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The Feds Say No To Funding Mother Canada

Parks Canada says the controversial monument must be privately funded.

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As reported last week by BuzzFeed Canada, the group behind the proposed Mother Canada memorial in Cape Breton Highlands National Park will seek federal funding.

Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation

The Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation said it will ask for federal support through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, a $150 million two-year pot of cash set aside to fund projects for Canada's birthday.

The group had previously said the estimated $25 million to $60 million monument would be funded entirely from private donations. The group said last week it changed its approach because the Canada 150 program did not exist when the monument was being planned.

But Parks Canada slammed the door today on the idea of federal money going to the monument.

Never Forgotten National Memorial Fund

"Parks Canada has always been clear that the Never Forgotten National Memorial project must be privately funded and that the Government would not provide funding for the construction of the memorial," said Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle in a statement.

Parks Canada still has not given final approval to the project, though the department's minister Leona Aglukkaq has publicly backed the monument.

In fact, the Canadian government did give the foundation $90,000 last year, though that money went towards developing the proposal rather than actual construction.

The foundation only had about $6,000 in the bank as of the beginning of 2015. The group says it will start converting pledges into donations once it gets final approval but has not said how much money has been pledged so far.