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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > Downtown & City of Ottawa

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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 2:18 AM
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National Victims of Communism Memorial | Proposed

Canadian Heritage announces competition for memorial to communism’s victims

By Robert Sibley, OTTAWA CITIZEN April 1, 2014 8:54 PM


OTTAWA — Ideologically, communism might be dead — tossed on the trash heap of history, to recast Karl Marx’s famous phrase — but its victims won’t be forgotten, at least in the national capital.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced a design competition for a memorial to the victims of communism. The monument will commemorate the millions who perished or suffered under tyrannical communism. Titled Memorial to the Victims of Communism: Canada, a Land of Refuge, the $4-million project, including $1.9 million in construction costs, will be located on Wellington Street between the Supreme Court and Library and Archives Canada.

“We have at least two generations of people who don’t really understand what communism was all about, and what it still is in many countries around the world,” Ludwik Klimkowski, chairman of Tribute to Liberty, the charity behind the memorial, said. “With this memorial your children, your grandchildren, won’t forget the stories of those who suffered under communism.”

Government ministers reiterated this theme.

“This monument will be a lasting symbol of the hardship endured by millions under Communist rule and a tribute to those who risked so much to reach the safety of Canada, where freedom, democracy and the rule of law are cherished,” Heritage Minister Shelly Glover said Tuesday.

Jason Kenney, minister of employment and multiculturalism, echoed the sentiment.

“This memorial will also serve as a reminder to all Canadians that glorifying communist symbols insults the memory of these victims,” he said, adding that it would also remind Canadians of their country’s core values.

These “values” are to be reflected in the monument’s design. “The memorial will be a solemn place inviting all visitors to reflect on the impact of communism and on the meaning of oppression and freedom,” according to Canadian Heritage’s “project vision.”

Design teams are to submit their qualifications for evaluation by May 2. By the end of May, six qualified teams will be invited to submit their concepts. A contract will be awarded in September, with winner expected to complete the memorial in time for an unveiling in the late summer of 2015.

The project has received widespread endorsement by various ethnic communities — everyone from Poles and Vietnamese to Tibetans and Cubans — whose members endured (and still endure) persecution at the hands of communist regimes, said Klimkowski, noting that more than eight million Canadians came to this country from communist-ruled states.

First proposed by Tribute to Liberty in 2008, and later endorsed by the Conservative government in a 2010 Throne Speech, the memorial project has not be without controversy.

At one point, members of the National Capital Commission, which allocated the land for the memorial, fretted about whether it would offend communists.

Last fall, when the government announced its intention to proceed with the memorial, Green Party leader Elizabeth May was roundly criticized after asking on Twitter why the Tories had made “no mention of a monument to victims of capitalism.”

Kenney responded, saying: “Perhaps that’s because no one was shot in the back while risking their lives to flee eastward over the Iron Curtain.”

Kenney had the evidence of history on his side. The Black Book of Communism, a 1997 compendium of research essays by European academics, documents a legacy of repression, persecution, imprisonment, forced labour, famine and genocide at the hands of communist tyrants — from Russian dictator Josef Stalin’s deliberate starvation of more than seven million Ukrainians in the 1930s to the Khmer Rouge regime’s slaughter of millions in the killing fields of Cambodia in the late 1970s.

Indeed, according to the book’s editor, Stéphane Courtois, communist regimes are responsible for the deaths of more people — the numbers approach 100 million — than any other political ideology, including Nazism. Chinese dictator Mao Zedong alone killed an estimated 65 million people with his efforts to turn China into a socialist paradise, surpassing Adolf Hitler as history’s worse mass murderer.

In this regard, said Klimkowski, Canada’s new memorial will provide a “beacon” by which these victims of communist ideology are remembered.

rsibley@ottawacitizen.com
Twitter.com/robert_sibley

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/ot...768/story.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 2:19 AM
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 2:46 AM
defishel defishel is offline
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Located between the Library and Archives and Supreme Court? This wouldn't happen to be that monument that people in this thread have been commenting on, is it?

But wow, talk about being anti-communism! Why exactly is this going to be a monument? This sounds something the anti-communism/ pro-capitalism Americans might think up.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:11 AM
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It is pretty explosively ideological... not really appropriate for a nationally significant site like that.
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:17 AM
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How about a Memorial to the Victims of Capitalism? You know, the millions who have lost their livelihoods because of corporate greed?

I hope the Harper government gets booted out before more money is wasted on useless initiatives like this. It's becoming clear why they took the commemorations portfolio out of the hands of the NCC (a Crown corporation answerable to Parliament) and moved it to a department directly controlled by the ruling government. Yet another example of the Conservatives ramming things down our throats while they hold a majority.

Last edited by Kitchissippi; Apr 2, 2014 at 3:55 AM.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:45 AM
Acajack Acajack is offline
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Holy cow. Could they possibly be any more ideological?

The fact that many communist régimes left many victims wasn't so much that they were communist (which is an economic philosophy) as it was that they were totalitarian (which is all about power).

