Friday, April 29, 2011

Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Wikileaks Cablegate

Oh dear, the CMHR has just been uprooted and outright embarassed by a cable detailing political talks about CMHR.

You can view the cable right here.

What was expressed to the Ambassador?

That the CMHR would be "...an economic development project for the "regularly insulted" City of Winnipeg."

Again, we see the comparison to other museums and the need to beef up our "victim" of insultation even more: "..[the] driving desire is to offer visitors a powerful experience, equivalent to the Holocaust Museum in DC."

We're on budget! We're on budget! "The project is experiencing serious cost overruns and the Board seeks an additional $45 million infusion."

And for years we have seen how Gail Asper gallops around the world in support for the museum, to draw more fundraising partnerships, to panhandle and beg for a museum that could not be afforded in the first place. But how far in begging and pleading can one go?

"[Gail Asper] ended by making a strong plea for a Presidential [Obama] endorsement and appearance at a Museum event."

The cable released by Wikileaks is from an ambassador visitation from October 2009. Before the visitation dates, here are some examples of things that I was writing about:

1. Multiple references in the Cable to Holocaust, be it the architect of the Museum itself or the comparison to Holocaust museum in DC. Today, we hear about Holodomor and the debate continues over whether or not the Museum will end up as just another Holocaust museum.

Here are some of the things I have lobbied for and most importantly environmental rights issues.

2. In this blog post from May 2009 we see that the Museum was pegged at $265 million. Five months later, meetings took place that we can now view via Cablegate.

3. And almost a year before the meetings revealed in Cablegate, we were fighting the construction of an apartment tower at Upper Fort Garry because it might destroy buried artifacts.

Because, we all know that the site of CMHR has no artifacts under it and is most certainly not on any Aboriginal burial ground of any kind.


I will delve deeper into the information released by Wikileaks Cablegate over this weekend.

I cannot possibly express how important Wikileaks is, how important these cables are or how valuable these leaks are into holding people to account. And in Winnipeg, these are what our worries are...millionaire pet projects reaping taxpayers without limit. Wikileaks has proven invaluable to holding corrupt governments to account and the biggest impacts have been where the people most need them...the people without a voice and the people who have been supressed by their own governments.

The @wikileaks Twitter feed provides good updates and Greg Mitchell's daily recap of Wikileaks releases is a must-read, and makes it much easier to digest.

Never thought a Cable would hit so close to home, on an issue the mainstream media love to champion, did we?

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