Aga Khan’s Global Centre for Pluralism moves in to heritage digs after decade of delays
2017/01/31 Leave a comment
I remember being involved in the closing of the lease negotiations. Nice to see this being realized:
A think-tank founded by the Aga Khan with $30 million from taxpayers has finally moved into a prime heritage building in Ottawa 10 years after the federal government gave it a 99-year lease.
The Global Centre for Pluralism (GCP) pays the federal government $1 a year to use the building at 330 Sussex Dr., formerly the Canadian War Museum. The agreement also allows the GCP to lease out office space in the building at commercial rates.
And it already has a tenant: the Royal Canadian Mint, a Crown corporation.
The centre’s opening comes after a decade of false starts and missed deadlines.
It also highlights the close relationship successive Canadian governments have sought to foster with the Aga Khan, the hereditary leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims and a well-known philanthropist.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been forced to defend his recent visitto the Ismaili spiritual leader’s private island in the Bahamas. Trudeau, who through his father has a long personal relationship with the Aga Khan, has said the visit and a similar one in 2014 were personal.
But the Aga Khan and his charitable organizations have a long-standing relationship with the government of Canada, which sees their development work as aligned with Canada’s objectives and has contributed money to their projects for decades.
The Global Centre for Pluralism got its start in 2006, when the government of Stephen Harper gave $30 million to establish an operating fund for the think-tank, which is supposed to spread Canadian values of pluralistic democracy around the world.