Yesterday, I was reading the Winnipeg Free Press online version, when I came across "letters to the editor." It seems Gail Asper, herself took the time to write about the situation involving the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and to take a shot at her numerous detractors:
"I'm sure my father, Israel Asper, would have found the continuing discussions for and against the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to be fascinating.
For my part, all I can say is, hey, at least it's given the detractors something to complain about beside our weather."
Now I never knew Izzy Asper personally, but I think it's a safe bet that he would not have found the discussions regarding the CMHR "fascinating." In fact, if Izzy were alive, I am positive he would be describing the current state of the museum with many adjectives. However, I am pretty sure "fascinating" would not be among them.
Perhaps the current state of affairs, in regards to the Asper empire, and the museum in general was described most accurate by a Free Press forum member with the handle "Gack":
"Sorry Gail. Izzy would be too busy shaking his head over the demise of his empire at the hands of his children.
The Israel Asper I knew always undertook well planned and well organized ventures. Yes, he would take risks, but well calculated risks. He would build buildings and invest in Winnipeg, but all the financing would be in place before the venture was started and completed. This can be evidenced by the many places in Winnipeg where you can find the Asper name.
Unfortunately, the legacy that he left will not be the legacy his children leave.
HIs children will leave the legacy of a collapsed business, a poorly planned attempt and owning a football team and new stadium, and last but not least, a museum that never should have been built.
It is ugly, it is underfunded, and it never should have been started.
Please dismantle the monstrosity at the Forks while we can still save some green space."
As for Asper's comment directed at her "detractors", Free Press reader "harmony2" had this to say:
"There are clearly strong feelings about the Human Rights Museum. I feel sad, disappointed and concerned that Gail's response is light and sarcastic when emotions are so real. I'm afraid she is becoming more and more out of touch. Perhaps if they didn't send out thousands of dollars of glossy print material with pictures of her and everyone....or they didn't need to fly in marble and other things of an unreachable high end quality - we could have afforded the tribute that Izzy wanted. Sadly, his daughter got in the way."
I highly doubt I am alone when I think it would be in Gail Asper's best interests to admit that she is in way over her head, and step down from her position on the Board of Trustees, and walk away from the project all together. Perhaps there is still time to salvage the building, and turn it into the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (my personal dream).