'Mother Canada' statue doesn't belong in a National Park

OTTAWA – Today NDP National Parks Critic Wayne Stetski (Kootenay – Columbia) sent a letter to the Environment Minister, calling on the government to reject the controversial proposal for the Never Forgotten National Memorial, also known as “Mother Canada”.  

The proposal, which was backed by the former Conservative government, would see a giant statue erected at the headlands of Green Cove in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, along with a parking lot and visitor’s centre.  

“The government’s process for public feedback was limited to only two weeks, and the project has since received criticism from a variety of stakeholders” said Stetski in his letter. “A national park is no place for a seven-storey statue, particularly one that lacks broad-based support and poses a threat to the ecological integrity of the park.” 

In addition to a number of civil society groups, the Mother Canada proposal has received opposition from a group of 28 former senior Parks Canada managers, including a former Parks Canada CEO, who sent an open letter to the former Environment Minister that raised concerns about the proposal’s negative impact on Cape Breton Highlands National Park. 

“I have great respect for the terrible price many of our soldiers have paid,” said Stetski in his letter. “A memorial to honour them is welcome. The question before us is where such a memorial should be located.” 

New Democrats are calling on the government to scrap the current proposal and open thorough public consultation on possible locations for the memorial.