Tory MP sees ‘wiggle room’ in site for victims of communism memorial

Trial balloon by Galipeau? Pre-election local candidate positioning? But Minister Polievre is the lead minister and responsible for Ottawa and has, typically, showed no flexibility.

I’m with Jen Gerson of the National Post: use this site for a memorial to the victims of the residential schools given that this is a fully Canadian historical tragedy, that haunts us still:

Throughout the ongoing controversy over the proposed Memorial to the Victims of Communism, opponents have focused on its prominent location on Wellington Street and its destructive impact on the Long Term Vision and Plan for the parliamentary and judicial precincts.

But according to Conservative MP Royal Galipeau, who has represented Ottawa-Orléans since 2006, the site for the memorial has yet to be finalized.

“It’s nowhere right now,” Galipeau said in an interview. “It’s planned to be on Wellington Street between the Library and Archives and the justice building. There’s a lot of wiggle room there.”

Galipeau confirmed that he has privately urged the government to locate the memorial a bit further west on Wellington, on a site closer to Library and Archives Canada — an idea he had not previously shared publicly.

“Since I don’t sit on the opposition side of the house,” he explained, “I generally don’t make my recommendations to the government by way of the media. I work in a way to bring results.”

Galipeau wouldn’t comment on the current status of his suggestion, saying only: “I think that after the monument is built, the people who oppose the monument no longer will. That much I can say.

“I suspect that everyone is getting their knickers in a snit for nothing. The monument will be of the right scale and will be located in a manner that it will not impede the architecture of the Supreme Court.”

Galipeau’s comments followed a call to the Citizen from Ludwik Klimkowski, the chair of Tribute to Liberty, the charity that proposed the monument and is raising money for it.

Stressing that he was not speaking for the government, Klimkowski floated the “purely hypothetical” idea of leaving the memorial where it is and designating the more westerly site eyed by Galipeau for a future Federal Court building.

The current Long Term Vision and Plan calls for the Federal Court building to be built on the 5,000-square-metre site on Wellington Street the government has publicly earmarked for the memorial.

Tory MP sees ‘wiggle room’ in site for victims of communism memorial | Ottawa Citizen.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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