As Mr. Wilson stated recently:

"We will be building on the strong foundations of our two predecessor institutions, their collections, their traditions and, most especially, their expertise. With these we will be ready to face the challenges, possibilities and expectations of the 21st century.

"We will continue to build and preserve our collections but we will also ensure they are a living part of the Canadian experience and accessible to Canadians wherever they may live in our vast country."

Bill C-8 Receives Royal Assent (April 22, 2004)

On April 22, 2004, Bill C-8, An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, received Royal Assent, the final step in the legislative process.

The Library and Archives of Canada Act will come into force on a date to be fixed by a Governor-in-Council order, at which point we will legally be one institution. The appointment of the Librarian and Archivist of Canada will be made at the same time.

Amended Bill C-8 Makes It Through the House (April 2, 2004)

From the Proceedings of the House of Commons:

Hon. Denis Coderre (for the Minister of Canadian Heritage) moved that the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-8, An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence, be now read the second time and concurred in.

On April 2, 2004, the House of Commons approved the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-8. The Bill had received Third Reading in the Senate on March 30, 2004, prior to being forwarded to the House of Commons.

The next step for the Bill is to be sent to the Senate for Royal Assent, the final step in the legislative process.

The Library and Archives of Canada Act will come into force on a date to be fixed by a Governor-in-Council order, at which point we will legally be one institution.

Reinstatement of Library and Archives Canada Bill (February 11, 2004)

On February 11, 2004, the Minister of Canadian Heritage reinstated, in the House of Commons, Bill C-8, An Act to establish the Library and Archives of Canada, to amend the Copyright Act and to amend certain Acts in consequence.

The day before (February 10, 2004), a motion was passed in the House allowing for the reinstatement of bills. Bills that had left the House of Commons and were in the Senate (such as Bill C-36, which became Bill C-8 when reinstated) would be resent directly to the Upper Chamber of Parliament.

Reinstatement is slightly different from reintroduction. With reinstatement the Bill must be exactly the same as it was when Parliament was prorogued. Reintroduction allows a modified bill to be introduced, but it must begin its Parliamentary journey all over again.

Nothing in the reinstatement process alters the legislative process of the Senate. Currently, Bill C-8 has received 2nd Reading in the Senate and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology for consideration. Senator Laurier LaPierre, in his 2nd Reading speech, indicated that the Government would be seeking to remove the now obsolete clause 21 (Amendments to the Copyright Act).

If changes are made to Bill C-8 either by the Senate Committee or at 3rd Reading, it will have to be sent back to the House of Commons for approval of the amendments before the Bill may be passed.