Decision by Parks Canada to pull support for controversial Mother Canada monument both criticized and praised

Published by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen

Parks Canada’s decision to pull its support of the controversial Mother Canada monument has been met with emotions as polarized as the four-year debate over the proposed statue on Cape Breton’s famed Cabot Trail, the Canadian Press reports.


Here is the rest of the Canadian Press article:


Parks Canada said Friday there are too many unknowns about the towering Never Forgotten National Memorial ahead of the July 1, 2017, target date, including funding and a definitive design for the monument at Green Cove, N.S.


“Parks Canada will no longer be working towards the realization of the memorial in Cape Breton Highlands National Park,” Parks Canada CEO Daniel Watson said in a statement...


Sean Howard, spokesman for the Friends of Green Cove, said the project would have destroyed the rugged coastline and turned Green Cove into “Concrete Cove.”


“We applaud Parks Canada for coming to what we believe to be the only sane and sensible decision,” said Howard in a phone interview on Friday.


“This was not responsible development. This was an ill-advised adventure that would have lead to the destruction of Green Cove — a very special and important place geologically, culturally and in many other ways to many other people.”


Howard said Parks Canada would have been going against its own mandate to preserve the ecological and cultural integrity of its lands and coastlines.


“This project should have never been given serious consideration, and it only was by the previous federal government that was prepared to ride roughshod over the Parks Canada mandate and the National Parks Act,” said Howard, who also teaches in the political science department at Cape Breton University.


“It looks like that dark era is now over and hopefully we can now begin a new green era of looking after and responsibly developing the national parks.”...


Meanwhile, NDP national parks critic Wayne Stetski said the “monstrosity” should never have been considered in a national park.


“New Democrats have long understood that this location posed an ecological threat to the park and lacked the support of Canadians,” he said in a statement.


The Never Forgotten foundation said it spent four years on the memorial and believed it would not harm the environment as some critics argued.


Read the full article here.