Nova Scotia

Mother Canada name already taken, says Vimy Foundation

The head of Canada's Vimy Foundation wants the Never Forgotten Memorial Foundation to stop calling its project Mother Canada.

Vimy Foundation worried Cape Breton controversy will tarnish its good name

The Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation wants to build a $25 million statue to Canada's war dead that would be 24 metres high and feature a woman with her arms outstretched toward Europe. (Never Forgotten Memorial Foundation)

The name Mother Canada is already taken.

At least according to The Vimy Foundation.

Walter Seymour Allward's Canada Bereft, the looming statue at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France, is commonly known as Mother Canada.

The group, created to promote Canada's victory at Vimy Ridge in 1917, wants the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation to stop calling its proposed eight-storey statue in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park by the same name.

Vim Foundation chairman Christopher Sweeney says with Vimy's 100th anniversary on the horizon, he's worried the proposed statue in Cape Breton will cause problems.

"There's a lot of negative commentary out there on the Cape Breton project and so we fear a backlash and that some
Canadians will get confused and they will think there is something negative going on at Vimy, which of course is not the case," he said.

Sweeney says his group contacted the Never Forgotten Memorial Foundation and asked it to change its name.

That's when the lawyers' letter arrived.

"Basically they had trademarked the term Mother Canada and were applying it to merchandise that's going to be associated with this Never Forgotten monument that's planned for Cape Breton," he said.

The Never Forgotten Memorial Foundation says the Allward family has given the Cape Breton project its blessing.

The Vimy Foundation say it plans to run national ads reminding Canadians there is one Mother Canada and she is in France.