Category Archives: Uncategorized

Survey confirms majority want inclusiveness in Canadian human rights museum

For immediate release (Ottawa) – 23 March 2011

According to a recent national NANOS survey Canadians overwhelmingly want the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) to cover all episodes of genocide inclusively.

More than 60 per cent of Canadians wanted the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, a federally funded institution now under construction in Winnipeg, to be inclusive of all groups in Canada, not one or two privieleged ones, according to a recent NANOS poll.

Asked whether they preferred a thematic gallery dealing with genocide or wanted a particular example of genocide to be permanently highlighted in its own gallery, a majority of just over 60 per cent of Canadians opted for the former, preferring a thematic genocide gallery that treats all such crimes against humanity in an inclusive manner.

“A majority of voters from all age groups, of both genders, in every province and region, and representing every major Canadian political party, agreed with our view that no community’s suffering should be elevated above all others in a national museum funded by all Canadian taxpayers,” said Mr. R.W. Zakaluzny, chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA). “Preferential, prominent and permanent recognition for one or two groups in a national museum funded from the public purse is unacceptable to Canadians. It’s time for the CMHR’s board of trustees to take note – the people of Canada don’t want their tax dollars funding partiality.”

“On the eve of a possible federal election we call on the Government of Canada, and in particular on the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage, to replace members of the CMHR’s existing board of trustees with citizens more representative of Canadian society and to have the proposed contents of the CMHR carefully reconsidered with a view to ensuring that all 12 of its 12 galleries are thematic, comparative and inclusive. That’s what Canadians want.”

 -30 –

NANOS random telephone survey of 1,216 Canadians conducted from 12 March to 15 March 2011. An aggregate total of 60.3% wanted “one exhibit which covers all genocides equally.” The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,216 Canadians is plus/minus 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. “Our next question is about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a national museum funded by Canadian taxpayers. Would you prefer that there be one gallery that covers all genocides equally or that there be one gallery that highlights a particular genocide permanently while all the others are grouped together in a separate exhibit?” An aggregate of 15.3% were unsure while 24.4% wanted one gallery that highlighted a particular genocide.

For more information please visit www.uccla.ca  or www.twitter.com/uccla

For an interview contact Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, UCCLA’s director of research, luciuk@uccla.ca

    Total One exhibit which covers all genocides equally One gallery that highlights a particular genocide permanently, while the others are grouped together in a separate exhibit Unsure
    Responses Percentage Percentage Percentage
Aggregate Canada, March 2011 1,216 60.3 24.4 15.3
Region Atlantic 121 62.3 23.5 14.2
  Quebec 301 70.2 16.9 12.9
  Ontario 369 60.9 25.3 13.8
  Prairies 243 51.4 27.0 21.6
  British Columbia 182 53.4 31.9 14.7
Gender Male 600 59.3 26.9 13.8
  Female 616 61.3 21.9 16.8
Age 18-29 250 65.6 24.7 9.7
  30-39 205 63.5 26.0 10.5
  40-49 254 58.5 24.6 16.9
  50-59 217 60.0 23.5 16.5
  60-plus 291 55.4 23.4 21.2
Vote Profile Liberal Party 262 57.3 26.8 15.9
  Conservative Party 366 56.8 28.6 14.6
  NDP 190 57.9 30.8 11.3
  Bloc Québécois 96 73.6 14.3 12.1
  Green Party 36 67.0 19.9 13.0
  undecided 267 64.1 15.9 20.0

Random telephone survey of 1.216 Canadians from March 12th to March 15th, 2011. The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,216 Canadians is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. www.nanosresearch.com

Politicians & groups that support substantial change to current makeup and design of CMHR

Politicians & groups that support substantial change to current makeup and design of CMHR

Over the past few weeks and months, a number of prominent Canadians have come forward to note their objection on the record to the current iteration of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights being built in Winnipeg.

Noting that it is a federal institution funded entirely by taxpayers, on par with other national museums like the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., and the War Museum in Ottawa, the growing list of politicians, experts and stakeholders below have noticed the inherent unfairness of a museum supposedly dedicated to the human rights of all Canadians favouring the story of just one or two groups.

This list continues to grow and updates will be made as more people go on the record.

 – Dec. 23, 2010: Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada:

"… we need to document the history of all Canadians and show how their experiences have shaped and will continue to shape our values of equality, dignity and inclusiveness. Genocide, no matter where or under what pretense it happens, is unacceptable to Canadians. The Green Party of Canada notes the genocide of between 7 and 10 million people in the (sic) Soviet Ukraine during 1932-1933 as an example that needs to be interpreted at the museum. Also, the history of internments during the two world wars should be better recognized by Canadians."

 – Jan. 20, 2011: Paul Dewar, MP (NDP, Ottawa Centre), NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, in a latter addressed to Hon. James Moore, Minister for Canadian Heritage and Official Languages:

“Dear Mr. Moore, (UCCLA Chair R.W. Zakaluzny) points out that there will be two galleries in the museum devoted to the suffering of aboriginal peoples and of the Jewish people. All other crimes against humanity will (be) grouped in a third single gallery. He requests that other atrocities that have profoundly affected Canadians be accorded equal treatment in the museum.

Mr. Zakaluzny raises an important and troubling point. I would appreciate it if you would address his concerns directly. I too am concerned that all atrocities be well addressed by the Human Rights Museum.”



 – Feb. 2, 2011:
James Bezan, MP (Conservative, Selkirk-Interlake):

" I believe that: The Holodomor genocide should have a unique, autonomous and prominent place in the CMHR; the CMHR Board of Directors contain respected members of the Ukrainian community with knowledge of the Holodomor and other human rights violations."

 –  Feb. 8, 2011:
Leon Benoit, MP (Conservative, Vegreville-Wainwright): 

"Benoit has heard from constituents about their specific worries  – that the Holodomor will be lumped into a general section of ‘Mass Atrocities’ which does not provide autonomy and permanent recognition of the event in the museum. They are also worried that other elements of their history will not receive ample recognition and be subsumed under other permanent exhibits promoted by the Content Advisory Committee Report. ‘I think the Advisory Committee is to be thanked for their report, but it is also important to remember that it is just a report,’ states Benoit. ‘It isn’t the final decision and it isn’t government policy.’
‘I certainly believe that the Holodomor genocide should have a unique, autonomous and prominent place in the CMHR,” affirms Benoit.  “I also think it is quite important that the CMHR Board of Directors contain respected members of the Ukrainian community with knowledge of the Holodomor and other human rights violations. I’m proud of our Government’s support for the CMHR. I hope the Museum’s Board of Trustees finds the courage to provide the Holodomor with the appropriate and respectful recognition it deserves.”


 – Feb. 8, 2011: Devinder Shory, MP (Calgary Northeast) issued this statement (excerpts below):

"…Our Canadian government was one of the first around teh world to recognize the Holodomor genocide as just that: genocide . . . I would like to add my voice in support of the Ukrainian community to recognize the Holodomor with a unique and appropriate place within the CMHR"

 – ~Feb 13, 2011: The Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Hungarian, and Slovakian communities of Canada: In the Globe and Mail, called for an embargo on any further or incremental funding” until there’s an independent review of the museum’s contents and a new board created. “We are dismayed that the hard lessons learned by our communities … are callously ignored at present,” said CECC chair Markus Hess.

  – ~Feb. 13, 2011: Polish Canadian Congress, in the Globe and Mail: The CMHR in its current form is an inequitable display of what has happened in the world that has gone against human rights.”

Having “a separate, permanent room that says ‘the Holocaust’ leaves you questioning what the value is of all the other people who died otherwise . . . Without minimizing the Holocaust, we just feel that whole idea of ‘mass atrocities’ has to be rethought and perhaps have a larger display area in which the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the Armenian genocide, those things, [are] part and parcel of that,” said CPC president Teresa Berezowski.

 – Feb. 17, 2011: Tim Uppal, MP (Conservative, Edmonton-Sherwood Park):

"Recently I have heard from many representatives of the Ukrainian-Canadian community with their concerns regarding the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.  Specifically, many are worried that the Holodomor genocide and the Canadian internment of Ukrainians of World War I will not be given proper recognition, and will be included in a general section of ‘Mass Atrocities.’

