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Journalist Dale Goldhawk Gets Involved With Museum Issue

By Ian Brown, for Bits and Pieces

Dale Goldhawk
Journalist Dale Goldhawk

The number of signatures on the Canadian Air & Space Museum petition has grown more than seven times since we reported it as topping a thousand in October. The strengthening support for the museum may be due in some measure to the pugnacious investigative style of Canadian journalist Dale Goldhawk. In a series of interviews with both sides of the debate televised on the Rogers TV program Goldhawk Live and subsequently with Liberal Party interim leader Bob Rae, Goldhawk discussed the eviction of the Canadian Air & Space Museum.

The debate centred around why a building of such significant heritage should be replaced with a hockey arena that basically could be constructed anywhere else on the large park site.  A series of interviews was aired between October 31 and November 18.

Museum space curator Rob Godwin was asked, from the museum’s perspective, what had happened? What was the Canadian Air & Space Museum doing in response? Why is the building important? The following night, the next interviewee was museum CEO Rob Cohen, accompanied by Toronto councillor and museum supporter Maria Augimeri and World War II veteran and Lancaster pilot Philip Gray.

Later, David Soknacki, the chairman of the crown corporation Parc Downsview Park, was in the hot seat. The former public servant defended his organisation’s decision to evict the building’s tenants. He maintained that the building wouldn’t be destroyed. According to Soknacki, they plan to keep hundreds of feet of original facade in the new building, but that doesn’t impress those who want the museum and the building to remain intact.

With the increased public exposure of this issue, the petition count has risen to 7238 and may well be higher by the time you read this. It went up two signatures as I was finalizing this article.  The target is still set at 10,000, so there’s some way to go but reason to be optimistic. There are multiple links to the interviews on the www.CASmuseum.org website. The debate continues.

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