National Holocaust Monument to stay open all winter

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly today announced the National Holocaust Monument will remain open throughout the winter, responding to concerns that snowy days would force its closure.

Conservative senator had voiced concerns snowy days could force monument's closure

A man stops to take a photo of the Canadian National Holocaust Monument following its official opening ceremony in Ottawa, Wednesday September 27, 2017. (The Canadian Press)

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly today announced the National Holocaust Monument will remain open throughout the winter, responding to concerns that snowy days could force its closure.

In a tweet, Joly said the decision means Canadians will be able to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and honour its survivors.

In the tweet, Joly did not explain what the plans are for clearing the snow.

Conservative Sen. Linda Frum raised the issue with Joly's office last month, after being told there were no plans for snow to be cleared from the grounds and walkways of the outdoor monument this winter.

At the time, Joly responded that any discussions about the Holocaust memorial were held when the Conservatives were in power, but added that the National Capital Commission would look into the issue.

Sen. Frum today tweeted her thanks to the heritage minister and York Centre MP Michael Levitt for responding to the concerns raised by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

There is no roof on the six concrete triangles that make up the structure. When the monument was officially opened in September, heavy rains forced the ceremony into the Canadian War Museum across the street.

The design specifications for the monument did call for a snow melting device to be installed, but a 2015 report suggested the device was scaled back for cost reasons.

The monument also generated controversy for failing to identify Jews as main victims of the Holocaust on the commemorative plaque, which is now being rewritten.

With files from The Canadian Press