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Showing posts from May, 2009

The truth is a rare commodity from backers of the CMHR

The board of trustees of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights knew six months ago that their financial plans had gone horribly off the rails. They just didn't want to tell anyone. (Until The Black Rod forced their hand last week.) "We first flagged that there was going to be a need for more money when our board was appointed in the fall ," Canadian Museum for Human Rights CEO Patrick O'Reilly told CTV news Wednesday. There's only one problem with that statement--- the truth . The CMHR board of trustees was appointed in August, 2008, what most people would call summer. O'Reilly was appointed CEO in October, the fall. But by then the board knew full well how deep in the soup they were . How can we say that so flatly? Because one of the trustees was Arni Thorsteinson. Seven months earlier, in January, 2008, he had been interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press regarding a proposed downtown highrise. Portage Place seeking developer Apartments would fill need in cor


It only took five days to flush the truth out of them. The Black Rod, May 21, 2009 CMHR to Politicians: We Lied. So, Whatcha Gonna Do? We dissected the corporate plan the Canadian Museum for Human Rights presented to Parliament and crunched the numbers. Looking at construction inflation alone we estimated "... the project could be $37 million in the hole already." Adding in the cost of "greening" the museum we concluded: "Sub-total then, $50 million." The Winnipeg Free Press, May 26, 2009 Rights museum needs $45 million By: Kevin Rollason 26/05/2009 3:50 PM The Canadian Museum for Human Rights needs another $45 million because of escalating construction costs . snip Arni Thorsteinson, chairman of the museum's board of trustees, said the budget changed because of a combination of inflationary construction cost hikes, increased material costs, and the drop of the Canadian dollar in the past year. As well, Thorsteinson said the museum's board also de

Is this what the NDP is trying to hide in the photo radar scandal

The NDP is being unusually obdurate in the face of the firestorm of outrage over the improper use of photo radar. Premier Gary Doer is taunting the Opposition for making political hay out of it, gambling that public anger will fade by the time of the next provincial election two years hence. Of course he may be planning on resigning as leader by then and letting some other sucker stick his neck in the noose, but that's another story for another time. Still, behind the public uproar the central question remains unanswered---how the hell did this happen? The pundits have an easy answer---it was a cash grab; motorists were set up, tricked into speeding in construction zones when no workers were present just to raise millions in fines for the province and the city of Winnipeg. We don't buy it. To begin with, as sure as porcupines have pines (in the words of Justice Minister Dave "Six Months" Chomiak), something is not quite right with the way the province has responded to

Let's talk about racial profiling and the Winnipeg Police Service

The ugly topic of racial profiling was raised again this weekend by a Winnipeg Free Press columnist who has filed a complaint against the Winnipeg police on behalf of her son. From the details provided by the newspaper, it's clear somebody's guilty of the offence of racial profiling, but it's not who you think -- it's their own writer, Colleen Simard. Simard's sad tale involves her 14-year-old son who was stopped by police, frisked, questioned and sent on his way some day recently. (The 'when' of a story doesn't seem to matter to newspapers anymore.) Simard declares she recognized immediately what happened. "Not every brown kid in dark clothes is a criminal. To treat them all like that is racial profiling." "Police shouldn't be grabbing kids in back lanes and pushing them against fences. They shouldn't be searching them and treating them like they're already guilty of a crime." The simplest details in her column, which are

CMHR to Politicians: We Lied. So, Whatcha Gonna Do?

We can't say it any better than Winnipeg's most colourful city councillor, Slaw Rebchuk: "It's right there in black and writing." 'There' is the pages of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Summary of Corporate Plan and Operating and Capital Budgets for 2009-2010 to 2014-2015. 'It' is the scam being perpetrated on taxpayers. Within the pages of their "corporate plan", the proponents of the museum admit they have no idea how much the "magnificent" building is going to cost to construct; they state unequivocably they have no intention of scaling back or changing the design to adapt to a budget; and, in fact, they are adding features to make the cost even higher. Excerpts: An urgent priority will be to address the anticipated capital funding pressure that has resulted largely from an escalation in construction costs since the the Statement of Intentions was signed . snip The total project budget included a base building construct

