The meeting started with officials offering superlatives about the facility — the first museum of its kind in the world; the most advanced architecture in the country; the first national museum outside the country's capital region; and a huge draw expected to bring in more than 250,000 visitors a year.
But when the floor was opened to questions, there were shouts about why the museum's Examining the Holocaust gallery will be devoted almost entirely to the genocide of European Jews, while other genocides recognized by Canada will be squeezed into a different gallery, Breaking the Silence.
"Is it the museum's intention to teach our children that all human rights flow from the Holocaust?" shouted one woman, Anne Thompson, from the gallery.
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA) and Ukrainian Canadian Congress have previously raised concerns about the lack of a full exhibit to mark the Holodomor, a genocidal famine that took place in Soviet-occupied Ukraine in the early 1930s.As is the pathological Jew-hate, funnily enough.
"How did you concretely address some of these concerns that were raised by the UCC, regarding the ... possibly too much concentration on the Holocaust, vis-a-vis the other tragedies of the world?" Ostap Hawaleshka, a Ukrainian-Canadian and retired professor asked museum officials at Tuesday's meeting.
"We think that there are other tragedies … that are at least equivalent in terms of magnitude [to the Holocaust] but you know, there's nothing worse than counting my dead are more than your dead."
Museum CEO Stuart Murray responded by saying they are listening carefully to many groups and have done extensive consultation — and the process is still evolving...