A question to my international readers: does the translation feature below the header image stand out well enough?
Back during my Doors Open posts at Mercury Court, I made mention of a bone headed idea on the part of the federal government. Today I'll explain.
This parcel of land lies between the headquarters of Library and Archives Canada and the Supreme Court. It had been earmarked for many years for future use as a federal courts building to be named after a former prime minister, the late Pierre Trudeau. Some years back, the government removed that designation (the Dark Lord, among other things, truly despises the late Trudeau). There is a great deal of controversy here at present, because the Harper cabal intends to let a private charity, called Tribute To Liberty, build a monument here called the Memorial To The Victims of Communism.
The memorial would tear up a large part of this area, erecting a monstrously ugly monument that is little more than a political statement by a Prime Minister who wishes he was living in the Cold War- not to mention a cynical and calculated attempt at gaining votes from people who came from areas where communist regimes had been in power. Ironically, the various designs are things that Joe Stalin would have loved and had erected himself- take a look at the basic idea here. This is not the only such incident of public land being in essence handed to a private organization- Harper wants to let a Toronto businessman have a peninsula in Cape Breton National Park so that he can build a monstrously huge statue (a gigantic copy of one of the statues that belong to the Vimy Monument)- all so that said businessman can make even more money for himself selling souvenirs. Both projects show a contempt for the public- absolutely no transparency, no regard for opposing views, and the fact that private organizations are being given so much leeway over public space is appalling. City council, numerous Members of Parliament, high profile architects, and members of the public have been very vocal in their opposition here, and a court case is now before the courts to stop this. It is hoped that whichever of the two opposition parties win in the upcoming election will do the right thing and end this nonsense.
There are three other elements to this. As mentioned, Harper hates Trudeau's name, which explains his particular venom where his son, the current leader of the Liberal Party is concerned. I have no doubt if he could dig up the elder Trudeau's corpse and set it on fire, he'd do it. So cancelling a building that was supposed to bear Trudeau's name must fill his blackened withered void of a soul with glee. Second, Harper despises the city- he literally cannot put aside his hatred of the functions of government like the civil service aside and respect the institutions of a national capital, so having something like this erected- much of it at the expense of the government- would be a thumb in the eye of the city. And third, Harper truly loathes the Supreme Court itself, which over the years has spent a great deal of time doing its job- being an independent branch of the government, while rightfully calling into question many of his governmental actions as unconstitutional. He would prefer them to be nothing more than lapdogs, following his orders. If he could get away with building a monument like this, it would be a massive middle finger to the Court for all time.
Turning around, this view of the Court takes us where I'll be going tomorrow. I paid a couple of visits for shots recently. It is a beautiful building. I deeply hope the view is never hindered by a monstrosity of a monument. If the group behind Tribute To Liberty ever read this, you people should be ashamed of yourselves, letting yourselves be used by the most hyper-partisan and sociopathic politician this country has ever seen. You should be, but somehow I doubt you're capable of feeling that way.