The great Rideau Hall garage sale is over

No more heritage silverware on the auction block

For a few fortunate antique fanciers, it must have been fun while it lasted. But just a few days after Sun Media revealed that the Governor General’s staff was quietly selling off silverware and china — including several pieces on loan from Buckingham Palace — on the Crown Assets Distribution website, the briefly privatized baubles have been recovered, although Rideau Hall officials won’t say how much it cost to buy them back from the still anonymous buyers. According to Heritage Minister James Moore, the rules will be changed to ensure that Canadian museums have the right of first refusal on any future sales – but that didn’t stop opposition members from drawing the inevitable comparison to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s plan to put other federal assets on the auction block. As Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay puts it, “Selling royal family assets that we don’t even own, at barely 5 per cent of what they are they are worth is not an auspicious start.”

The Ottawa Sun

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