NCC punts memo­rial de­ci­sion

Ar­chi­tect un­happy with pro­posed site near museum

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page - Ryan Tu­milty

A memo­rial to those lost dur­ing Canada’s mis­sion in Afghanistan could be with­out a home again, as NCC board mem­bers pushed back against a pro­posed site Tues­day.

Board mem­bers de­ferred on a vote to des­ig­nate land on the Ot­tawa River just west of the Cana­dian War Museum for the project, af­ter ob­jec­tions from the museum’s ar­chi­tect.

Kay Stan­ley was one of sev­eral board mem­bers who in­di­cated they would be vot­ing no on the project be­fore they agreed to de­fer it on Tues­day.

Stan­ley said an Afghan memo­rial is im­por­tant for Canada, which is why this site is the wrong choice.

“This is a wor­thy project and be­cause it’s a wor­thy project it re­quires a wor­thy place.”

The project needs the NCC’S ap­proval be­fore it can move ahead with de­sign and con­struc­tion.

The de­fer­ral of the vote will give the NCC time to take an- other look at the project in­clud­ing the po­ten­tial of des­ig­nat­ing Rich­mond Land­ing, a site just to the east of the Portage Bridge.

NCC CEO Mark Krist­man­son said it will give them some time to take an­other look at the choices. “I think sober sec­ond thought is a good move in this case,” he said. “We will en­deav­our to do that with a quick turn­around so we don’t de­lay this.”

Rich­mond Land­ing was pre­vi­ously se­lected as a site, but vet­er­ans groups felt it was out of the way and not be­ing given ap­pro­pri­ate space.

Krist­man­son said their voice is still im­por­tant. “We must lis­ten to the vet­er­ans’ groups who need and want a memo­rial and con­nect with them.”

Ray­mond Moriyama, the war museum’s ar­chi­tect, said the man­date of the in­sti­tu­tion was al­ways to ed­u­cate and pre­serve in­for­ma­tion from all wars. He wor­ried hav­ing one memo­rial on the grounds would sin­gle it out.

“This is one na­tional museum rep­re­sent­ing the whole of Canada and the man­date is to ed­u­cate, pre­serve and re­mem­ber,” he said.

He said when the build­ing was con­structed there was a lot of con­sul­ta­tion with Cana­di­ans who wanted memo­ri­als to be sep­a­rate from the in­sti­tu­tion.

“I am not against the memo­rial. It’s just the lo­ca­tion,” he said. “We have to main­tain not only the in­tegrity, but the hon­esty of what the war museum is de­signed to do.”

AFP GETTY IMAGES

Cana­dian sol­diers with the NATO-LED In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity As­sis­tance Force (ISAF) on pa­trol in Kan­da­har.

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