Nova Scotia

Mother Canada editorial in Calgary Herald 'screamed for ridicule'

The Calgary Herald published an editorial on Thursday defending the use of public money to build the controversial eight-storey Mother Canada statue. The reaction on Twitter? Fine — take her.

'Better as a siren of the bitumen fields,' said one tweeter

Mother Canada pictured on Tunnel Mountain in Alberta. (Hooberbloob/CBC)

The Calgary Herald published an editorial on Thursday defending the use of public money to build the controversial eight-storey Mother Canada statue. The reaction on Twitter? Fine — take her.

"If they feel that strongly about this, they should show their love of the troops by building this darned thing in Banff or along the Bow River," said Trevor Adams, senior editor of Halifax Magazine.

"I would like to see them stand behind what they're saying."

The Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation wants to build the 24-metre statue on a stretch of a trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

According to the foundation's tax records, it has already received $90,000 in federal money. The foundation says it has applied for more public funding.

"We don't see a problem with federal money being injected into the project. After all, this is about the soldiers who fought for our country," reads the editorial.

"To quibble over a memorial for people who unhesitatingly gave their lives for this country is petty and mean-spirited and dishonours their memories."

Adams said it's a "funny view" for the newspaper's editorial board, considering they've come out in the past against school fees and other "perfectly good uses of government money."

"[The editorial] is basically saying if you're opposed to it, you just don't love the troops," he said.

Adams took to Twitter to suggest the statue move closer to the editorial board, where she'll get the proper love.

"Their view was so silly it just screamed for ridicule," he said. "The statue is just so ludicrously out of scale."

The troops were officially rallied. 

Adams cautions against reading too much into the reaction. He points out that Twitter is a "bit of an echo chamber."

While there has been opposition to building the statue in Green Cove, supporters maintain it's a fitting memorial that would boost tourism in northern Cape Breton.

Adams says the Calgary Herald has not responded to his idea.

The memorial's centrepiece statue would feature a woman with her arms outstretched toward Europe. The plan also includes parking for up to 100 vehicles, a souvenir shop and an interpretive centre at Green Cove.

To complete the first phase of the project by the planned deadline of 2017, the foundation needs $25 million.