The undeserved honour for Norman Bethune has the support of Canada's allegedly Christian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As reported by Jessica Murphy of The Toronto Sun, July 11, 2012:
OTTAWA - The Prime Minister's Office is standing behind a $2.5 million taxpayer-funded tourist trap dedicated to Canadian Maoist supporter Norman Bethune.The Toronto Sun summed up the situation well in an editorial titled No memorial for Mao's puppet on July 14, 2012:
Andrew MacDougall, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's spokesman, said Wednesday that Parks Canada locations - like where the new visitors centre at the Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site is located - "cover the full spectrum of political actors (and) political thought from Canada's past."
He added that tourism dollars spent at such sites are an important part of Canada's "fragile economic recovery."
The memorial house in Gravenhurst, Ont., 170 kilometres north of Toronto - Bethune's birthplace - is a popular destination for Chinese business and government delegations, and draws some 1,000 visitors a day during high season...
...Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who breezed in to the centre's grand opening Wednesday in a bright orange rickshaw, told the crowd he wasn't celebrating Bethune's ardent Communist ideology but his other values.
"What I see in Dr. Bethune is his spirit of humanitarianism," he said.
Still, at least one Tory backbencher is frustrated tax dollars went to fund the new centre.
"I don't doubt there's a lot of people who get warm and fuzzy when they think of Norman Bethune," Rob Anders said. "They're probably left-leaning. But he doesn't warm the cockles of my heart."
If it is all about tourism and pork-barrelling, then perhaps Parks Canada should consider a museum for Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel, the infamous landed immigrant who was eventually deported from Canada for hate crimes.Other columns worth reading on this subject are by Ezra Levant ("Canada's Shrine of Shame"); Charles Adler ("China's Useful Idiot"); and Peter Worthington ("End the Norman Bethune Buffoonery"). It's worth noting that while the "Conservative" government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper sees fit to honour a man who left the country to fight for Communism, a true Canadian hero named Ben Sivertz, who saved the lives of starving Canadians in the 1950s, is vilified and slandered as a racist criminal by the same government.
Perhaps the Ontario town of Swastika, just outside Kirkland Lake, would benefit from such an odious tourist trap.
Forget that the town had its name long before the world ever heard of Hitler. Use it anyway. Exploit it.
If, as a PMO spokesman put it, it's all about Parks Canada covering "the full spectrum of political actors (and) political thought from Canada's past," then what's the difference between Ernst Zundel and Norman Bethune?
Zundel embraced Hitler; Bethune embraced Mao.
Mao is No.1 on the bloody tyrant hit parade, widely reported to be responsible for 60-million deaths; Stalin second with 20 million; and Hitler third with 12 million.
In other words, Mao wiped out what is representative of almost twice Canada's present population.
So he wins and, as his reward for being the devil's spawn, his Canadian-born apologist, Norman Bethune, gets a $2.5-million roadside tourist attraction in his birthplace of Gravenhurst, Ont.
And here we thought it got enough pork when Tony Clement, its MP, was dishing out the G20 lucre.
We are being cynical, of course, but surely you catch our drift about sugar-coating the facts on Bethune.
While born in Canada in 1890, he was a card-carrying commie from 1935 onward, taking his surgical skills to the battlefield of the Spanish Civil War before heading to China to becoming a willing puppet to Mao's propaganda machine as tens of millions were being murdered.
Queen's University's Bruce Gilley, an expert on China's politics, was fairly succinct in his assessment of Bethune.
"Bethune was someone we in our contemporary Western world would call a useful idiot," he said. "He more or less took leave of his moral compass and senses when he went to China and threw himself into the communist cause." And for this he gets a memorial museum?
Parks Canada, and the PMO, should admit their mistake and close it down now.
As for bringing the good folks of Swastika into the fray, we apologize unreservedly.
But the point had to be made.