[Ed. note: I wrote this draft a few weeks ago and never got around to publishing it. I’m doing that now, but I’m not really doing much editing and I’m feeling too lazy to go dig up supporting links. Enjoy!]
So the Victims of Communism Memorial is slowly winding its way through the NCC’s approval process. In order to help it along, the government recently added a few more members to the board who will–I’m assuming the logic goes–be rather amenable to whims of the government. The new members helped get approval to begin clean up of the site, a necessary step before anything could be built.
It seems pretty obvious that the NCC has not been supportive of this monument at this site, but they don’t seem to have as much power as they usually claim to have. The government supports the monument, unflinchingly, and all the NCC has been able to do is slow the process and make the memorial slightly more palatable.
(The monument has been shrunk. It should now take up only 37% of the site rather than 60%, and this is still a work in progress. The NCC wants to get it down to 33%.)
I have never really understood the stubbornness by the Tory government on this. Yes, I get why the Tories would be most supportive of an anti-communist memorial, and, yes, I get why they might not love building the proposed judicial building that is to be named after Pierre Trudeau. But outside Tribue to Liberty (the backers of the monument) and the government, hardly anyone supports this monument at this site. It’s a rather provincial issue, of no real import. It will probably be little more than a blip during the election campaign, and yet the Tories keep on trumpeting it.
I’ve really been astonished by their intransigence on this, and it makes me wonder if they’re trying to find a way out. They must know that the original design was horribly ill-suited for the site. They must understand the importance of the Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct. (Personally, I have some issues with the LTVP, but I think it’s useful to have a plan so that crap isn’t just thrown up all ad hoc.) But they also have too much skin in the game to simply change course now. Their pride would never let them do such a thing. But, perhaps..
Perhaps they’re stacking the board to give themselves cover. Perhaps they’re filling the NCC with CPC toadies who are, by their own admission, unsuited for the job, so that when logic prevails and either a more-suitable monument is designed for that site, or the monument is moved back to the Garden of the Provinces, the Tories can claim that this was a decision made by Conservatives. If the CPC can sufficiently and publically infiltrate the board, then any decision the board makes is a CPC decision rather than a CPC defeat.
But I’m really over-thinking this. I’m sure the Tories are just trying to bring as much ammo as possible to this stupid little petty battle they’ve picked.