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Canadian Human Rights Museum


Lubomyr Luciuk, April 2011

by Lubomyr Luciuk, Professor, political geography, Royal Military College of Canada.

First Posted: Apr 01 2011 on

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights focuses on the Holocaust at the expense of other important issues.
It’s Canada’s first national museum outside the National Capital Region. That’s fine. It’s at the Forks in Winnipeg, where the Assiniboine and Red rivers meet. Great. It’s called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Alas, it’s not actually that. Instead it’s shaping up as a museum focused on the Shoah – the extermination of Jews in the Second World War.

If this were a privately funded project, that would be fine. But, since March 13, 2008, the CMHR has become a national institution funded from the public purse. Already over-budget and having failed to secure its projected donations, the museum’s ongoing operating costs will be borne by those who pay taxes. Since that includes me, I reckon I have a stake in what this museum is all about. As you can probably guess, I’m out of sorts, possibly because I’m sure I’ve been had.

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by Lubomyr Luciuk, director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Dec 14, 2010 originally posted on

Two songs keep coming to mind. The first is by Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth.” I’ve always liked its haunting refrain: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” That ditty describes precisely my take on what’s happening with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

In the beginning it was all about Israel Asper. He wanted a public space for a Holocaust gallery in the nation’s capital, specifically in the Canadian War Museum. Since CanWest’s conductor once enjoyed the ear of Prime Minister Jean Chretien the trade seemed certain. But after Canadian veterans objected, and Liberal fortunes fell, those best-laid plans of the mice and the men were prostrated.

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