There's something fishy going on with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and we can't put our finger on what it is.
Let's start with the bogus "news" story in the Winnipeg Free Press, the propaganda arm of the CMHR, that Canadian realtors "have come up with a $2 million donation."
There's no byline so we don't know who wrote the story, but whoever it was, he or she had to struggle mightily with the facts to devise a story that implies something false without lying outright.
Someone with only a cursory interest in the CMHR would read the story and come away thinking the Canadian Real Estate Association had raised $2 million and donated it to the still-unopened museum.
That's what the Free Press wants you to think.
But reading a little closer you see that the realtors' fundraising campaign started in 2008. In truth, then, it took them six years to raise $2 million. And their donation is not new money. It's been on the books for years. The FP wants you to believe Gail Asper just raised $2 million for the museum, when its not true.
Way back in the summer of 2012, the Friends of the CMHR newsletter carried this update:
"Individual REALTORS, brokerage firms, boards and associations across Canada have
joined forces to support the CMHR, contributing an impressive $1.69 million to the
FCMHR. The REALTORS campaign fundraising goal of $2 million is now within reach!"
The real story is that the 97,000 realtors and related groups raised only a pathetic $310,000 in the last two years. That's a whopping $3.18 per person, or $1.59 each a year. That penny-ante support is the true measure of public support for the CMHR.
So why would the Winnipeg Free Press trumpet a donation that's little more than pocket change?
We've referred to Gail Asper as Winnipeg's biggest panhandler, but until now we didn't know how literal that description was. Earlier this year, Gail Asper's Friends of the CMHR was actually begging people for spare change in St.Vital Centre.
Here's how they proudly described their panhandling efforts:
"In March, St. Vital Centre asked customers to demonstrate their support for the CMHR by turning their loose change into St. Vital Centre Giftcards using the centre’s coin counter machine. St. Vital Centre then matched the total amount and donated the proceeds from the campaign to Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In total, they raised more than $10,000 for the Museum in just over one month!"
The CMHR has been reduced to competing with bums for beer money. Its obvious they're scrambling. This year, for the fourth year in a row, the CMHR has failed to produce a financial report for the first quarter of the year (January to March), hiding its dire financial situation into the fall, at least.
The Friends of the CMHR have issued a desperate plea to Canada's Chinese community for $2 million by May 30, 2014. This is the first time we've ever seen a request for money with a deadline attached. What's the significance of May 30?
Is the phony claim that they've raised $2 million and the hope they can raise $2 million by June related to a loan application for which they have to prove they can make the payments?
Any financial institution dumb enough to loan the CMHR money should look at a calender.
May 30 is one month before June 30, also known as the deadline to pay city taxes.
The CMHR is already $4 million in arrears, and, like you, has received its 2014 tax bill. That should be for another $4 million to $5 million which they don't have.
At the end of last year, the CMHR received the last of the $145 million the federal government has paid into the project. That means anything they've spent this year (2014) is paid by IOU's and whatever pennies they can pick up.
It's May 24, or what's known in our office as three months to come up with an excuse why they can't open the museum on time -- again.