JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM

JUST THE FACTS ...


The following is a lengthy but necessary recap of the last 5 years that may, however, not really be everyone’s cup of tea. But then again, if you’ve perhaps followed the rather thrilling saga of the Never Forgotten National Memorial, and our protracted efforts to create Mother Canada, then it will certainly provide a much clearer perspective of our journey to date.

If you kindly decide to read this chronicle, and then find that you may still require additional information and/or, at the very least, further clarification on certain points made, then please phone me at 416 253 1917 or email me at tony.trigiani@nfnmfoundation.com and I will do my very best to reply to whatever your query may be, and do so as quickly as possible.

Le Meas, Semper …

(Gaelic Scottish & Latin for, “With Respect, Always“)

Tony P. Trigiani

President & CEO

NFNM Foundation

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Quite frankly, we at the Never Forgotten National Memorial Foundation (NFNM Foundation) have had a very bitter pill to swallow for all of our laudable efforts to “Honour Our War Dead & Respectfully Do So On Canadian Soil”. Common sense tells you that the vast majority of Canadians and their children could never afford to travel to France, or be it to other areas of Europe solely for the honourable purpose of experiencing firsthand the tragic evidence of war, by visiting the cemeteries and the monuments, in order to justly pay respect to Our Fallen.

If I may, please allow me the opportunity to support and expand on these comments with the following

summary of events. Our audited financial statements will verify that at the time of the termination by Parks Canada of our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the NFNM Foundation had spent several years and well over

$1.7 million dollars on attempting to complete the ever-changing requirements of the MOU, working in what we truly believed to be good faith, with Parks Canada.

Just one day prior to this decision by Parks Canada to terminate our MOU, records will acknowledge that the NFNM Foundation had already completed two of three key requirements needed for the right of obtaining a License of Occupation (aka a Building Permit).

The first one successfully completed, a full 8 months prior to termination, was the Mi’kmaq Ecological Knowledge Study (MEKS). The conclusion of this co-operative study in effect stated that The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq had no major issues to speak of, with regards to the construction proposed at the Green Cove site and that their only requirement was that open and free access be allowed and maintained along the shoreline of the proposed memorial site.

Please note that Parks Canada, in terminating our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 5, 2016 stated that their decision to do so, was solely based on the sudden realization that the NFNM Foundation could not deliver the Never Forgotten National Memorial on July 1, 2017 as proposed.

Please allow us to make one point perfectly clear, and that is that Parks Canada had been fully aware that this was the case for some time. That in fact, it was actually the result of their questionable decision to change from their initial requirement of a BA (Basic Assessment) which at the time was over 75% completed, to a far more complex DIA (Detailed Impact Assessment) which ended up increasing costs by tens of thousands of dollars, but far worse, also added at least 14 months to an already lengthy approval process to acquire a License of Occupation. This was the second key requirement and it was also completed prior to termination of the MOU.

Parks Canada knew for quite some time (aka legally being acquiescent) that the date of July 1, 2017 had become increasingly unattainable, and at best, that all parties would have to be satisfied with an “Inaugural Ceremony” versus a “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony” on that historic date.

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The third and last requirement in the MOU was that of “Full Funding”, which meant that all of the $28 million needed to complete Phase One, plus an additional 5% of that entire amount that was deemed needed for yearly maintenance, had to be “fully in the bank and prior to” the proverbial shovel hitting the ground.

This became a questionable game which quite honestly was a classic “Catch 22” scenario, or in other words, what comes first “The Chicken or The Egg”. The MOU demanded full funding, but in order to achieve this, we needed a License of Occupation and could not get a License of Occupation, without first having full funding. This of course obviously meant, that the NFNM Foundation could not officially start our national fundraising campaign in order to fulfill this full funding condition in the MOU.

However, and just for the record, the opposition continued to spread the malicious fear that the Foundation would end up completely destroying the Green Cove site, by running out of money and being forced to abandon the site, which in fact could never happen simply because of the legally binding condition of the full funding requirement in our MOU.

We would like you to be made aware, that several of those who opposed to the building of this national memorial, had and continue to have, extensive contacts within Parks Canada, and were at all times very much aware of key matters concerning the Never Forgotten National Memorial project, and especially of this particular clause in the MOU and yet still chose to spread malicious lies to their friends and allies within the media, as well as certain key government circles.

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Yet another strategy used to discredit the NFNM Foundation was that our intent was to destroy an absolutely pristine and virgin site (aka The Second Garden of Eden) which once again was a sinister and outright lie.

The fact of the matter was that Green Cove had previously been the long-time site of a small fishing village and only later had become one of a number of turn-offs on the current Cabot Trail, with an existing parking lot, with several trails and a series of wooden ramps and steps covering the site.

Please also note that this is indeed the new Cabot Trail and not the much older original one, and that this new one had been blasted out of sheer rock along most of the coastline. Many of these newly created turn-offs were actually used as dumping sites for the huge amount of blasting debris, but then again, those opposed would also vehemently argue that it was of course “virgin and pristine” debris.

