Two groups say no to forum
Friends of Green Cove cancel public event involving questions from experts
The Friends of Green Cove have cancelled plans for an experts’ forum on the proposed Mother Canada monument.
Last month, the group, which is opposed to the construction of the monument at Green Cove, invited Parks Canada, Stantec Inc. — authors of the draft detailed impact analysis of the project — and the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation to attend a forum.
The Never Forgotten National Memorial, a privately funded initiative, is looking to build a memorial to Canada’s war dead in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in northern Cape Breton.
“We are disappointed because we think not just that we deserve it as a group against the proposal, we think everyone deserves a fuller, more respectful public consultation process,” Friends of Green Cove spokesperson Sean Howard said in an interview Friday.
“Our group has said for quite a while that even if you’re in favour of the memorial being built at Green Cove, you should want to know all the pros and cons before you take the fatal step of sending the bulldozers in.”
The intention behind the forum was to allow the proponents to present their cases and answer questions from three experts — Sandra Barr and Ian Spooner of Acadia University and Cape Breton University’s Deanne van Rooyen.
The forum was to be independently chaired and moderated, with details such as time, venue and format to be mutu- ally agreed.
Parks Canada declined the invitation, noting that information on the project has been available to the public since August 2013 and that there has been adequate public consultation of the detailed impact analysis.
This week, an official with Stantec said the company would not participate.
The Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation has not responded to the invitation.
Howard said next week his group plans to publicly release the questions that the experts planned to ask had the forum taken place.
“I think the public needs to know what those questions are and maybe it’s not too late for even a written response to them,” he said.