Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Winnipeg's Human Rights Museum Losing Public Confidence

Still three years from it's first visitor, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is already millions short on the budget required for both its capital costs and its annual operating needs. The museum has reported they need a minimum of $5.2 million in operating funds from Ottawa this year alone to keep construction and development going.

The federal government has already responded to say they would not provide additional funding on top of the $100 million towards construction and the approximately $21.7 million required in annual operating costs.

Museum spokeswoman Angela Cassie has provided little direction as to what the real number is in respect to the funds required for both continued construction and operating costs. "There is no total figure yet. It's difficult right now when you don't know how much it will cost to heat a building in 2012." Isn't this a requirement when establishing the initial budget? Inflation is taught in Economics 101.

My guess is that a lot of taxpayers and donors are wondering just when they'll be tapped to foot the bill. The museum is doing themselves a great injustice in gaining momentum for what should be a world class facility into what is appearing to be a major lesson in poor financial planning. This stigma seems like its becoming a stain on the Asper legacy, one I hope they can reconcile before Winnipeggers and Winnipeg business completely give up on this global attraction.

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