The Canadian Museum For Human Rights is a Mess
This article is republished with permission from the July/August 2009 Reality Newsletter of Real Women of Canada
OTTAWA, July 31, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, the construction of which began last April, is a mess. This is due to the fact that the museum has established a biased and duplicitous Content Advisory Committee to determine which displays will be installed in the museum. This Committee has already begun a series of public consultations across the country, beginning on May 21, 2009, which will continue until January 2010.
The problem with this Content Advisory Committee, whose decisions are to be approved (rubber stamped) by the Board of Trustees, is that, while it is supposed to be comprised of “human rights experts, scholars and specialists”, in fact, it is mainly comprised of feminist/homosexual activists and their supporters. In fact, eleven (11) of the sixteen (16) committee members are feminist/homosexual activists.
Museum officials must think Canadians are either dupes or fools to believe that the only human rights specialists available in this country are radical feminists and supporters of the homosexual agenda. The Committee is an insult to the Canadian taxpayer who has already paid $100 million for the construction of the museum and who will be supplying $22 million annually to maintain it (See REALity, July/August 2007 “What Kind of Human Rights Museum is This?”)
For what purpose was the museum’s Content Advisory Committee loaded with feminist activists? Clearly, it is to serve as a propaganda device to promote and affirm feminist/homosexual ideology and a left-wing interpretation of human rights as “progress” in Canada. Such “progress” would include abortion on demand, lesbian/homosexual rights and benefits, pay equity, affirmative action and the denigration of men whom feminists regard as dangerous because of the “patriarchal” society. Feminist “human rights” breakthroughs in family law, in regard to custody and access and in sexual assault, pursuant to which men have been severely undermined, will also undoubtedly be included in the museum displays.
It is common knowledge that feminists don’t actually believe in “equality” rights for women, but rather have a vested interest in the practicality of feminist theory that provides superior rights for women. This bias will inevitably be depicted in the so-called “progressive” human rights museum for Canadians and will serve as a powerful tool to champion the left-wing interpretation of human rights.
The feminist members of the Content Advisory Committee are as follows:
- Constance Backhouse: She is a long time feminist activist and professor at the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the feminist Claire L’Heureux-DubÃ© Fund for Social Justice (Claire L’Heureux-DubÃ© is a retired feminist judge of the Supreme Court of Canada) and the Women’s Education and Research Foundation of Ontario. She has authored books on the women’s (feminist) movement, sexual harassment, sexual assault in Canada, etc.
- Natasha Bakkht: She served as a law clerk for feminist Supreme Court Judge Louise Arbour. Her research interests are in the areas of religious freedom and women’s equality. She is a member of the legal arm of the feminist movement, the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).
- Laurie Beachell: He is the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. He has worked collaboratively with numerous “equality seeking” (feminist) organizations to advance the left-wing theory of equality.
- Jennifer Breakspear: She is a human rights activist working on human rights, and lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual rights (LGTB).
- Mary Eberts: She is a lecturer on issues of women’s “equality”. She is a co-founder of LEAF. She has acted as legal counsel for LEAF in many leading cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and Courts of Appeal.
- Derek Evans: He has served as Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International, which promotes abortion as an international human right.
- Julie Latour: She works in promoting equality and the advancement of women. She is currently cochairing the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) – Quebec’s Women Lawyers Forum.
- Diana Majury: She has been an active feminist for the past 30 years working primarily in the women’s (feminist) movement on human rights, equality, violence against women and lesbian issues. She has been actively involved in both the feminist National Association of Women and the Law and LEAF. She is currently a member of the Women’s Court of Canada project steering committee, which is rewriting court decisions from a feminist perspective.
- David Matas: He is a human rights lawyer who has worked extensively with Amnesty International, which promotes abortion as a human right. He has served on the Canadian delegation in regard to the International Criminal Court which is feminist directed and controlled.
- Patricia Monture: She is a Professor with the Department of Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan whose research and teaching includes women’s rights and equality. In 2008, she received the Human Rights Award from the feminist Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.
