Green Cove pro­posal not eco­log­i­cally sound

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

In their let­ter of July 2 (‘Straight talk on Na­tional Parks Act, Cape Bre­ton Post), Ray and Au­drey Sta­ple­ton cite the Act to sug­gest that Green Cove would be a suit­able lo­ca­tion for the pro­posed ‘Mother Canada’ war me­mo­rial.

This claim can be briefly re­but­ted.

Un­der the Act, ev­ery part and zone of ev­ery na­tional park is pro­tected from any de­vel­op­ment detri­men­tal to ei­ther its eco­log­i­cal and com­mem­o­ra­tive in­tegrity.

Within those strict lim­its a range of ap­pro­pri­ate en­hance­ments are in­deed per­mit­ted, but only on con­di­tion that the site’s ba­sic in­tegrity is main­tained. And as the 28 re­tired Parks Canada se­nior man­agers wrote in their open let­ter to En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Leona Aglukkaq, the ‘Mother Canada’ de­vel­op­ment demon­stra­bly and spec­tac­u­larly fails both these key tests set by the act.

In terms of ecol­ogy, pour­ing con­crete over a half a bil­lion years of earth history, frag­ile nat­u­ral beauty and pre­cious bio­di­ver­sity would ob­vi­ously con­sti­tute an act of ir­repara­ble eco­log­i­cal van­dal­ism.

And through­out the history of Parks Canada, ap­pro­pri­ate ‘com­mem­o­ra­tion’ has been un­der­stood to re­fer to ex­ist­ing cul­tural ar­ti­facts and her­itage, rather than the im­por­ta­tion and im­po­si­tion of en­tirely new struc­tures.

But even if the ‘Mother Canada’ ex­trav­a­ganza could some­how be jus­ti­fied as le­git­i­mate com­mem­o­ra­tion, it ob­vi­ously can­not be plau­si­bly pre­sented as eco­log­i­cally sound.

If in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the Na­tional Parks Act can be stretched to al­low a pri­vate devel­oper (with gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance) to turn Green Cove into ‘Con­crete Cove’, the whole na­tional parks sys­tem will it­self lose all in­tegrity.

Sean Howard

Spokesper­son, Friends of Green Cove Main-a-Dieu

I had to re­spond to ‘Another Per­spec­tive on Prayer De­bate’ (let­ter to the editor, Cape Bre­ton Post, June 25).

This is an ex­am­ple of cre­ative think­ing by Cape Bre­ton­ers. The sug­gested vi­sion state­ment would im­pact ev­ery one of us. It could start with the fun­da­men­tal strengths and needs that we all have in com­mon in this ‘web of re­la­tion­ships’ called CBRM.

I hope CBRM coun­cil will in­clude one of these writ­ers on the com­mit­tee that may be struck with the

task of word­ing this im­por­tant doc­u­ment.

Thank you for the op­por­tu­nity to of­fer the let­ter writ­ers and the mem­bers of coun­cil my ap­preci- ation.

Sharon Unsworth

Syd­ney River

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