Wednesday, 17 October 2012


From the CPC government that created a testerical brouhaha around Canada's Arctic sovereignty to justify the purchase of F-35 fighter planes, we now have the CON rebranding of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Yesterday, Heritage Minister James Moore announced that the name and mandate of the Canadian Museum of Civilization will be changed to create the Canadian Museum of History. $25 million will be moved from other areas of the Heritage budget to pay for the new museum.   
“This decision is a mistake,” said James L. Turk, CAUT executive director. “It needlessly eliminates Canada’s largest and most popular museum. While some of the current museum will be incorporated in the new Canadian history museum, it will not include the mammoth Canada Hall which is the largest and finest social history display in the world.”   
According to Turk, the government had numerous locations in the National Capital Region to house a new Canadian history museum without closing the Canadian Museum of Civilization whose mandate is to increase, throughout Canada and internationally, knowledge, critical understanding and appreciation for human cultural achievements.

“This is a government that has done so much to undermine Canadians’ ability to know our past. For example, it has made serious cuts to Library and Archives Canada, which is responsible for acquiring and maintaining Canada’s cultural heritage, and to Parks Canada which maintains 167 Canadian historical sites,” said Turk.  
Turk also expressed concern about the federal government’s revisions of Canadian history to fit its ideological agenda, such as its rewriting of the new immigrant study guide in 2010 and its misleading depiction of the War of 1812. 
From here. I expect that that PMSHithead's Politburo aka the PMO will be shortly providing MPs with speaking points for the purpose of discrediting universities, professors and knowledge, in retaliation response to this remonstrance.

The Harper government now has quite the history of tampering with organizations such as museums in response to corporate lobbying or its Reform special interest religious groups.  Taking over a complete facility to propagate its lies is consequent.

Meanwhile in Québec, the Charbonneau Commission inquiry into corruption with regard to the construction industry disgorges information and exposes practices that suggest corruption at the municipal, provincial and possibly federal level of political government.  I posted about these CON players.

Josée Legault has produced a powerful in-depth analysis, drawing lines between the *dots* that are Matricule 728, Charest's intemperate and deliberate obfuscations regarding the university students' call for a general strike, the demonstrations, the strategic deployment of the Service de protection de la ville de Montréal and to a lesser extent, the police force in Québec to suppress civilian dissent, and provincial politics. 

Legault called out the Premier on his deliberate use of the word "boycott" to diminish and discredit a general strike that kept growing and gathering strength as it became the way that ordinary citizens could express their anger against the alleged corruption of the Liberal government.

When constable 728 calls the artists she brutalized and arrested "rats", "shit-eaters", "assholes" and "worthless", she simultaneously uses the term "godammed red squares". This detail is not trivial.  The reference to "red squares" caused the director of the Montreal police, when he publicly apologized for the events of those Oct. 2 arrests, to specifically address "political profiling."  
Was the police mention of "red squares" accidental?  
In fact, this reference echoes the political discourse held by Premier Jean Charest and several of his ministers during the "Printemps érable." His spin on the general strike was fully embraced and repeated on several forums by media commentators; more populist voices have not hesitated to add worse insults.  
For months, versions of Charest's discourse was everywhere. The equation that emerged was as simplistic as it was false: greedy children + violence + bullying + Communism + left + anarchism + Montreal = anarchist student strike 
The political spin was the product of the Charest government's strategy in this conflict. This tactic was to try to win points with voters since a general election was foreseen this year.  In April, I identified this opportunism as a classic case of political division and polarization for electoral purposes. The choice of this strategy came at the price of a marked deterioration of the political discourse in Quebec. 
Rather than defend its policy of raising tuition with rational arguments, the Premier and his ministers attached the terms "violence and intimidation" to a student movement that was mainly peaceful.  

I translated the above excerpts; I suggest that you read the full version of her blog posts, parts 1 and 2. Legault is rigorous in her overview; she reaches back to the 1960s and 70s to recall the escalation of state violence and the abuse of political and legal procedures by the authorities. 

I think that Harper is preparing to use such strategies and that his government is judiciously organizing the means to curtail any democratic opposition to his corporate agenda, with totalitarian measures if necessary. 

And, in case we forget the *ghosts* of corruption past ...


Sixth Estate said...

What a great idea. Now that we've righted the financial ship of state and produced a respectable budget surplus for ourselves, it's time to think about how to reinvest that surplus in social capital.

Wait, what? We're still in the middle of an austerity regime yet we're pouring money into senseless legacy projects?

Actually it's not surprising. Blowing the public budget on pointless self-centered megaprojects and toppling icons of the old regime are both very typical behaviours for authoritarian states.

Sixth Estate said...

Forgot to add: if the Harper regime cares that deeply about Canadian history, reversing the cuts to the national archives would be a nice place to put this money instead. The loss of the archive loan program, for one, which is going to throw one heck of a wrench into my current work when it takes effect next spring.

The Mound of Sound said...

Silly me! Why I thought all museums, by definition, were museums of history. Museum of science history. Museum of art history. Museum of aviation history. Museum of war history. Museum of natural history. Maybe they should have saved a bit of money and just called it "Museum."

Sixth Estate said...

Don't give them any ideas.

Next they'll want a permanent exhibit on Heroic Attempts To End Sex-Selective Abortion and Other Great Atheist-Foreign-Muslim Evils.

Beijing York said...

Words fail me. This latest move from the Harper Regime has me fuming. As Sixth Estate mentioned, if there was a serious concern with preserving history, they should undo the draconian cuts to the National Archives and Parks Canada. Also, as pointed out by MoS, each museum is in essence the preservation of some kind of history. Military history is housed in the War Museum which was revamped and rehoused in the last decade or so. This destruction through rebranding is a total propaganda exercise.

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