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.
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.”
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For more information, please visit www.uccla.ca or www.twitter.com/uccla.
For more on the federal government monitoring of the social web: