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  • June 29th, 2015

Mother Canada: Who are you and where did you come from?


John Baker from The Guardian discusses the growing nationwide criticism of the proposed giant statue of “Mother Canada” (‘Offensively tasteless’ Mother Canada plan sparks outrage against PM, Guardian, 26 June 2015).

The statue of Mother Canada—a cloaked female figure with her arms outstretched towards the Atlantic Ocean—is intended to honour the country’s soldiers who died overseas.

But growing anger over the plan has made it a new focus of opposition to the increasingly unpopular government of Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.

The proposed monument is an awkwardly remodelled, vastly upscaled version of an earlier statue, known as Canada Bereft, which adorns the memorial to the country’s first world war dead near Vimy, France.

The design has been widely lambasted both for its design and its proposed location in Cape Breton Highlands national park….

“A significant majority of those who are engaged with the issue believe that the statue either shouldn’t be built anywhere or for sure shouldn’t be plopped down in a beautiful national park,” [said Sean Howard, spokesperson for a local group opposing the monument].

The Harper Conservatives seem to have a penchant for gaudy, hubristic projects that raise the ire of local citizens, like the proposed monument to the victims of Communism on land long slated for a new federal court building in Ottawa. When asked for his thoughts on the National Capital Commission decision to commence preparations despite widespread objections, NDP MP for Ottawa Centre Paul Dewar replied:

We’re talking about a monument to honour those who were victimized from totalitarian dictatorships and we have a government that is using their role and their power in a way that you would see [used] by governments that really don’t care what people think. The irony is pretty rich…”

Read the full Guardian article here: ‘Offensively tasteless’ Mother Canada plan sparks outrage against PM (Guardian, 26 June 2015).

For further commentary from residents of Cape Breton, see: Green Cove statue plan panned at C.B. rally (Chronicle Herald, 16 June 2015).

Image credit: Chronicle Herald

 

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