Mother Canada petitions of support presented to Parliament

A Cape Breton politician presented 10 petitions to Parliament Friday in support of the Mother Canada and the Never Forgotten War Memorial proposed for the Green Cove area of Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Cape Breton MP Mark Eyking says he expects a 'green light or red light' on the project by this spring

The federal government should have a decision on the Mother Canada statue by this spring, a local MP says. (Rayment & Collins)

A Cape Breton politician presented 10 petitions to Parliament Friday in support of the Mother Canada and the Never Forgotten War Memorial proposed for the Green Cove area of Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

A private foundation plans to raise around $25 million to build the memorial, which includes a 24-metre statue called Mother Canada.

The controversial statue's future is being reviewed by the Liberal government — and no decision has yet been made, Sydney-Victoria MP Mark Eyking told CBC Cape Breton's Mainstreet Friday.

"Right now it's amber light, I think," Eyking said. "What I want is either green light or red light. I just want this thing to either move or not move because right now I fear it's dividing the community."

Eking said if citizens collect petitions against the project, he will present those, as well. 

The Liberal government still stands behind its promise to not spend any money on the project, Eyking said. The previous Conservative government had promised some federal money

Answer expected this spring

Eyking said Parks Canada and the Environment Department should have an answer this spring.

"It's not fair to everybody if it's just hanging around not being addressed," said Eyking.

In an interview last June, TonyTrigiani, the Toronto businessman behind the project, said it must pass an impact assessment by Parks Canada and a Mi'kmaq ecological knowledge study.

​"Mr. Trigiani has put a lot of work into this and time," Eyking said. "We kind of appreciate anybody coming into Cape Breton with private money to do some sort of initiative, but there comes a point, 'Is it good to go?'" 

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