Renaming Federal Research Libraries after Harper a Fitting Tribute

Since the defeat of the Conservative government on Oct. 19, there has been extensive discussion around the government’s legacy, and particularly that of its leader, Stephen Harper. One early suggestion (facing significant opposition) is to rename the Calgary airport after Harper (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/renaming-calgary-airport-duelling-petitions-1.3291241).

While naming the airport after Harper would follow a tradition (e..g Pearson in Toronto or Trudeau in Montreal), there are far more fitting federal institutions that could and should bear Harper’s name. In particular, the remaining federal libraries would be an ideal set of institutions to name after Harper. Given the Harper government’s penchant for closing and consolidating federal libraries (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/research-library-s-closure-shows-harper-government-targets-science-at-every-turn-union-says-1.3199761) those that remain deserve a particular mark and moniker to demonstrate their ability to withstand the trend of federal library collections being moved from buildings to dumpsters. In addition, naming the federal libraries after Harper would likely serve as a means to ensure that future Conservative governments would carefully consider closing any more federal libraries as they bear the name of the former party leader. Perhaps the government could also restore the estimated 1.55 million government websites to be eliminated as part of the Treasury Board’s ROT plan (http://plgedmonton.ca/information-policies-under-the-harper-government-part-4-treasury-boards-reduce-redundant-outdated-and-trivial-rot-web-content/) under a special section of the Canada.ca website known as the “Clement Collection.”

Indeed there would seem to be no shortage of federal information services and institutions that could be renamed as fitting reminders to the dark decade.