Letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail

 RE:  Poll adds to controversy over rights museum’s Holocaust program – March 23, 2011 

The recent opinion poll sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association asks Canadians if they want their new human-rights museum to “cover all genocides equally.”

This question is not only unfortunate – it is misleading.  The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is not a museum of genocide, it never was. It is a catalyst for change.  The Museum is a transformational experience, not a memorial to the past. Canadians have clearly stated they want CMHR to be a place of transformation and call to action.  We know this because CMHR market research of 4,000 people across Canada and the U.S. clearly supported this vision of empowering change.  What’s more is that 120 + million dollars donated by more than 6,000 thousand Canadians (including many ethno-cultural groups) plus millions of dollars in support from all levels of government was invested based on this current vision for the museum.  In addition, members of the CMHR have met face to face over the past year with 2500 Canadians from every province and territory, who have shared their stories and hopes for the museum – again, reinforcing the current vision for the museum.  

The Museum fully intends to deliver the inclusive museum that was promised to Canadians over the past several years – including the commitment made to Ukrainian Canadians regarding the stories that will be featured in the museum.  We will be inclusive, but we will also be focused - focused on generating attitudes of respect, dignity, and responsibility and focused on what has been achieved in human rights history, and what can be done to make the world better in the future.