Human rights museum costs swell while staff leave

Credits: Jason Halstead/Winnipeg Sun/QMI Agenc


WINNIPEG -- Staff at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights may be dropping like flies, but don't worry. CMHR brass are replacing them as fast as -- or faster than -- they're leaving.

The museum is expected to hit a record 80 employees within the next several weeks, even though the taxpayer-funded facility won't be open for at least another two years.

Museum officials have had to explain why 37 employees -- about half their staff -- have, over the past four years, either been fired, chosen to quit or did not have their contracts renewed.

In responding to reports some disgruntled staff have left because of a poisonous work environment -- and because of complaints about watered-down museum content that will now ignore some past human atrocities -- CMHR CEO Stuart Murray released this statement on Friday:

"We have a very challenging job to carry out on a very demanding timeline. I cannot afford to carry any staff who are not 100% committed to this project and our vision for it."

Everyone who quit or got pink slips has either been replaced, or another position has been created in their place.

The number of staff at the museum went from 50 as of March 31, 2011, to 68 today.

And they're hiring more. The museum is currently advertising for 12 new positions.

CMHR's operating budget continues to grow. According to the most recent financial statements, the museum spent $10.9 million last year, up from $10.3 million the previous year. It also posted a deficit of $66,000 last year.

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