Dear Minister of Canadian Heritage,
Museums play a central role in the preservation and promotion of our history, culture and communities, especially in small towns. Like many businesses, these museums have been very hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many will struggle once allowed to re-open.
In small towns, museums serve as excellent part time or summer job opportunities for local students and youth, providing them with valuable work experience, and a wealth of knowledge.
Small town museums depend heavily on students for staffing, with Federal programs like Canada Summer Jobs and Young Canada Works assisting in the costs of hiring these students.
If our museums are permitted to re-open this year, many will be on limited hiring budgets. This will mean that jobs normally available to students will be unavailable. Both they and the museums will suffer.
Earlier this month, you announced the creation of a $500 million COVID-19 emergency support fund for cultural, heritage and sport organizations to help address their financial needs arising from the pandemic.
Minister, I am asking that you use some of the emergency support fund to increase the Young Canada Works wage subsidy from 75% to 100%. This will allow museums and other cultural and heritage organizations to continue to create the over 2,300 jobs for students within their tightened budgets.