Iconic Cape Breton park no longer threatened by Mother Canada project

Image from CPAWS
Image from CPAWS

Ottawa – Conservation groups welcomed the recent decision by the federal government to reject the proposed seven-storey “Mother Canada” statue in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, an essential step in implementing the government’s election commitment to limit development in our National Parks.

“It is heartening to see our federal government demonstrate respect for the fundamental purpose of our national parks which is to protect and encourage people to experience nature,” said Éric Hébert-Daly, National Executive Director at CPAWS. “After more than two years of public uproar about this ill-conceived project, there is no doubt our government made the right choice by saying no to Mother Canada. This is a good day for our parks.”

Public concern about the giant Mother Canada statue has steadily mounted: thousands of Canadians have written to the Environment Minister and Parks Canada opposing the proposal; national, provincial, and local newspapers across the country have published scathing editorials; and 28 retired senior Parks Canada officials sent an open letter to the Minister opposing the project in a national park.

Local community groups like Friends of Green Cove have been at the forefront of opposition to the project, and an independent study on “Mi’kmaq use at Green Cove” raises major objections to the project.

“It is crystal clear that Canadians love their national parks and want them protected from these kinds of inappropriate developments. The rejection of this proposal to grow the private commercial footprint in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a thoughtful and appropriate response to a broader problem of development proposals threatening our parks,” said Mr. Hébert-Daly. “Today’s decision sends an important signal from the federal government that our parks are to be protected, for the benefit of Canadians, now and for the future.”

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