News / Ottawa

AIDS memorial could go up in front of Ottawa City Hall

Coun. David Chernushenko introduced a notice of motion to seek city support to have the memorial placed in Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall.

The memorial could be in place next year.

Associated Press

The memorial could be in place next year.

A new memorial could be in place outside city hall next year to mark both those who have died from AIDS and the dark history of the disease.

After celebrating their 30th anniversary last year, the AIDS committee of Ottawa is hoping to install a new memorial for those who have died.

“We have recognized that Ottawa is one of the bigger cities in Canada that doesn’t have an official AIDS memorial,” said Khaled Salam, the group’s executive director.

On Wednesday, city Coun. David Chernushenko introduced a notice of motion to seek city support to have the memorial placed in Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall.

Salam said other illnesses have never had the same stigma as AIDS, which makes the memorial as much about remembering the history as honouring the dead.

“It basically pays tribute to the history of HIV AIDS , the people lost and to acknowledge and remember them,” he said. 

Salam said the committee has already put out a call for designs and hopes to unveil a proposal at World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

Chernushenko said he doesn’t expect the memorial to see any resistance and believes it’s important to acknowledge the difficult history.  

“That whole history was very devastating for a particular group of people.”

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