From February 2-16 the Government of Canada used an online questionnaire to embroil Canadians in participating in the anti-communist memorial project started by Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney.
The Department of Canadian Heritage states that it “invites Canadians from across the country to contribute to the building of their nation’s capital by sponsoring commemorations of Canadian ideas, people and events that are of national symbolic importance.” The anti-communist memorial project is not a Canadian “idea of national symbolic importance” but a project of an organization comprised of all kinds of unsavoury characters who are either direct supporters of Nazis past and present or descendants of Nazis past and present who claim that they are the true supporters of freedom and democracy because they opposed communism.
The Department of Canadian Heritage calls for support for this private project and in no way explains how it is a “Canadian idea, person or event of national symbolic importance.” In an attempt to make it relevant to Canadians, it tries to divert from the anti-communism and claim the project praises Canada as a “land of refuge.” It says that “Tribute to Liberty, a not-for-profit organization, is sponsoring a project to build a monument titled Memorial to the Victims of Communism – Canada, a Land of Refuge.”
We are then informed that Canadian Heritage will be launching a national competition to develop a new design for the Memorial, “one that is reflective of the new site,” and that the questionnaire is part of “informing the design competition guidelines.”
To set the tone for respondents the questionnaire presents egregious distortions which were first put forward by the Harper government as if they are fact. For example, the questionnaire states, “It is estimated that more than 8 million Canadians can trace their origins to countries that suffered under totalitarian communist regimes.” In other words anyone whose family left a country at any time which the government asserts had a “totalitarian communist regime,” is now memorialized in this project, whether they share the views of the private group pushing it or not.
Through sleight of hand, the government then attempts to hide the wide-ranging opposition to the monument by claiming that the opposition was only to its placement next to the Supreme Court of Canada. “Over the past year, many Canadians expressed concerns over the location of the Memorial, which was to be situated on a large site next to the Supreme Court of Canada. As a result, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has requested that a smaller site in downtown Ottawa that is between 200 and 500 square metres be considered for the Memorial.” The fact is that there has been widespread opposition to the construction of the monument no matter where it is built.
The Liberals have taken up the project from where the Conservatives left off and hope to divert attention to their own espousal of views on freedom and democracy, which are not consistent with the demands of a modern democracy that is called on to uphold the rights of all. Their conception is deeply rooted in Cold War anti-communism which seeks to justify all the crimes the imperialists have committed in their striving for world domination by claiming they stand for freedom, democracy and human rights. According to this conception during the 20th century all problems in the world were caused by communist totalitarian dictatorships and, today, they are caused by Islamic jihadists and terrorists, especially Palestinian and other freedom fighters. By having an alleged competition for a new design and a more appropriate location for the monument they can claim it is a popular venture which represents Canadian values – a weasel position if there ever was one.
The questionnaire tries to embroil Canadians in selecting answers provided by the government, all of which assume support for the project as a starting point. For example, under the section Monument Objectives, participants are asked to identify which objectives they think are most important:
“Recognize the experience of Canadians who emigrated from communist countries and celebrate their contributions to Canada.
“Commemorate the millions of people worldwide who lost their lives and suffered under communist tyranny.
“Remind visitors about core Canadian values of freedom, democracy and human rights.
“Create awareness of the reality of life under communist regimes.”
It’s a matter of “heads, Tribute to Liberty wins, tails, you lose.”
The other sections of the questionnaire also offer no choice but to share in the dishonesty and extremist views of Tribute to Liberty and the government which is sponsoring their project.
The only place where one could possibly express a dissenting view is in response to the question, “Do you have any thoughts or ideas concerning the design of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism?” Discussing the government’s survey on Facebook, many indicate that they used this opportunity to slam the project and demand that it be scrapped altogether. However, because the “consultation” processes the Liberals have undertaken are all private, the outcome is not public knowledge.
The government has pledged $3 million to cover half the costs of this project, even though, try as they might, Tribute to Liberty could never muster any significant financing for it. This is despite its direct endorsement and promotion by former Prime Minister Harper and Jason Kenney in his capacity as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and several other portfolios. Despite being registered as a charity, Tribute to Liberty was very active in lobbying government in manners deemed inappropriate by the Income Tax Act, and never reported its political activities on its financial returns. Despite the fact that the Harper government went after all kinds of legitimate charities on the most bogus of technicalities, it never questioned Tribute to Liberty’s charitable status.
The cause to which this monument is dedicated is bogus and un-Canadian because Canadians never gave their lives in any war so they could espouse the definitions of freedom, democracy and human rights of the Nazis. The more the Liberals push the monument and the more fraudulent the methods they use to declare that it is popular, the more they expose their own pro-Nazi schemes.
- For more information about the arguments used by Tribute to Liberty and the Government of Canada in support of the monument project, read “Why Harper Government’s Anti-Communist Memorial Must Be Scrapped, Not Relocated,” TML Weekly, June 6, 2015 – No. 23.
- Other questions in the survey:
Part 2 – Visitor Experience
Various visitor experiences are considered when designing a new monument. These experiences guide design teams in their creative approach to how visitors will interact with and use the Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
Please identify which of these visitor experiences of the Memorial you think are most important.
You can select up to two of the statements below:
As a gathering space for a commemorative event or ceremony.
As a place for reflection and contemplation.
As a catalyst that prompts discussion and inspires visitors of all ages to learn more about the past.
As a landmark that enhances the visitor’s perception of the Capital.
As a place of repose for the public in the downtown core.
Part 3 – Form and Character
The plan is for the Memorial to be built on a site in downtown Ottawa that is between 200 and 500 square metres.
Design teams must consider such factors as the size and characteristics of the site as well as the surrounding environment as they strive to create a design that is integrated with its surroundings. Differing approaches to the relationship between a monument and its setting affect its form and character.
Please indicate your preferred approach for the Memorial, given the proposed location and theme.
You can select one of the statements below:
An impressive monument set in an open space that reflects the scope of the millions affected by communism worldwide.
A human-scaled monument set in an intimate environment that allows visitors to connect to the tragedies at a personal level.
An ensemble of individual components that encourages interaction with the monument as visitors explore the site.
Part 4 – Have Your Say
Do you have any thoughts or ideas concerning the design of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism?
Part 5 – Demographic questions
Do you live in the National Capital Region?
In which province or territory do you live?
Thank you for your participation!
Source: TML Weekly