There have been plenty of victims of non-communist totalitarian régimes as well.

Stuff like this makes us look ridiculous. Or worse.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 4:49 AM
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I really don't think there needs to be a monument for this, but pretty mush everyone I meet in Ottawa is a quasi-Marxist, so I'm not surprised by the OUTRAGE EXPLOSION going on here.

I still hear about Bev Oda's $16 orange juice from people but not a peep about the Nixonian $1.1 billion vote-buying and coverup of the revered and idolized provincial government, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Keep in mind - I said I feel this monument isn't necessary, but I expect to be piled on for my other comments in short order. As is always the case in Outrage City.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 5:19 AM
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On the bright side, it'll be a new canvas for activists.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 5:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
I really don't think there needs to be a monument for this, but pretty mush everyone I meet in Ottawa is a quasi-Marxist, so I'm not surprised by the OUTRAGE EXPLOSION going on here.

I still hear about Bev Oda's $16 orange juice from people but not a peep about the Nixonian $1.1 billion vote-buying and coverup of the revered and idolized provincial government, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Keep in mind - I said I feel this monument isn't necessary, but I expect to be piled on for my other comments in short order. As is always the case in Outrage City.
'Revered and idolized provincial government'? It's approval rating is pretty low. You must be talking to an odd sample of people.

And in general, single-person expense account scandals tend to outrage people more than larger scale 'institution' scandals, for some reason. Don't get me wrong I think it's really stupid, but that's how people think, so things like Bev Oda's $16 orange juice get people REALLY riled even though it's really not much money.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 5:24 AM
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 10:05 AM
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The erecting of such a monument would be an example of monetary wastefulness in capitalist society. Does our society really want to critisize ourselves that way???

It would be better to use that money and effort on tangible things that benefit the people, and demonstrate how good a non-tyrannical governing structure can be. ...Public transportation, government services, policy improvements, etc are all examples of better uses for that money.

We twiddle twaddle with these monuments while China and Britain add speed rail.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 11:48 AM
acottawa acottawa is offline
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I agree it is rather silly, especially since Monument to Victims of [insert belief system here] could be built for just about anything.

That being said, pretty much any monument in any capital city is going to be political and/or silly so I guess they're an indicator to future generations of a particular zeitgeist at a particular time. We haven't had a significant peacekeeping mission for decades, but a giant monument in a prominent location shows somebody thought it was important in the 80s.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 12:15 PM
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I don't know many Canadians were victims of communism, but I imagine that many more were the victims of swimming pools.

So why don't we have a National Victims of Swimming Pools Memorial?

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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 1:58 PM
Acajack Acajack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acottawa View Post
I agree it is rather silly, especially since Monument to Victims of [insert belief system here] could be built for just about anything.

That being said, pretty much any monument in any capital city is going to be political and/or silly so I guess they're an indicator to future generations of a particular zeitgeist at a particular time. We haven't had a significant peacekeeping mission for decades, but a giant monument in a prominent location shows somebody thought it was important in the 80s.
I think it's still way more relevant given that a Canadian was the one who first had the idea of using troops for peacekeeking.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:14 PM
Temperance Temperance is offline
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This is completely inappropriate for a national monument in our capital city (and on such a prominent site). Harper needs to learn that he governs for all Canadians and stop trying to make everything into a political game.
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:28 PM
adam-machiavelli adam-machiavelli is offline
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From what I understand, the Ukrainian and Polish communities are leading the implementation for this project. It was originally supposed to be specific to Holodomor. But they broadended it to create mass appeal.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
From what I understand, the Ukrainian and Polish communities are leading the implementation for this project. It was originally supposed to be specific to Holodomor. But they broadended it to create mass appeal.
I think I would actually have preferred a monument to the Holodomor only.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 3:49 PM
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A heartfelt "blah" from me regarding this monument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
I really don't think there needs to be a monument for this, but pretty mush everyone I meet in Ottawa is a quasi-Marxist, so I'm not surprised by the OUTRAGE EXPLOSION going on here.

I still hear about Bev Oda's $16 orange juice from people but not a peep about the Nixonian $1.1 billion vote-buying and coverup of the revered and idolized provincial government, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Keep in mind - I said I feel this monument isn't necessary, but I expect to be piled on for my other comments in short order. As is always the case in Outrage City.
So very true in a lot of ways, however, cut us a break here; it's not as is this phenomenon is exclusive to Ottawa. Ever browsed through the Canada forum and/or any other of its sub-forums? It doesn't take long to determine the overriding ideology of the membership.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 4:05 PM
Acajack Acajack is offline
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For what it's worth, I wouldn't applaud if they proposed memorials to the victims of savage capitalism, imperialism or colonialism either.
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Old Posted Apr 2, 2014, 4:10 PM
Acajack Acajack is offline
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I understand this a bit more now that I have done a bit of research.

Washington has one so Ottawa needs one too.
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