"I support the following statement made by my colleague, James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake: ‘I believe that the Holodomor genocide should have a unique, autonomous and prominent place in the CMHR, and that the CMHR Board of Directors contain respected members of the Ukrainian community with knowledge of the Holodomor and other human rights violations.’ "

 – Feb. 24, 2011: Statement of Liberal Members of Parliament on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights:

Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP (Etobicoke Centre)

Gerard Kennedy, MP (Parkdale-High Park)

Kevin Lamoureux, MP (Winnipeg North)

 

Hon. Navdeep Bains, P.C., MP (Mississauga-Brampton South)

Bonnie Crombie, MP (Mississauga-Streetsville)

 

“The Canadian Museum for Human Rights presents an opportunity to illustrate the promise and the importance of human rights, but sadly part of its mission will necessarily also be to educate Canadians about the consequences of denying those rights.  The Holodomor is as graphic and moving an illustration as can be imagined of the denial of the basic Human Right to Food.”

“We federal Liberal Party Members of Parliament hold that this publicly funded national Canadian museum should create and operate a permanent gallery dedicated to the Holodomor, and that the Board of Directors of the CMHR should embrace and include respected members of the Ukrainian Canadian community with expertise in the Holodomor.

“It was the Jewish-Polish scholar Raphael Lemkin, known as the ‘Father of The Genocide Convention’ who coined the term ‘genocide’ when referring also to the Holodomor in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. Unfortunately, the full extent of this horrific “genocide by famine” of millions of Ukrainians was suppressed behind the Iron Curtain during the subsequent 58 years by the Kremlin’s communist regime.

“By taking a leadership role in establishing a permanent gallery for the Holodomor, Canada would encourage post-communist countries that are now our economic and security partners to begin to more critically address the human rights violations and genocidal crimes perpetrated in the name of communism and to cease the Holodomor denials which continue to this day.

“By having the Holodomor in a permanent zone (exhibit) in our national human rights museum, Canada would fulfill its traditional role in leading the world in the promotion of human rights.”

– Feb. 24, 2011: Joy Smith, MP (Conservative, Kildonan-St. Paul): "I believe the Holodomor genocide should be given a prominent presentation that is independent of the Mass Atrocity gallery. Providing a unique and prominent exhibit for the Holodomor will rightly expose the violations of human rights and restore the dignity of victims through the acknowledgement of their suffering. Visitors to the museum will learn of the brutal human rights abuses of the Holodomor genocide and this will enlighten them to strive for human rights for all people.

"The Holocaust and the Holodomor were both black spots of history of humanity. Having both stories as prominent displays is imperative. Nations must learn so these tragedies will never happen again.  

"I also believe the Ukrainian community should have a representative voice on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Canada boasts the third largest Ukrainian population in the world and our Parliament has officially recognized the Holodomor as a genocide. Thus it is appropriate that strong Ukrainian representation be present when planning a national museum about Human Rights."

 – Feb. 28, 2011, 2011: The Canada
Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, from chair Mark Warawa, MP, moved the following motion "That the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group endorse that a prominent exhibit of the Holodomor Genocide be part of the Canadian Museum of (sic) Human Rights; an exhibit which would fully tell the story of this genocide and that a Board of Directors include representations submitted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress."

 – March 1, 2011: Laurie Hawn MP (Conservative, Edmonton Centre), issued this statement (excerpt below):

"Our government has made a positive investment in preserving Canada’s history through the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg, MB. It is important that this investment results in a museum which has value for all Canadians . . . The main concern that has been expressed to me is that the Holodomor will be grouped into a general section of ‘Mass Atrocities’ and will not be provided its own independent, permanent and distinct zone, similar to the Holocaust and Aboriginal zones . . . I must recommend that the Holodomor genocide receive a unique and permanent place in the CMHR which will adequately reflect its impact on the Canadian Ukrainian community, its relationship with Canada and our understanding of human rights and genocide around the world."

