Letter: Communism victims get statue before First Nation children

Local MPs should explain yet another baffling Conservative decision, without parroting PMO talking points.

To the editor:

After six years, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has submitted its report.

It is clear from it that Canada can be accused of having committed “cultural genocide,” not to mention the thousands of deaths of children in the government-funded religious residential schools.

Families were destroyed, generations of aboriginals suffered from the after-effects. It was a state-sponsored program to eliminate the “Indian in the children.”

Surely, these facts, as collected in the volumes of the report, would make a government of conscience ponder what kind of memorials—similar to war memorials—should commemorate the victims of this program.

While the government’s stock response to any questions was “we’ll study the report,” the Harper government is busy with spending untold funds to erect a “Mother Canada” statue in a National Park in Cape Breton and a similar memorial to victims of communism on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Apart from the fact that Mother Canada closely resembles the many “Mother Russia” statues found in cities of the former USSR, even in Kiev—and reminds one of a large-size wedding cake figure—it is emphatically opposed by Nova Scotians and many others in the National Park community.

Ottawa city council has voted against the anti-communist memorial next to the Supreme Court building.

One wonders what the rush by the Harper government is to build memorials to events which happened long ago on the other side of the Atlantic.

Agreed, there are Canadians whose families suffered greatly under communism—Hungarians, for instance—but the aboriginal victims were and are Canadians.

So, if any injustice should deserve to be commemorated, it must be that First Nations Canadian community.

Maybe our local MPs would care to explain, in their own words, not just repeat the talking points from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Harri Henschler,

West Kelowna