The Trudeau government has done the right thing by arranging for a controversial memorial to victims of communism to be downsized and moved away from the heart of official Ottawa...
The Ottawa memorial was a favourite of the Harper government, which paved the way for a private group to erect a jarringly intrusive structure right next door to the Supreme Court of Canada building, just west of Parliament on Wellington St.
It wasn’t the right design and it certainly wasn’t the right place. It smacked of political opportunism as the Conservatives curried favour among the Polish and Ukrainian communities, in particular, which understandably hold bitter memories of their nations’ suffering under communism.
A chorus of critics – including the likes of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin – pushed back. And now the new Liberal government has sensibly arranged for the memorial to be relocated to a more suitable spot in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories, further west along Wellington St.
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly says the government is also cutting its financial support for the project in half, to a maximum of $1.5 million, ensuring the memorial will have a more human scale.
You know that Trudeau and the Star are giving communism a break because it is seen as a leftist movement (hence the misbegotten idea that memorializing its victims--who vastly outnumber the victims of the Nazis--in the way that the Harper government wanted to would be "needlessly divisive"; that line about the memorial having "a more human scale" is also a dead giveaway--and a huge insult to those who were murdered on a massive scale, one that was hardly "human," by evil, vindictive, power-crazed totalitarians).This is a deft move. The memorial now stands a good chance of adding to the national capital instead of becoming a needlessly divisive symbol.