 – March 3, 2011, an additional 10 sitting Liberal MPs (below in alphabetical order) agree to support this statement spearheaded by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj:

Hon. Wayne Easter, P.C., M.P. (Malpeque)
Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C., M.P. (Vancouver Centre)
Andrew Kania, M.P. (Brampton West)
Hon. Jim Karygiannis, P.C., M.P. (Scarborough-Agincourt)
Hon. Keith Martin, P.C., M.P. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca)
Massimo Pacetti, M.P. (Saint-Léonard-Saint-Michel)
Hon. Bob Rae, P.C., M.P. (Toronto Centre)
Scott Simms, M.P. (Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor)
Alan Tonks, M.P. (York South-Weston)
Frank Valeriote, M.P. (Guelph)

  – March 9, 2011, an additional 15 sitting Liberal MPs (below in alphabetical order) agree to support this statement spearheaded by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj:

John Cannis, M.P. (Scarborough Centre)

Hon. Denis Coderre, P.C., M.P. (Bourassa)

Sukh Dhaliwal, M.P. (Newton-North Delta)

Marc Garneau, M.P. (Westmount-Ville-Marie)

Mark Holland, M.P. (Ajax-Pickering)

Hon. Maria Minna, P.C., M.P. (Beaches-East York)

Brian Murphy, M.P. (Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe)

Hon. Shawn Murphy, P.C., M.P. (Charlottetown)

Joyce Murray, M.P. (Vancouver Quadra)

Bernard Patry, M.P. (Pierrefonds-Dollard)

Todd Russell, M.P. (Labrador)

Mario Silva, M.P. (Davenport)

Michelle Simson, M.P. (Scarborough Southwest)

Hon. Judy Sgro, P.C., M.P. (York West)

Lise Zarac, M.P. (LaSalle-Émard)


 – March 12, 2011, Peter Goldring MP, Conservative, issued this statement (pdf file). Excerpt below:

"When the CMHR was first planned, Ukrainian Canadians were led to believe there would be a permanent exhibit about the Holodomor a horrific time which saw some eight million people die. But apparently plans changed and now there will only be two human rights tragedies with their own permanent display.

"Certainly we should not be somehow ranking examples of man’s inhumanity to man. The issue is not eight million dead Jews and others in the Holocaust of World War II, as many as eight million during the Holodomor or the 1.5 million dead in the “killing fields” of Pol Pot’s Cambodia or the million killed in the Rwandan genocide.

"The Holodomor was a genocide on the size, scale and relative duration of the Holocaust. It does make sense that this atrocity that impacted so many Canadians (1.2 million of whom are of Ukrainian ancestry, my wife included) be on permanent display at the CMHR – particularly due to the lack of knowledge of this genocide, even by politicians."

  – March 25, 2011, an additional 10 sitting Liberal MPs (below in alphabetical order) agree to support this statement spearheaded by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj:

Scott Andrews, M.P. (Avalon)

Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh, P.C., M.P. (Vancouver South)

Kirsty Duncan, M.P. (Etobicoke North)

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P. (Cardigan)

Alexandra Mendes, M.P. (Brossard-La Prairie)

Glen Pearson, M.P. (London North Centre)

Marcel Proulx, M.P. (Hull-Aylmer)

Yasmin Ratansi, M.P. (Don Valley East)

Pablo Rodriguez, M.P. (Honoré-Mercier)

Paul Szabo, M.P. (Mississauga South)

 

UCCLA comments on Heritage Day

For immediate release (Ottawa)
February 21, 2011

Commenting on Heritage Day, UCCLA’s chairman, RW Zakaluzny, said:

"Today is an appropriate day for recalling the many millions of people who came to Canada fleeing oppression in their homelands, who then made this country their own, and whose descendants have contributed so much to the creation of an inclusive, welcoming and democratic society here.

"Whether they were east Europeans fleeing Communist tyranny, or Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodians, Tibetans and others escaping similarly oppressive regimes in East Asia, Canada has been enriched by those who came here seeking, and finding, freedom. We hope that the new national museums, namely the Canadian Museum of Immigration (Pier 21) in Halifax, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) (Winnipeg) will pay particular tribute to these heroic people, victims of Communism, who never gave up the hope that someday their homelands would be free, continue to struggle to secure that end, but who, in the meantime, have given so much of themselves to building up a prosperous Canada.

