| Zuzak Letters |
Blogspot | 18Nov2013 | blackrod
Fundraisers cry Mayday for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Fundraising for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has collapsed.
The museum's fundraising arm, The Friends of the CMHR, has managed to
gather barely two million dollars in pledges this year so far.
Over the past 14 months,
only 200 private donations have been received.
Given that donations are usually spread out over 5-10 years, that means
they could have raised as
little as $400,000 cash in 2013. In that case
the CMHR has officially slid into the abyss, with costs, including
millions in unpaid back taxes, escalating faster than they can raise
money to pay for them. The only thing that's propped up this White Elephant appears to be a wink-wink nudge-nudge $10
million slipped to the CMHR under the table by the federal government.
In 2011, after running out of money and while waiting for a government
bailout, the CMHR stopped hiring and paying for the design of exhibits.
In that way they underspent their $21 million annual operating funds by
They, ahem, "re-profiled" this ten million the following year into
capital funding to keep paying the cheques to construction workers. But
that means that operating
funds became capital funding, and the federal government's share of the
cost of the museum went up surrepticiously from $100 million to $110
million, although government MP's will never acknowledge
And that's not counting
the $35 million "advance" they gave the CMHR last year to save the
project from bankruptcy. You can bet the farm
that will never be recouped either, although the CMHR says it's
obligated to start making payments five years from now, just about the
time everybody has forgotten they owe any.
That whole $35 million has been spent by now, and the CMHR is nowhere
near ready to open in 10 months as they claim they will. They
were supposed to get a private loan for $35 million, co-signed by the
Manitoba NDP government, to guarantee they open on time, but there
hasn't been a hint of such a loan.
But get these gems culled from the museum's 2012-2013 annual report,
which was quietly released a week-and-a-half ago.
"As the Museum
transitions from planning to operations, evaluation of projected
post-inauguration operating needs is ongoing. Estimates and timing of
the Corporation’s ongoing requirements will be affirmed through
2013-2014 as inaugural exhibits, programs, information technology
infrastructure, operating systems and revenue-generating initiatives
are finalized and implemented."
"In 2013-2014, the
Museum will continue to refine its budgets for the five-year period
following inauguration. Once the Museum is open and fully operational
the Corporation will be in a position to more accurately assess ongoing
"The Museum will
continue to plan and account for factors including maintenance, capital
repairs, inflation, and Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments."
They're giving you fair warning that after they get through evaluating
their post-inauguration operating needs, refining their budgets and
planning for factors like maintenance, inflation and taxes, they're
going to ask for more money. They already get $21.7 million a
year in operating costs.
Taxes alone will add, by their calculations, $3.4 million a year. (They
already owe $4.4 million, which would put next year's bill at almost $8