'This unsmiling structure gives not one whit more than absolutely necessary' - Macleans.ca

‘This unsmiling structure gives not one whit more than absolutely necessary’


Christopher Hume assesses the architectural splendour and deeper significance of the government’s Canada Pavilion in Vancouver.

Moore’s problem is that every building reveals something of its builder; in this instance that adds up to an architectural portrait of public-sector cynicism. The strategy was simple: Put up something quick and easy, barely more than a glorified tent, then cover the exterior walls in flags and logos and stick a big blue arch in front to make it “architectural.” After that, you send in the minister to utter the appropriate platitudes and hope that in their excitement over the Games, Canadians forget all about it.

But, in fact, the pavilion is as illustrative of this administration as is prorogation. Both show a government whose responses meet the barest technical requirements of acceptable conduct, but not one iota more. This is a regime that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. But even if this pavilion had been built for free, it would still be worth as little.

For the record, James Moore has described the pavilion as “family friendly.” His spokeswoman says it’s “quite nice.”


‘This unsmiling structure gives not one whit more than absolutely necessary’

  1. Why does Christopher Hume hate our troops?

  2. Lol the elites are out in force I see !

    How much tax payer money does this man want to waste ?

    • Were you sick the day they covered metaphors and similies in High School English?

    • "I think the pavilion more than adequately will serve the Canadians who want to come down here and have an experience of the Games," federal Heritage Minister James Moore said last week.

      Like Minister Moore, Jesse, you miss the point: The Canada Pavilion is supposed to showcase to the WORLD what a great place Canada is — to travel, live, work, invest. it's not meant to demonstrate to Canadians how we can all get by with lowered expectations and last-minute, on-the-cheap solutions (outsourced tot he US, of course).

      Harper's Feds blew this one… right where and when a large chunk of the world will be watching.

      • And that it wasn't slapped together by Andy Hardy and the gang on a hootenanny budget… The Consupporters are going to find contorting to protect this dumb decision a tad uncomfortable. I think the consideration isn't that they should have spent MORE, but they should have spent it WISELY and AT HOME (nevermind the long-standing consideration that the government shrugged off of working in unison with B.C. to host a joint building — which would have been even more cost efficient — unless it required Aussie construction crews!)

    • It cost about as much as the ten percenters that fill recycle bins across the country – does that make you feel better?

    • "How much tax payer money does this man want to waste ?"

      Probably a lot less than the 10 million the government wasted on this eyesore.

      Seriously, why did they even bother?

  3. I'm trying to imagine what might strike Mr. Moore as unfriendly to families, in the realm of Olympic pavilions.

  4. Well if it is as plain as Hume says it is, then surely it is "family friendly" because it is easy to clean and contains no choking hazards.

  5. This is a regime that knows the price of everything

    I hear the price of a spring election majority is one prorogation

  6. It's cheap, ugly and likely unsafe seeing as it was thrown together at the last minute.

    As such it reflects our govt, not Canada.

  7. "Family-friendly"? Like with ball rooms and waterslides? No wonder Moore enjoyed it.

    • I think they actually bought a poorly constructed knock-off of a Quebec product. (Kinda like french fries with cheese whiz)

      • this American-made canvas-and-glass prefab

        You're right! They outsourced this!!!

    • Unfortunately much of the $10 million went to a Chicago company. Apparently the next option from Harper's Buy American plan was a quonset hut from Albany.

  8. Hey, for 2012 it's just gonna be a touch screen kiosk.

  9. Apparently it is nearby Centre Place Manitoba

    CentrePlace Manitoba reflects the friendly and welcoming nature of Manitoba and its people, embodies the dynamism and energy of our province, and reinforces our position as an important centre for culture and trade in the global community.

    check out the web sight for a picture: http://www.centreplacemanitoba.ca/ENGLISH/creativ

  10. Christopher Hume is the genius who wrote this about the Suaad Hagi Mohamud case:

    This isn't just another political scandal; this is cause for deep national shame. This smacks not just of prejudice, but of apartheid.


    • You say that like it somehow makes the Canadian Pavilion beautiful, cost-effective, made-in-Canada, not out-sourced, etc.

      As if this sad effort is now above criticism? Do you believe that if you quote something unrelated that suddenly makes this mess something to be proud of?

      • Boy, you sure like to read between the lines. It was a digression about the author, nothing more.

    • and your point?

      • Perhaps the frog was just tuning up for a future name change to Cons_Reasoning

        lets see

        personal attack on government critic: check
        no substantive comment about criticism itself: check
        bury all evidence that criticism is valid: oops

        Unfortunately the photo of the butt-ugly building is out there but still 2/3 is not bad… certainly good enough to be cabinet material.

        • "Perhaps the frog was just tuning up for a future name change to Cons_Reasoning "

          I suggest "Critical_Handwaving."

        • Oh no, it's the digression police! I'm on topic 97% of the time, but that's not good enough for Stewie!

          personal attack on government critic: check

          Calling a Toronto Star columnist a "genius", even sarcastically, doesn't exactly constitute a "personal attack on a government critic".

          I'm not even going to dignify the rest of your babbling with a response. By the way, Stewie, you should clean up your profile: "tomorrow" only takes one "m".

          • "I'm on topic 97% of the time"

            One problem at a time…

          • You're so cute, Tiggy. I wish I could chuck you under your chin and plant a big wet kiss on your forehead. But enough about me… ;-)

  11. Harper couldn't afford an architecturally resplendent pavillion. He blew the discretionary money on running those irritating EAP ads.

  12. So it was $10 million, is that right? I wonder how much Canadians have paid in total for their national and provincial pavilions. We shall never recoup.

    Saskatchewan Pavilion has come in greatly over-budget at $4.1 million as of last week or so. Nobody in local media ever critisizes Wall government, but what with that $1.5 billion budget shortfall, he should have some 'splainin' to do.

    Here's a link: it looks a lot like a big pre-fab tin building with astroturf and uncomfortable chairs. But I'm a bitter cynic. How can it cost so much but look so cheap? http://www.saskpavilion.ca/photos

    • Better to do like the Irish and just throw up a festival tent. (and stock if with local beer) Saskatchewan could have Bushwackers leading beer making workshops.

  13. While the Canadian provinces and territories, and countries from around the world, have impressive pavilions to present their best face to the world during the Olympics, Harper's Conservatives hires an American firm to throw up a barn-like, ugly tent to represent the country, and not even on time (it opens this Saturday).

    Bravo Conservatives…! Your "make Canada look bad" agenda (or at best, "Canada is run by a bunch of short-sighted amateurs" agenda) continues unabated. The sooner we get rid of you clowns, the better…

  14. This is just to say…

    We have put up
    a pavilion
    for display
    at the Olympics

    Forgive us
    but we were working
    on other things
    so it's poor.

  15. Family friendly??? Like those pics of his girlfriend Moore was caught looking at in question period a couple of years ago.

  16. Of course the Government of Harper outsourced the Canada Pavilion to the US. Didn't you notice that they have already outsourced our entire economy to the US?

    "…The Deal : In exchange for a 10 day window of opportunity in which Canadian corporations will theoretically be exempted from just some of Obama's protectionist Buy America economic provisions, Canadian provinces and municipalities will permanently relinquish their right to award local contracts to local businesses.
    Our taxes, our jobs. Bye bye 'Buy Local', hello WTO…"