Heritage Minister announces new National Holocaust Monument to stay open year-round


OTTAWA — The newly opened National Holocaust Monument won’t be closed for the winter after all.

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says in a tweet that the soaring concrete structure just west of Parliament Hill will remain open throughout the year.

She doesn’t explain how the issue of snow removal has been resolved.

The National Capital Commission announced last month that the monument, which opened just a month earlier, would close for the winter — as is the case for most other NCC monuments — to avoid the risk of damage from snow-clearing operations.

The monument, which took 10 years to come to fruition, was originally designed to include a roof and a snow-melting system, but both were eliminated from the design to save money.

Jewish groups and opposition parties questioned why the federal government, which paid roughly half the $9 million cost of the monument, couldn’t find a way to keep it open year-round after so much time and expense went into its creation.

The snow issue was a second a embarrassment for the government involving the monument. The original dedication plaque for the structure made no mention of the Jewish people in its description of the atrocities carried out by the Nazis during the Second World War; it had to be re-written.

Announcing Friday that the monument will be open year-round, Joly tweeted: “Canadians will be able to reflect on the horrors committed against the 6 million Jewish victims & others while paying tribute to the survivors.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs tweeted its appreciation.

“Given that the monument’s purpose is Holocaust remembrance and education, it’s appropriate that Canadians have access to this site all year.”

The Canadian Press