- Ken Norman: He is a professor of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. He was a member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the now defunct Court Challenges Program, which funded hundreds of feminist and homosexual cases. He contributed chapters to the feminist book, Equality and Judicial Neutrality (1987), edited by hard line feminists Kathleen Mahoney and Sheilah Martin.
It is the same old, same old, left wing activists promoting themselves and their own agenda – even under a Conservative government. Nonetheless, we should not let this deter us: we will submit our stories to offset the feminist/homosexual propaganda at the museum.
REAL Women Meets with Museum’s Content Advisory Committee, June 11, 2009
REAL Women was called in for a half hour private consultation with some members of the Content Advisory Committee on June 11th. During this consultation, REAL Women emphasized three areas that should be included in the Canadian Human Rights story.
- the rights of the unborn,
- the rights of non-conformist family-oriented women and girls who don’t adhere to radical feminist ideologies,
- the rights of men who have been marginalized while feminist special interest groups have taken center stage in Canadian policy.
REAL Women argued that defenders of these rights experience intolerance and discrimination. There have been over 3 million abortions in Canada since the legal protection for the unborn was removed.
We argued that these are cutting edge human rights issues which may escape consideration as the publicly funded Museum, a crown corporation, picks well worn liberal causes and shuns human rights abuses which are not politically correct and not considered worthy of public funding. This, by the way, was one of the concerns expressed about the museum by its founder, the late Israel Asper who stated “One is going to have to be very, very careful to prevent it from becoming a propaganda device for a particular point of view.”
We further expressed our view that since the museum is publicly funded it could not pick and choose which human rights it would highlight while ignoring others. To this, member of the CAC David Matas commented:
I get your point, because it’s a taxpayer funded institution, we have to reflect, I suppose, the whole population, rather than, as you say, pick and choose. What we’re faced with, as you yourself indicated, is people with exactly opposing views that contradict each other âEUR¦. My question is how do we accurately or fairly reflect conflicting or opposing views?
REAL Women responded by stating that the Museum must try to present the diversity of views in Canada. In fact this concept appears to be expressed by the Museum’s Chief Coordinating Officer Patrick O’Reilly when he stated at the public consultation in Ottawa on June 11, 2009:
The goal is not to find the truth or present a single story, but to consider each other’s point of view.
Later that day between 7-9 p.m., a consultation was held by the committee with over 100 people present. It was obvious from this focus group round table, that feminism, GLBT (gay lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered) aboriginal, racial and ethnic rights were well represented.
The rights of the unborn, although referred to by REALWomen several times during the consultation, was ignored and was not included in the public plenary summation of human rights concerns. Members of the Content Committee present at this session were Constance Backhouse, Natasha Bakht, Mary Eberts, Derek Evans and David Matas.
If the Canadian Museum for Human Rights fails to reflect the human rights concerns of all Canadians, the entire project, no matter how lofty the intent, will be discredited. A great opportunity will have been thrown away because of the bias and intransigence of left wing and strongly feminist ideologues on the Content Committee. In fact, the entire tax funded exercise will in itself be a human rights abuse, characterized by discrimination and intolerance towards those who have been relegated to sit at the back of the bus.
REALWomen encourages all pro-life and profamily Canadians to take part in these consultations so that the Content Advisory Committee and the Museum Board of Directors receive a clear message that Canadians do not all think alike and that all major human rights concerns must be included in this publicly funded, multi-million dollar ongoing endeavor.
The public engagement sessions are to take place, as follows:
September 21, 2009 – St. John’s NFLD
September 23, 2009 – Halifax, N.S.
October 5, 2009 – Quebec City, QC
October 7, 2009 – Chicoutimi, QC
October 27, 2009 – Whitehorse, YK
October 29, 2009 – Yellowknife, NWT
November 3, 2009 – Moncton, NB
November 5, 2009 – Charlottetown, PEI
November 17, 2009 – Edmonton, AB
November 18, 2009 – Calgary, AB
December 1, 2009 – Toronto, ON
December 3, 2009 – Thunder Bay, ON
December 7, 2009 – Vancouver BC
January 12, 2010 – Montreal, Quebec
January 26, 2010 – Winnipeg, MB
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
269 Main Street
Outside of Winnipeg region