Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Welcome to the Canadian Museum of Banal Pieties

Otherwise known as the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. That's the edifice in Winnipeg that affords vistas, from its upper reaches, that allow the visitor to observe rescue crews fishing the bodies of the latest victims of anti-aboriginal violence from the rivers far below.

With rare exceptions, I'm not a big fan of museums. I like local county museums and such, where you can see the plows and axes the first generation of settlers used to clear the land they stole from the natives.

The New Brunswick Museum of Natural History was a big favourite when my children were small. It was sort of a county museum that got a little bigger.

But things like "human rights" don't belong in museums. Once we've relegated human rights to a museum we're more likely to give ourselves a self-congratulatory pat on the back and forget about human rights.

Nor do science and technology belong in a museum. The current crisis over the potential roof collapse at the Canada Science and Technology Museum gives an ironic tip-o-the-cap to the Harper gang's neglect of science and technology. R&D spending in Canada has been on the down-tick since the Harperites took over. The one loud and clear message the Harper gang has given the nation re: science and technology is that it's at best a back-burner issue.

Way back, and a very low burn...

So we shouldn't be surprised to see science and technology relegated to a museum, nor should we be surprised that the government then allows the museum's roof to cave in.

It's just not that important.

Meanwhile, it's full steam ahead on a new DND HQ in Ottawa, a project that has blown through its billion dollar budget and remains well behind schedule. That's where an estimated 10,000 DND bureaucrats will be hanging their hats once it's completed.

Meanwhile, the guys who were on the pointy end, the men and women who lost limbs or sanity or both in Afghanistan, have their medical benefits clawed back by the flag-waving patriots of the Harper gang.

Hey, that's how we roll here in the Great White North!