Mon­u­men­tal de­ci­sion

Most Cana­di­ans are against Green Cove war me­mo­rial: poll

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A re­cent Main­street Post­media re­search poll de­signed to mea­sure public opin­ion on the pro­posed war me­mo­rial for Green Cove has shown most Cana­di­ans are against it.

The sur­vey re­leased on Wed­nes­day ac­tu­ally mea­sured sup­port for the Cape Bre­ton mon­u­ment and one ded­i­cated to vic­tims of com­mu­nism and showed Cana­di­ans have lit­tle ap­petite for ei­ther, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from Post­media.

In re­gards to the Green Cove mon­u­ment, the sur­vey showed 50 per cent of re­spon­dents dis­ap­prove of it. It also showed 35 per cent ap­prove, while the re­main­ing peo­ple who an­swered the sur­vey were not sure of their opin­ion.

For those who dis­ap­proved of its con­struc­tion, 39 per cent noted that com­mer­cial­iza­tion was the rea­son.

Parks Canada also is­sued a state­ment on Wed­nes­day about the Never For­got­ten Na­tional Me­mo­rial.

“Parks Canada has al­ways been clear that the Never For­got­ten Na­tional Me­mo­rial pro­ject must be pri­vately funded and that the Gov­ern­ment would not pro­vide fund­ing for the con­struc­tion of the me­mo­rial,” said the state­ment signed by Alan La­tourelle, CEO of Parks Canada.

“There are many el­e­ments to be con­sid­ered be­fore any de­ci­sion on ap­proval can be made in­clud­ing com­pli­ance with the en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment process, ro­bust public con­sul­ta­tions, the suc­cess of the foun­da­tion’s pri­vate fundrais­ing cam­paign, and ad­her­ence to the Canada Na­tional Parks Act and other ap­pli­ca­ble leg­is­la­tion.”

Parks Canada has a proven track record in en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, fol­low­ing an es­tab­lished process that guides all projects on fed­eral lands ad­min­is­tered by Parks Canada.

Friends of Green Cove, a lo­cal group that’s op­posed to the mon­u­ment, felt “grat­i­fied” by the sur­vey re­sults, par­tic­u­larly with its com­mer­cial­iza­tion as­pect.

“This nau­se­at­ing, sur­real list of sou­venirs and bling falls lit­tle short of a com­mod­i­fi­ca­tion of Canada’s war dead,” said Friends of Green Cove spokesper­son Sean Green, in a press re­lease.

“Can you imag­ine a sim­i­lar range of prod­ucts as­so­ci­ated with the Na­tional War Me­mo­rial in Ot­tawa or the Vimy Me­mo­rial in France? Even if ev­ery cent of ev­ery sale were to go to­ward main­tain­ing the Mother Canada me­mo­rial — which doesn’t, in any case, be­long in Green Cove — such taste­less­ness is un­con­scionable.”

The Never For­got­ten Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion, the or­ga­ni­za­tion propos­ing to build the mon­u­ment at Green Cove, has stated that it has de­vel­oped a list of items based on the goods which are likely to be sold at gift stores sim­i­lar to the ones at Juno Beach or Vimy Me­mo­rial, in or­der to fully pro­tect the trade­marks for the me­mo­rial.

This list, ac­cord­ing to the foun­da­tion, may be fur­ther re­fined and amended prior to reg­is­tra­tion of the trade­mark. Any money raised through the sale of goods or ser­vices re­lated to the me­mo­rial will go to­ward the main­te­nance and oper­a­tions of the me­mo­rial.

As for the na­tional me­mo­rial to vic­tims of com­mu­nism in Ot­tawa, the sur­vey showed 58 per cent of re­spon­dents disap- prove.

“It ap­pears Cana­di­ans have lit­tle ap­petite for pro­posed gov­ern­ment mon­u­ments. Whether ded­i­cated to vic­tims of com­mu­nism, or Canada’s war he­roes, the mon­u­ments ap­pear to have lit­tle sup­port among the gen­eral public,” said Quito Maggi, pres­i­dent of Main­street, in a press re­lease.

“More Cana­di­ans are aware of and fol­low­ing the pro­posed Mother Canada mon­u­ment, pro­posed to be erected near Cape Bre­ton and ded­i­cated to Cana­dian war dead. De­spite the higher aware­ness, ap­proval is low and ap­pears to be due to a dis­taste for the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of Canada’s parks.”

Main­street is a na­tional public re­search firm. The poll sur­veyed a ran­dom sam­ple of 2,491 Cana­di­ans on July 9.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Shown above is an artist’s ren­di­tion of the Mother Canada mon­u­ment pro­posed for Green Cove in the Cape Bre­ton High­lands Na­tional Park. A re­cent re­search poll has shown most Cana­di­ans are against the pri­vate pro­ject.

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