Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Human Rights Museum's Patrick O'Reilly Just Doing His Job

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights continues to get mixed press, with the latest being an attempt to somewhat villianize Patrick O'Reilly for his recent travel bill in promoting the museum to international markets. Anytime the new museum is mentioned in a group of people, you can pretty much divide the opinions down the middle - those that believe in its future success and those that only see tax dollars being spent. The $28,000 tab reportedly spent by the museum COO shares this same scrutiny.

I myself have had the pleasure of meeting Patrick O'Reilly on multiple occasions, and I can tell you first hand the man is all business, fuelled by his passion to make the museum a success both locally and globally.

Personally, I'd want the COO of Canada's first national museum outside of Ottawa to be sipping wine and eating cheese at a Bistro in Paris - as I'm sure there are many Winnipeggers who'd rather see him wearing a Jets jersey and eating roadside poutine. If we are to capture the essence of being a world-class facility, than we need to ensure that the people running and representing it are of the same class.

The Facebook posts were meant for close friends and family, who'd be less interested in the business he is doing versus the travel experience. Those posts were for their eyes and ears and have misrepresented his efforts. If there is any critisim it is that Mr. O'Reilly should have had better knowledge in keeping those posts from the public. In saying that, the main point is that they were not for the public, and we as the public should only be concerned with the results of his travels. Anyone who travels for business knows that downtime to enjoy the destination comes as a natural consequence and perk.

I am very confident that Mr. O'Reilly is using his time abroad wisely, helping to put the museum and Winnipeg on the global map.

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