The Winnipeg Free Press plays catch-up to us on the CMHR

Bwahahahahahaha. The Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday discovered the obvious. "Human rights museum budget already short." The story is part of a series the newspaper has planned, with the next installments being 'The sky is blue' ; 'Ice: It's frozen water!' ; and 'Bacon is delicious .' Reporter Mia Rabson wrote that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights "is expected to be over budget on everything from its capital costs to its annual operating needs because of inflation and taxes." No kidding? Here's the real story that Rabson missed: the budgets the museum files with the government have absolutely no relation to reality. They either haven't got a clue what the project will cost at any stage, or, they do and they're lying through their teeth. They say they need another $5.2 million in operating funds for this year (2009) alone. They got $6.5 million from Ottawa to cover the years 2008-2010, but they're running short and wa

Unraveling the story of laughing journalists at Mulroney's grilling

Journalists from the CBC and the Globe and Mail snickered as former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney testified how the allegations against him by the government of Canada devastated his then-10-year-old son. Mulroney was so upset at the recollection, and at the mockery by the journalists, that he choked up on the witness stand. True or false? One truth is how quickly the rest of the reporters closed ranks to protect the allegedly laughing duo. It proves once again how hollow are the claims of “professional journalists” who never stop declaring they have ‘ethics’ that prevents them from twisting their stories to their personal biases. Can we find the truth of the matter in the reports of the snickering incident published in the newspapers and on television? We have learned: * Robin Sears, a Mulroney spokesman, watched a producer of the CBC’s Fifth Estate, Harvey Cashore and Globe and Mail reporter, Greg McArthur chatting and chuckling with each other throughout Mulroney’s second day of te

Will Photo Radar trap Dave Chomiak into pleading "guilty with an explanation"?

Fair warning. Until further notice we have imposed a speed limit for reading The Black Rod--60 words per minute. Violators should e-mail guilty pleas to us and arrangements will be made to pick up fines. Now to the matter at hand---photo radar speeding tickets. First, let us say WE TOLD YOU SO. In the Spring of 2007 we wrote in The Black Rod: "Dave "Six Months" Chomiak is still new at the job of Justice Minister. But his legacy of disaster as Manitoba's Health Minister foreshadows his every move." Now, a shade more than two years later, Chomiak has single-handedly: * politicized and demoralized the prosecutions branch of the Attorney General's office; * ignited a firestorm of anger among voters in the NDP bridgehead ridings in south Winnipeg; * pissed off the police chief of Winnipeg; * potentially punched a $23 million hole in the provincial budge

The Sandy Bay Indian Reserve story that everybody missed

There's an old saying in the reporting business-nothing spoils a good story faster than the facts. Luckily for reporters in Winnipeg this past week, they simply ignored the facts and went with the bleeding-heart, knee-jerk story at hand. A five year old boy died in a house fire on the Sandy Bay Indian Reserve. Out gushed the predictable stories---blame the white man for overcrowding, for the housing shortage, for the ramshackle houses people have to live in on the reserve. Here's a headline you didn't see: No housing crisis in Sandy Bay: council Correction. You didn't see that headline unless you're a reader of the Central Plains Herald-Leader, Manitoba's award-winning community newspaper. Here's what else you didn't read in the story last August by Herald-Leader reporter Bob Swysun: SANDY BAY FIRST NATION - Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation's band administration refutes claims it is ignoring housing needs in the community. The band currently has 110 un

CTV host humiliated by Gen. Rick Hillier

It was beautiful to behold. CTV Newsnet host Sandie Rinaldo, spanked, live, on national television. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) Tuesday, after broadcasting some Taliban propaganda, unedited and unchallenged, she introduced General Rick Hillier (retired), former chief of defence staff, for comment. She forgot the basic rule of Hillier -- he doesn't suffer fools gladly. He gave her both barrels-- straight on, leaving her babbling nonsense to the camera. Enjoy: About 2:15 p.m. CST, CTV runs a CNN clip of an alleged Taliban spokesman with his back to camera delivering the usual Taliban spiel. Rinaldo (smugly) : So, you know, here we have Hamed Karzai in Washington talking about hopeful (sic) of peaceful future---how realistic is that given the threat of escalating attacks by the Taliban? Hillier: Well, first of all I go back to the supposed threat of escalating attacks by the Taliban. It's kind of interesting we ha