Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/5/2012 (3361 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Heritage Minister James Moore says the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa is acting outside its mandate by presenting an exhibit designed to educate teenagers about the science of sex and sexuality. In fact, it's the minister himself who is acting outside his level of competence.
Mr. Moore is urging parents to complain about Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition because he believes its content is inappropriate for young people. He is entitled to his opinion as a parent, but his comments in this case are an abuse of ministerial privilege and a direct threat to the integrity of national museums and their ability to present programming based on the expert opinions of curators and educators without political influence.
The exhibition answers questions about sex and explains what science says about the subject. According to the museum, it "conveys a positive image of sexuality and helps young people hone their judgment skills so they can make enlightened decisions."
Some parents object to the very idea of sex education, but the subject is too important to be left in the shadows.
It's not the first time political pressure has been used to distort the mission of a national museum. About five years ago, political pressure forced the Canadian War Museum to alter a Second World War exhibit about Bomber Command that offended some veterans.
The fact it was historically accurate was irrelevant to the politicians who interfered.
Such a trend does not bode well for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which will be dealing with much more controversial matters on a regular basis. An advisory committee even recommended it be governed independent of the government so its work could not be corrupted by short-term political considerations.
National museums are capable of handling controversy and protest on their own, without any help from the prying hands on Parliament Hill.