War monument criticism countered by Cape Breton woman
18-metre tall monument proposed for Cape Breton Highlands National Park
An Ingonish woman is hoping to counter the negative publicity around a proposed multi-storey war memorial in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park by garnering support on a Facebook page.
Unlike its detractors, Lisa MacLeod likes the war memorial's planned location in Green Cove, a prime spot along the Cabot Trail approximately 63 kilometres northeast of Ingonish.
"Everyone north of Smokey should look at what it will bring besides the veterans, their families. It will bring people to our community," she said.
"It might bring more revenue. It will definitely bring more tourists. They'll see how beautiful everything is around here. I feel it's going to be something very positive and spiritual."
The proposed war memorial includes an 18-metre tall monument that depicts a woman with outstretched arms looking in the direction of the Canadian war memorial in Vimy Ridge, France.
It also includes a concrete walkway circling the statue's feet.
The memorial, which will take up just under one hectare of land in the national park, has been criticized by those who believe the installation will spoil the picturesque Green Cove.
MacLeod started a Facebook group for supporters of the project, which had more than 1,500 supporters as of Saturday afternoon.
"I couldn't believe it. Like I said, I was excited when I saw a hundred people," she said.
"The more I heard the negativity, I was thinking they are going to take it away from us. This is not where it's going to be and that was heartbreaking. I thought a beautiful thing is going to be taken away."
The Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation, which proposed the monument, intends to raise $25 million for the project through corporate and private donations.
Parks Canada has already given the foundation the green light for the Green Cove location.
The monument is scheduled for completion in 2017 to coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday.