Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2011

History repeats itself, even with the Winnipeg Free Press rewriting it as fast as possible.

Millionaire moocher Gail Asper is in a panic. And when Gail Asper is in a panic, Winnipeg Free Press co-owner Bob Silver is in a panic. And when Bob Silver is in a panic, everybody at the Winnipeg Free Press is in a panic. No, it's not because someone has sicced the new police cadets on Winnipeg's biggest panhandler. As we've learned only in the past 9 days, Gail Asper's pet project, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, has run out of money. Really, now. Who saw that coming? By March 31, 2012, the fiscal year end, the unfinished museum will have received the last government money its going to get. No more dinero from the feds. And the coin from the province and the city was spent long, long ago. Gail Asper and the Friends of the CMHR will try to cash in some of the private IOU's they're holding, but they've admitted that that won't bring in enough money to finish construction, never mind the millions needed for exhibits. They'

Newsmaker of the Year - It's no contest.

The sun is shining on Winnipeg today in more ways than one as we announce the recipient of the coveted The Black Rod Newsmaker of the Year Award for 2011. It wasn't even close. He was a shoo-in. The man of the hour. If we had a laurel wreath we would crown him with it. Mark Chipman. He brought the Winnipeg Jets back. You don't need to say another word. He's 50; he's co-owner of True North Sports and Entertainment; he's got a degree in economics and worked as a lawyer. Blah blah blah. Who cares? He brought the Jets back. Now there's an accomplishment. It's like Prometheus bringing Man fire. Or Dr. Frankenstein seeing his creation twitch and breathe for the first time. "It's alive! It's alive!" For the return of the Jets has brought life back to Winnipeg. Life and sunshine. And song. And confidence. And hope. Can love be far behind? Chipman did it, and he did it without massive government subsidy or a massive ego

The CMHR tests Stephen Harper. Money for whites as aboriginals get the shaft ?

There's a term they use in the boxing world when a fighter is being beaten to a pulp and his cornermen want the fight stopped to spare him further punishment. They call it 'throwing in the towel'. On Friday, the biggest boosters of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights threw in the towel. Like a punch-drunk fighter, the CMHR is still swinging, refusing to give up. But the Winnipeg Free Press, the propaganda arm of the museum, admitted in an editorial that the cost overruns of the CMHR are beyond the ability of the private sector to pay. The charade is over. The numbers are so grim that the FP refuses to publish them. So we'll do it for them. Before the public meeting held by the CMHR in early December, they claimed they were within $20 million of their budget. Two weeks after the meeting, they confessed that costs had actually risen another $41 million---for construction alone. Subtotal: $ 61 Million Even that wouldn't get you

Another tax break can't save the CMHR from drowning in red ink. Neither can the MSM.

As if you need more proof that the laws for the peasants don't apply to millionaires like Gail Asper and her pet project the Canadian Museum for Human Rights --- but here's some more. We told you this week that some unknown Fairy Godmother at City Hall secretly wiped out $118,000 from the museum's property tax bill. That act saved the museum which won't, or can't, pay its taxes from being put up for tax sale in the event it fails to pay in 2012 for the third year in a row. We've since learned that the CMHR is getting even more special treatment from the Winnipeg tax department. The museum is the only property in the entire city that is exempt from penalties for non-payment of property taxes. More than $50,000 in penalties should have been added to the museum's outstanding tax arrears last year, but wasn't. The City of Winnipeg website clearly states that penalties of 1.25 percent are charged on unpaid taxes. Plus 7.5 percent in the curr

The solution to CMHR spending orgy is Gail Asper's worst nightmare

Who writes The Black Rod? Kreskin? With the facade of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights crumbling around the ears of its backers, we found ourselves recalling the warnings we issued in months and even years past. "Remember, THEY HAVE NO MONEY. The scam is to get enough to keep construction going until later this year, say during the provincial election, when they will admit they're skint, and throw themselves on the mercy of the politicians. " We wrote that about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights last April--- eight months ago. Not impressed? Look at what we wrote in July, 2009: "In fact, we estimate that without huge infusions of new cash almost immediately, t hey will run out of money in the spring of 2011. " It looks now that on both counts we were spot on. ******************

Deciphering the secrets of the CMHR's first public meeting

This week the Canadian Museum for Human Rights held its first public meeting but it took a few days before the various accounts coalesced into a semi-coherent reflection of what was said and, more to the point, what the public was not told. Like, for example, the true cost of the Asper family money pit, pegged for the last couple of years at $310 million. Angela Cassie, the, ahem, "communications director" for the museum, said, to quote the Winnipeg Sun, "planners are “reforecasting” the cost projection and plan to “confirm an exact number on that in the next couple of weeks”." WHOOP. WHOOP. WHOOP. Sound the alarm. The museum "planners" are going to reveal the newly-revised cost of the half-built museum sometime around, oh, let's see, Christmas? When there's hardly a reporter working? And when nobody will be around to comment? Oh, that's not suspicious at all. And, just so you know, 'reforecasting' is a real word.