"Their suffering, their endurance, their dreams and their triumphs must be the central stories told in our national museums."

– 30 –

For more information, please visit www.uccla.ca    or www.twitter.ca/uccla

Heritage Minister Hides His Twitter

Feb. 15, 2011
For Immediate Release (Ottawa)
 

A Canadian human rights organization is wondering what Canada’s Heritage Minister, the Honourable James Moore, has got to hide.
 
The Conservative MP for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam is an ace on the Twittersphere. With some 5,000 followers and more than 2,600 tweets, @MPJamesMoore has an even greater reach than Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at least according to Klout.com.


Heritage Minister James Moore

 
Yet sometime after Feb. 11 the Minister hid himself from the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (@uccla) by “blocking” it from viewing his messages and securing himself against receiving any of theirs.
 
“We’re a 25-year-old national organization, with a proven track record of advocacy, education and lobbying,” said R.W. Zakaluzny, UCCLA’s chair. “We have taken principled positions on civil liberties issues. UCCLA helped craft, then signed, Bill C 331, which resolved redress issues arising out of Canada’s first national internment operations. And our members and supporters are taxpayers and voters living in ridings right across the country. So we expect to be heard when we respectfully raise issues of public concern.
 
“Minister Moore’s censorship of UCCLA is rather odd. Not only is he an elected official but this is a minority government. You’d think Mr Harper’s cabinet would be seeking the opinions of as many Canadians as possible, particularly over an issue that is increasingly controversial and likely to cost them votes in the next federal election.”
 
Since December 2010 UCCLA has been at the forefront of calls for a review of the proposed contents and governance of the taxpayer-funded Canadian Museum for Human Rights. UCCLA has recommended that all 12 of this national museum’s galleries be thematic, comparative and inclusive rather than giving one or two communities permanent, prominent and privileged space, elevating the suffering of some above all others. At present 2 galleries are dedicated to aboriginal issues and the Shoah.
 
“We’ve been persistent in getting our message out on Twitter.” said Zakaluzny. “This government spends considerable resources monitoring and analyzing Twitter messages and blogs. Yet Minister Moore seems intent on putting a wall up between himself and our legitimate concerns along with those of the many other Canadians likewise protesting against the proposed contents and governance of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. We wonder why. Unfortunately, he isn’t answering when we Twitter him so we’re asking other Canadians to help us. Tweet Minister Moore and ask him why he’s hiding from UCCLA.” 

–  30  –

For more information, please visit www.uccla.ca or www.twitter.com/uccla.
 
For more on the federal government monitoring of the social web:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/from-youtube-to-twitter-ottawa-heard-it-all-during-the-g20/article1866449/

George Orwell’s Animal Farm and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

In the Jan. 31, 2011 edition of The Hill Times, an ad ran timed to coincide with similarly designed postcards in a second targeted UCCLA campaign to convince the Department of Canadian Heritage, its minister, the Hon. James Moore, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the government that its proposed allocation of space in the new museum is unequal and unCanadian.

The image in the ad, duplicated on the postcard, is from the cover of the 1947 Ukrainian-language edition of George Orwell's   Animal Farm. Most copies were confiscated by the American Occupation authorities in Germany and turned over to the Soviets, along with hundreds of thousands of "Soviet Citizens" forcibly repatriated under the terms of the now-notorious Yalta Agreement. Many were survivors and witnesses to the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine, a tragedy now known as the Holodomor. 

Text on front of postcard:
KOLHOSP TVARYN ('Animal Farm' in Ukrainian)
"All animal are equal but some animals are more equal than others"

Text on back of postcard:
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a taxpyer-funded national museum. Its 12 galleries should all be inclusive, comparative and thematic in their treatment of the many crimes against humanity that have befouled human history — before, during and since the Second World War.

Instead, two communities are being given privileged, permanent and prominent exhibit spaces, elevating the horrors suffered by a few above all the others.

That's unfair. That's unacceptable. Partiality shouldn't be funded from the public purse.

When will those in charge understand that a federally funded NATIONAL museum in Winnipeg, to be paid for by TAXPAYERS in PERPETUITY, must be equal to all Canadians, and cannot provide privileged space to one or two groups in Canada at the expense of all others?

