VOW opposes “Mother Canada” War Monument

June 1, 2015

Re: Never Forgotten National Memorial Project

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to our attention that a memorial commemorating Canada’s war dead is being planned for Green Cove, a scenic rocky point on the eastern coast of Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada (CBHNPC) along the Cabot Trail. This will be a 24 meter statue of “Mother Canada” along with parking and other constructed areas to accommodate visitors.

It is inappropriate for the site, as national parks are mandated to protect and preserve natural areas.  It will be built on a geologically significant area.  It will divert attention from the cultural celebration of nature, life and beauty, to the topic of war, death, and destruction.

Rather than honoring veterans, this is a misuse of money that would be better spent studying ways to create and preserve peace, and to help those current veterans who have come back alive, but broken, as well the families of those who have not come back at all.

In addition, the fact that a company that will be involved in the project has done the study shows a conflict of interest and a lack of an unbiased review of the project. The fact that corporate sponsors’ names will be displayed on the base of the statue is crass commercialism.

As a women’s peace group, we object to this government’s use of an oversized and misplaced woman’s image to tug at our heart strings, while it continues to glorify militarism and send Canadians to kill and die abroad. We are insulted that a woman who presumably represents our caring nature is actually being used for advertising. We object to the gratuitous appeal to sentimentality (“Commemorative Ring of True Patriot Love”, “With Glowing Hearts Sanctuary”), which serves to sugar-coat the reality of war. We are told again and again by those who have experienced war that it is hell, so let’s scrap the idea of a statue that makes war something to aspire to, and let’s start working on creating peace. That is what women want.


Sandy Greenberg

on behalf of Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace