Skip to main content

Gail Asper stops begging. She's concentrating on spinning falsehoods.


Groan.

Get this. A story based on information that's already two months old gets printed in a Toronto newspaper and the Winnipeg news media goes giddy chasing it. In the process, they missed the real news. Does Winnipeg have the worst journalists in the country or does it only seem that way?

Winnipeg reporters went gaga over a story in the Globe and Mail that the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights have to raise almost $50 million more than they intended because of cost overruns.

Duh.

That was reported in Winnipeg in January when the CMHR revealed that construction costs had climbed by $41 million. So what's new?

Apparently, the spin.

Gail Asper, head fundraiser for the Friends, is now painting the group as the heroes of the story, riding to the rescue of the beleagured museum that's been abandoned by the heartless government. (Gag.) They will have to raise almost $200 million from private and corporate sources (sob) instead of the $150 million they had pledged.

Missing entirely is the part where Gail and her millionaire buddies have spent the past three years lying through their teeth about the cost of the museum, which, to this day, is still unknown. And which has climbed relentlessly from the $265 million they told government officials it would cost, to the $310 million they swore was the final cost, to the $351 million that they're now guessing it will cost, provided you don't count the other $6.5 million they need to finish the building as designed.
Asper, in Toronto on another of her endless fundraising trips, did reveal one bit of new news.

She's retired her gold-plated tin cup and her designer beggar's outfit. Begging is out.

Borrowing is in.
The Friends of the CMHR have finally realized that the federal government is serious about toeing the line on spending. It won't be bullied or extorted into coughing up more than the $100 million its already spent on the museum. Time for Plan B---for 'borrowing' the money that's needed to finish building the damn building.
There's only one itty-bitty problem.

Compared to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Greece has a stellar credit rating.

Unless Syria is planning to lend money to the CMHR as a goodwill gesture to win international favour, the prospect of a loan is bad.

The CMHR has informed the federal government, in writing, that even with $21.7 million in annual operating funds, the museum won't be able to afford:

* to pay their property taxes
* to pay their hydro bill
* to pay their water bill
* to pay their heating bill
* to pay their phone bill

So how do they intend to pay the millions of dollars of interest they'll need each year?
Well, Gail Asper kind of hinted at it.

She's looking, reported the Globe and Mail, to “spread the pain across the country,” partly by trying to persuade the provinces and territories to invest.

That, you see, is because everyone knows that a "loan" from government is usually a "grant" by another name. In a year or two, after everyone has forgotten it, the "loan" is quietly forgiven and no one's the wiser.

The Friends of the CMHR needs to raise at least $61 million to finish building the museum in time for it new opening date sometime in 2014. They're still $20 million short of the money needed to cover the first overrun ($45 million) which was revealed 3 years ago. Once they've raised that, they need to raise the next $41 million announced in January.

Will Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger borrow another $20 million? $30 million? $40 million? $60 million to, ahem, loan in turn to the Friends of the CMHR? What the hell? He's already taken the province into a deficit of $1.12 billiion (that's ONE BILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS) for the past year. He could slip a few tens of million in and who would notice?

But let's not overlook the good news.

Lecture's at the museum's theatre will be standing room only, according to spokesman Angela Cassie. That's because there will be no seats.

Oh, they might bring in folding chairs, the kind you get at the local Legion, but times are tough for a building that approaching $400 million in cost. So scrap the comfy seats.

The Winnipeg Free Press, the propaganda arm of the Friends of the CMHR, continues to rewrite history to benefit the museum. In this case, they're joined by the other reporters on the story who are too lazy to dig up the true facts.

The pack journalists have settled on the same false information to bamboozle the public:

"The CMHR's construction costs jumped from the 2009 estimate of $310 million to more than $350 million." Winnipeg Free Press

"Construction was originally estimated to cost $265 million in 2007, but increased to $310 million in 2009, and sits at more than $350 million now." Metro

"The estimated cost of construction rose in 2009, to $310 million. That figure rose again in 2011 to $351 million." CBC

"In January, the CMHR upgraded its total projected cost to $351 million, up from the previous estimate of $310 million." Winnipeg Sun

The various costs of construction were NEVER presented as estimates. NEVER.

In March, 2008 the Senate held a hearing into whether the project should become a national museum rather than a private museum. Here's a snippet from the transcript of that hearing:

Senator Cowan: (Addressing Lyn Elliot Sherwood, Executive Director, Heritage Group, Canadian Heritage ) On the page of your presentation entitled ``Background,'' it talks about $165 million having come from various sources other than the federal government and $100 million coming from the federal government. On the next page you say that the budget to build and fit up the museum, including exhibition development, would be capped at $265 million.
These projects have a tendency to run over the expected costs. Who will pick up the tab if the costs exceed $265 million?
How do you cap an estimate? You don't. Here's more:
Senator Cowan: This is not one of those projects where the federal government is left to pick up anything over and above the $165 million that is contributed by other parties, is it?

Ms. Sherwood: The total budget is $265 million.
No mention of an estimate.

But then they had to admit there were some overruns. And they presented another cost of construction. Here's how we covered it:

Friday, August 14, 2009
CMHR won't be able to revise this history

snip
CJOB radio host Geoff Currier sparred Thursday morning with Arni Thorsteinson, chairman of the board of trustees for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and with Gail Asper, chairman of the fundraising campaign by the Friends of the museum.

... Currier wouldn't let Thorsteinson get away without answering if the museum project had a "ceiling," a cost that wouldn't be exceeded no matter what.

"We're at that point now," Thorsteinson finally said. "We've got our final budget. We're highly confident that we will complete the project at that cost."

That cost: $310 million. Write it down. Print it out. Paint it on the wall.

Because Thorsteinson and Gail Asper must be held to account to that number. No excuses. No more moving finish line.

No mention by Arni Thorsteinson of an "estimate." No mention by Gail Asper of an "estimate."

What part of "We've got our final budget" expresses uncertainty?

The MSM may try rewriting history.

But The Black Rod is here to call them on it every time.


Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on Bebo.com, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another f

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police