Minister of Canadian Heritage The Hon. James Moore
Please write to Minister James Moore (pictured above) at:  Moore.J@parl.gc.ca, or fill out an e-form at http://www2.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/minstr/moore/cntct/index-eng.cfm

For more information, please visit uccla.ca, www.twitter.com/uccla, or UCCLA's Facebook page.

Statement by UCCLA on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

UCCLA Media Release (Ottawa – 27 January 2011)

Statement by UCCLA on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (UCCLA)  issued the following statement to mark the United Nations’ annual International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust:

“As we commemorate the solemn anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, we remember  the millions of Jews, Roma, Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Christians, homosexuals, disabled persons and others enslaved or murdered by the Nazis,” said the UCCLA’s chairman, R. W. Zakaluzny.

“Let us not forget that the Holocaust was not only a crime against specific communities but was also a crime against all of humanity. The UCCLA reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that all genocides, including the Shoah, are commemorated equally in the taxpayer-funded Canadian Museum for Human Rights, in Winnipeg.”

 – 30 –
For more information:
www.uccla.ca

www.twitter.com/uccla

Human Rights Museum should be equal for all

The following is from the Monday Jan. 24, 2011, edition of The Hill Times, by the UCCLA’s Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk.

Genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine should be highlighted in Human Rights Museum

by Lubomyr Luciuk

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have boasted of being the party that reached out to Canada’s minorities – particularly in the person of Jason Kenney, the Minster of Citizenship and Immigration  –strategically undercutting what many saw as a “traditional” source of political support for the Liberals. There’s truth in their claim. They certainly secured broad-based gratitude in Ukrainian-Canadian circles for settling issues arising out of Canada’s first national internment operations, a file the Liberals, for all their pretensions to being the party of social justice, nevertheless ignored, for decades. That said, the Conservatives are about to be reminded that it’s not just about a first date going well. You’ve got to nurture nice feelings if you don’t want them to blow away.
 
If the Canadian Museum for Human Rights were truly committed to telling human rights stories, particularly Canadian ones or those less well known, there could be no principled objection to it. Sadly, it’s not. For example, the final report of its Content Advisory Committee recommended the allocation of a disproportionate share of permanent exhibit space to Jewish suffering in the Second World War. That partiality was demonstrated by the 48 references to the Holocaust this document includes, compared to only 1 about the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine, the Holodomor. Likewise ignored were the results of the public survey Mr Arni Thorsteinson submitted on 31 March 2008 to the Honourable Josée Verner, MP, then Minister of Canadian Heritage. Reportedly, Canadians rank-ordered themes they wanted addressed at the CMHR as follows – Aboriginal (First Nations), 16.1% ; Genocides, 14.8% ; Women 14.7% ; Internments,12.5% ; War and Conflicts, 8.7% ; Holocaust, 7% ; Children, 5.9% ; Sexual Orientation, 4.9% ;  Ethnic Minorities, 3.8% ; Slavery, 2.9% ; Immigration, 2.6% ; Charter of Rights, 2.3% ; Disabilities, 2% and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1.8%.  (p.63 of PDF, p.35 of document).
 
Echoing those findings we recommended that all 12 of this museum’s galleries (or zones) be thematic, comparative and inclusive. One zone, for example, could deal with Canada’s internment operations. Those afflicted not only eastern Europeans in 1914-1920 but Japanese, Italian, and German Canadians in 1939-1945 and some Quebecois in 1970. Explaining the baneful consequences of The War Measures Act upon several different Canadian communities during the course of the 20th century highlights the need for vigilance in defence of civil liberties in times of domestic and international crisis. Another gallery could compare the many genocides that have befouled human history. Placing the Shoah in context, as Professor Timothy Snyder does in his much-applauded volume, Bloodlands, would remind us that while the word “genocide” was invented during the Second World War the act itself is neither modern nor, sadly, unlikely to reoccur. Doing that has considerable pedagogical value.
 
