Saskatchewan

Scheer promises free admission at Regina's RCMP museum

"I'm happy to see others endorsing our good idea," said Liberal MP Ralph Goodale says.

'I'm happy to see others endorsing our good idea,' Liberal MP Ralph Goodale says

An officer takes position during the change of command ceremony on Sept. 6, 2018 for new commissioner Brenda Lucki at the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina. Both the Tories and the Liberals have committed to making the Centre a national museum. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer says he will give the Mounted Police Heritage Centre in Regina federal status if the Conservative Party comes to power in the upcoming federal election. 

It would be the first-ever national museum in Saskatchewan.

"The RCMP Veterans' Association has done a phenomenal job telling the stories of those who've worn the red serge past and present," Scheer said in a written statement. "This designation will help share those stories with more Canadians and boost tourism here in Regina."

Scheer said he would also make admission to visit all national museums, including the RCMP Heritage Centre, free to the public. It currently costs $6 for children, $8 for seniors and $10 for adults to get in. 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer in Ontario on Oct. 5, 2019. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

"Museums are places of learning, discovery, and inspiration. Making them more accessible to Canadians and tourists is part of our plan to promote Canadian culture and heritage and make life more affordable for families," Scheer said.

Goodale says it was a Liberal idea

Liberal candidate for Regina-Wascana Ralph Goodale says he suggested making the RCMP Heritage Centre a national museum about 15 years ago. 

The point has made it into the Liberal party platform this election, which was released 10 days ago. 

"We intend to move forward on this. And I'm happy to see others endorsing our good idea," said Goodale. 

Goodale said with federal funding, admission to the museum would be affordable. But he would not commit to making it free. 

Ralph Goodale at the Heritage Centre in Regina on Sept. 6, 2018. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Goodale said if the Liberals are elected, the next step would be to pass standalone legislation like that for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. He said it would be presented early in the first session of the new parliament. 

"There's no better fit than this. The depot training academy has existed on that site since 1885. The Royal Northwest Mounted Police have been an integral part of the history of Saskatchewan and in Western Canada from the very beginning," said Goodale. "So if you were to pick a topic that would lend itself to a national museum status in Saskatchewan, this would certainly be very, very high on the list."

A Liberal federal government would allocate $2million to $3 million, minimum, per year for the museum, Goodale said. 

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere calls giving the RCMP Heritage Centre federal status a "wonderful idea." 

The City of Regina currently contributes about $80,000 per year to the RCMP Heritage Centre through its community partner program.

About the Author

Alex Soloducha is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan.