Nova Scotia

Halifax's Acadian Expulsion monument removed after it starts sinking

A monument for victims of the Acadian Expulsion has been taken off the Halifax waterfront after it began sinking.

No word on when memorial facing Georges Island will be replaced

An Acadian man looks at the monument shortly after it was unveiled in 2005. It's been taken off the waterfront over safety concerns. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

A monument for victims of the Acadian Expulsion has been taken off the Halifax waterfront after it began sinking.

"We removed it and put it into temporary storage because the monument had actually begun to sink. It was beginning to become a bit of a hazard," Peter Bigelow, director of planning for the Waterfront Development Corp., told CBC's Information Morning.

The monument faced Georges Island, where many Acadians were held in the 1750s as the British government forced about 10,000 people to leave the province.

Plaques on it record the history of the expulsion. The monument sat atop a concrete pad; the pad was sinking. "It was only a few inches, but it was a trip hazard," Bigelow said.

The development corporation is trying to figure out why it started sinking on the in-filled area of the shore. "The waterfront is pretty solid. I don't think people have to worry," he said.

'No good timing' for repairs

Once there's solid ground, it will be put back in the same area to ensure it still looks onto Georges Island. There's no estimate for when that might happen. 

Marie-Claude Rioux, executive director of Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, said that means the influx of tourists for the tall ships and Canada 150 won't see it.

"It's kind of sad," she said, "but there is no good timing in things like that."

Marie-Claude Rioux says the monument prompts people to reflect on the untold stories of the expulsion. (Radio-Canada)

The federation looks after the monument and is working with Waterfront Development Corp. to get it back in place. Rioux often walks in the area and watches people's encounters with the monument.

"I'm watching people and they do stop, and they do read the monument, so I think that monument really has a story to tell," she said.

"You see people reading, and then they reflect. There are a lot of untold stories to that story. I know that as soon as the monument is put back, this will start again."

Information Morning