How to explain that the Crimes of Communism – which the Tories have claimed they have a special interest in commemorating – weren’t even referenced by the Content Advisory group? Everyone knows that Stalin and his satraps murdered millions more than Hitler, a point underscored in Professor Norman Naimark’s outstanding new book, Stalin’s Genocides. Yet that Soviet dictator is not named, not once. Nor are Mao Tse Tung’s atrocities acknowledged even though the Chinese Communists slaughtered about the same number as Hitler and Stalin did, combined. And what about Imperial Japanese barbarities, like the infamous “Rape of Nanjing”? It’s left out, as it is in most Japanese textbooks, even as the Holodomor is currently being cut out of Ukraine’s. Should a Canadian museum, even indirectly, succour deniers?
 
Being inclusive and equitable takes nothing away from hallowing victims of the Shoah. As over two dozen well-supported museums and educational programs dedicated exclusively to this Jewish tragedy already exist in Canada (and hundreds more internationally) this tale is already told, often and well, in no danger of being forgotten. But the catastrophe that befell many millions of non-Jews enslaved or murdered by the Nazis – including the Roma, Catholics, the disabled, Poles, Ukrainians, Soviet POWs, homosexuals and others – will be obfuscated if only the one community’s suffering, great as it was, is elevated above all others.
 
Responding to mounting criticism, the museum’s boosters have insisted that the Committee’s submission, while important, is only one of many sources being considered as the museum’s final contents are developed. Alas, they speak with forked tongues. For while it may well be true that the contents of the museum are “not set” two of its twelve galleries are permanently and prominently giving privileged space to the recounting of aboriginal tales of injustice and to the Shoah. All other crimes against humanity are lumped together in a “Mass Atrocities” gallery, so consigned to inferiority. Funding this kind of partiality is not acceptable in a taxpayer-funded national institution that the Conservatives first attached to the public teat and from which it has, ever since, been sucking generously, not likely to ever be weaned.
 
Until the controversy over this museum’s contents are resolved, and the composition of its appointed board members made more truly representative of Canadian society, Mr Harper’s government should reject calls for increased funding for this boondoggle and begin a truly inclusive consultation process with the many communities who want to ensure that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights meets its stated goal of “contributing to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians.”  All Canadians, not some.
 
 
Dr Lubomyr Luciuk is director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (www.uccla.ca) and a recipient of a 2010 Shevchenko Medal.
 

UCCLA calls for review of Museum for Human Rights’ funding, management

UCCLA Media Release (Ottawa – 17 January 2011)

Call for a review of Museum for Human Rights’ funding and management

Recent comments by officials from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights have made it clear that the proposed contents of this taxpayer-funded national museum will neither be fair nor equitable.

To clarify matters, and speaking to points made by CMHR representatives, Roman Zakaluzny, UCCLA’s chair, said:

"The museum’s CEO, Stuart Murray, has now admitted that the suffering of Jews during the Shoah and of indigenous peoples in Canada will have permanent and prominent gallery spaces (zones) assigned to them, a point underscored in Ottawa recently by Patrick O’Reilly, the Museum’s Chief Operating Officer. All other genocides and crimes against humanity- ‘a hundred’ or so according to museum researchers – will be lumped into a ‘Mass Atrocities’ zone. In our view this is unjust, ahistorical, and certainly unacceptable given that this is a taxpayer-funded national museum.

"In addition, museum officials are also largely ignoring what their own surveys have told them the public expected to see in this museum.  (page 63 of PDF, page 35 of document)

"Every one of the twelve zones (galleries) in this museum should be thematic, comparative and inclusive. For example, there should be a gallery dealing with Canadian internment operations and the War Measures Act, which had a negative impact on Ukrainians and other Europeans during the First World War, and on Japanese, German and Italian Canadians during the Second World War, and on French Canadians in 1970. Similarly, a Genocide Gallery would include the Shoah alongside the Armenian Genocide, the Holodomor, the Rwandan Genocide, the Maoist Terror and others. That’s fair and equitable. What logical or moral argument can there be for calling what happened to the Armenians or the Chinese or the Cambodians or the Ukrainians as a ‘mass atrocity’ while insisting that only the Holocaust was an act of genocide or somehow worthy of a privileged space?

"No Ukrainian Canadian organization has ever said that the aboriginal experience in Canada or that the Shoah in Europe should not be included in this museum. Both must be. That said, those stories must not be given privileged space in a museum that all Canadians are being called upon to pay for, in perpetuity.

"Since it is now apparent that those in charge of this project are intent on pursuing their own vision of what should be included, irrespective of legitimate concerns and of their own surveys (page 63 of PDF, page 35 of document) of the public, and that they are still attempting to confuse the public about their prearrangements and plans, we call upon the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable James Moore, to order an immediate stop to any further federal financial support for this museum and to initiate a complete overhaul of its board of trustees and management. A national museum should serve some important national interest. As currently envisioned, this museum will only be a continuing source of divisiveness and controversy."

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Response to Misconceptions about Canadian Museum of Human Rights

UCCLA Media Release (Ottawa – 7 January 2011)

Response to Misconceptions about Canadian Museum of Human Rights

Commenting on yesterday’s (6 January) media advisory from the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the chair of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Mr. Roman Zakaluzny, said:

"We are not aware of any misconceptions about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It is a publicly funded, national museum whose operating budget will be supported, in perpetuity, by all Canadian taxpayers. At present the Museum’s plans call for 12 galleries, known as zones. Ten of these will apparently be thematic, but two are already fixed in terms of their focus – on Jewish suffering during the Second World War (the Shoah) and Canadian aboriginal issues. By being afforded permanent and prominent spaces in this museum, the horrors endured by these groups are being elevated above those of all other peoples.

"Furthermore, while the contents of most galleries may not yet be settled, the Museum’s spokesperson, Ms. Angela Cassie, admits that privileged gallery spaces have been prearranged for two communities. We, and the Canadian public in general, oppose this preferential treatment.

"The Ukrainian Canadian community has raised publicly its concerns with respect to the management, governance and proposed contents of this publicly funded Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Those legitimate concerns were not answered by the Museum’s Jan. 6 communique. Until such a time as they are, we again call upon the Government of Canada to –

1. suspend any further financial support for this project
2. establish an independent group to review the proposed contents of this national museum
3. appoint new members to its board of directors who are more representative of Canadian society

"Welcome as the prospect of a Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg is, we cannot accept the public purse being used to fund partiality or prejudice."

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Civil Liberties Award Winners Announced

January 3, 2011Valued at $500, the High School Civil Liberties Award is given to the high school student who submitted the highest-quality research essay based on a Holodomor theme, an initiative undertaken in recognition of Ukraine’s Famine-Genocide of 1932-33.This year’s winner is Grade 12 IB student, Lesia Kinach of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, whose essay was among numerous submissions which were adjudicated by the award selection committee, which included Ludmilla Voitkovska, Associate Professor at the Department of English, University of Saskatchewan. Lesia’s paper is deemed to have been well researched, convincingly argued and powerfully written, and Lesia demonstrated good analytical skills.

The UCCLF would like to congratulate Lesia and all the students who submitted an essay.  Each participant in this writing competition will be awarded a copy of Into Auschwitz, For Ukraine by Stefan Petelycky for their efforts.

For the first time since its introduction, the Civil Liberties Opinion-Editorial Award is given to two students — Larissa Volinets Schieven of Toronto and Roman Storoshchuk of Calgary.  This award is given to the high school or post-secondary student who had their opinion-editorial published in a major Canadian newspaper.  Larissa is in her third year of pursuing a Bachelor of Journalism degree at Carleton University in Ottawa. Roman is also a third year student, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Philosophy, at the University of Calgary.

Larissa’s op-ed, entitled “Revoke writer’s undeserved Pulitzer”, appeared in the Nov. 25, 2010 edition of Saskatoon’s The StarPhoenix, while Roman’s op-ed, entitled “Ukrainian famine is a genocide largely unrecognized”, appeared in the Nov. 27, 2010 edition of the Calgary Herald.

The UCCLF would also like to congratulate both Larissa and Roman for their participation in this writing competition.  Each winner will receive a $1,000 prize for their efforts.

For more information, please visit www.ucclf.ca

This email sent on behalf of the UCCLF by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (www.UCCLA.ca).

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