Jim Watson joins critics of 'victims of communism' monument location
Vacant site to be used between Supreme Court of Canada, Library and Archives Canada buildings
Ottawa's mayor has joined a growing list of detractors who oppose the location of a national memorial for victims of communism, set to be built along Wellington Street in the Nation's Capital.
The $5.5 million-dollar monument by a Toronto architect features six rising, concrete slabs covered with millions of "memory squares" to commemorate lives lost under various communist regimes.
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In November, the National Capital Commission approved construction of the monument on a vacant site in downtown Ottawa, which is between the Supreme Court of Canada and Library and Archives Canada buildings on Wellington Street.
The location has drawn complaints from a number of parties, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson on Wednesday, who said the NCC did not consult the City of Ottawa about the location.
"This was sprung on everyone and announced with no consultation whatsoever," said Watson.
Watson said he already spoke with Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, the new minister responsible for the NCC, about the issue of surprises and the monument's location. Poilievre took over the role after John Baird resigned from federal politics last week.
"We need to engage the NCC so that these surprises don't come and that they actually engage with the public who are the ones that are going to be seeing it each and every day as they go by, as well as tourists across the country who come into our capital," Watson added.
NDP MP Paul Dewar, whose riding includes Wellington Street, also said he's written to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Diane Finley, to ask her to reconsider the monument's location.
Monument too small for site, group says
Last week, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada said they want the site moved a little further west down the street to the Garden of the Provinces and Territories.
Teramura also said it made no sense to build something that is just one-third the size of the vacant site, while there are very few spots where buildings could go up in the parliamentary precinct.
Other prominent Canadians to speak out against the location include Shirley Blumberg, one of the jury members that picked the monument design, Ottawa architect Barry Padolsky and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin.