Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Victims of Communism monument in Ottawa has many critics

Within weeks, construction is slated to start on a huge Victims of Communism memorial that will be situated on a prime site near the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.
Even if one thinks that a monument to the victims of communist regimes actions is appropriate, the site for the monument does not appear to be so. The Supreme Court of Canada chief justice has questioned the project. As well, Ottawa city council has rejected it along with a number of architects. The original plan for the site until 2012 was to build a new Federal Court Building that would complete a triad of buildings, with the other two buildings being the Supreme Court and the Justice Department.

Don Martin, Power Play host for CTV thinks that the memorial should commemorate victims in this country such as those of the residential school system: Prime Minister Stephen Harper should dedicate the site to the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential schools.This was our national shame, with tens of thousands of lives sacrificed or ruined in generations of aboriginal children who endured sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the cause of a cultural genocide. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission suggests a national holiday and memorials in major cities.Personally, I think that money would be better spent on policies that help aboriginal people with their present problems.
It was surely wrong, and a partisan political move, to donate the property, worth about a million dollars, to a charity called Tribute to Liberty in the first place. Why did the government not go ahead and build a new Federal Court building as originally planned rather than promoting a pet project of anti-communists that mimic what has already been achieved in the US? Harper has always admired American conservatism. Here are a few gems from a 1997 speech to the Council for National Policy, a US conservative lobby group:Your country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world.
It may not be true, but it's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians.
Some basic facts about Canada that are relevant to my talk... Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.
In terms of the unemployed... don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance....
The NDP is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men
Of course this speech is tailored very much to the audience. As with most politicians when it comes to supporting the interests of capital versus such issues as human rights, the former is the first priority. Harper has changed his tune from challenging China on its human rights record to a less truculent approach. He now worries less about the victims of Tiananmen square than the need to have more diversified foreign investment in Canada and to develop new markets for Canadian goods and resources in the growing Chinese market. But Harper also must think that there is still a strong market for anti-communist symbolism in Canada even though a poll shows the project is disapproved by a majority of Canadians.

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