With regards to the large rocky point (aka Remembrance Point) on Green Cove, which will serve as the location for Mother Canada, there were those that insisted that it was unique in nature and such a rare rock formation, that it should never be disturbed. However, expert geological facts proved that while it certainly has a distinctive profile and very unique shape, that quite frankly, the very same species of precious rock formation repeats itself for several hundred kilometers in either direction along the shoreline.

It was also repeatedly reported that we were going to cover the point entirely in concrete which was false and exaggerated. But rather, because of concerns for safety and the planned increased accessibility for the

handicapped, the elderly and of course our veterans, actually only 25% had initially been the amount of coverage intended. Which in fact, and as later stated in the final DIA, had been further reduced to only 15% coverage, by cantilevering various components of the proposed structure.

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The absolutely ridiculous and childish actions, both openly and very much covertly, for no other reason but that of the outright fear of increased competition within the business of commemoration, was and remains beyond being reasonable and was indeed extremely unfair.

The fact of the matter is that in April, 2015 the Chair of the Vimy Foundation stated publically of being so completely surprised and highly offended that the Never Forgotten Foundation was actually intending, and this in his very own words, to “steal” the image of Canada Bereft was sadly unwarranted, quite rude and no less than a farcical theatrical dramatization at its very best.

We can factually document that at least one of the Directors of the Vimy Foundation had been sent a complete NFNM Presentation Package as early as April, 2013 and had in fact also personally invited myself to attend and sit at his table for the Vimy Dinner Gala being held at the Four Seasons Yorkville Hotel in Toronto on the evening of April 23, 2013.

Even though the Foundation had already secured the legal rights to do so, in August, 2013 representatives from both Parks Canada and the Foundation respectfully met in Kingston, Ontario with Lieutenant-Colonel P.S. Scott Allward who was representing the family of Walter Seymour Allward, who was the creator of the Vimy Memorial and with that the statue of Canada Bereft, to hear firsthand of the NFNM Foundation’s plans to use her image as inspiration for the creation of Mother Canada.

We have documented correspondence of his positive position on the proposed matter, during this meeting and immediately after, and of his stating this was also shared by his siblings.

The fact of the matter is that the changes proposed in using the statue of Canada Bereft as a model for the creation of Mother Canada were those of her arms being raised and her facial expression being changed from one of sadness and mourning to one of hope and longing. For modesty purposes and better reflecting today’s standards, we took the liberty of slightly altering her attire. There was also a noted increase in size, but there is nothing proposed that could ever be deemed to be  disrespectful.

Please also note that Walter Seymour Allward died on April 24, 1955 and that copyright laws in Canada clearly state that 50 years later, all of his work had become public property.

That said, we have also on numerous occasions and in differing types of media, being falsely accused by the Chair of the Vimy Foundation that the intent of the NFNM Foundation and that of myself was solely to financially benefit from the promotion and marketing of Mother Canada “trinkets”, which quite frankly, was grossly incorrect and highly insulting to say the very least.

First and foremost, all copyrights and trademarks concerning the Never Forgotten National Memorial, and those directly associated with the creation of Mother Canada are extremely marketable property and are all legally registered to the NFNM Foundation. More importantly and as clearly stated in our MOU with Parks Canada, they all in fact, will immediately become the property of the People of Canada, the very moment that construction actually starts at the Green Cove site, and this legal understanding very much still exists, and will of course … Never Change!

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There were those that insisted that the NFNM Foundation was not capable of delivering a national memorial of the scope and magnitude proposed, to this misconception, please allow me to respond in the following manner…

The project manager hired was a professional engineer who had worked for some 30 years with Parks Canada and had actually been highly recommended to the Foundation by senior management working out of Parks Canada Gatineau head offices. Please also note, that he in fact, had soon after the termination of the MOU been contracted to do consultation work on a major project in Alberta by Parks Canada.

Construction management responsibility were skillfully handled by a team from Stantec, a globally recognized engineering/consultant firm and one that also successfully delivered the completed DIA requirement on February 4, 2016 and yes, that was in fact the day prior to the MOU termination by Parks Canada.

Projected estimates required for all construction costs were managed and supplied by PCL Contractors, yet another globally recognized firm.

Marketing and promotional materials are provided by the firm of Rayment & Collins. Intellectual Property Law matters are provided by the firm of Bereskin & Parr.


All legal matters up to the termination of the MOU were provided by the firm of Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP. The auditors of the NFNM Foundation are the firm of KPMG Canada.

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Please note, that the NFNM Foundation to date has spent close to $1.9 million dollars and counting. However, we still intend to continue to concentrate all of our efforts in proving that given “a fair and reasonable time”, the financial means do exist within Canada, America, as well as the Commonwealth and even parts of Europe, to help privately fund this historic national, if not integfffrnational project, and even more importantly, that this spectacular national memorial complex, can and will continue to pay its own way … forever!

Not only will Mother Canada become the new global symbol for remembrance, as she lovingly beckons

Her Children — Our Fallen home once more, but that she will also be immediately embraced and respected worldwide, as the iconic symbol of “This Land — Your Home — Our Canada” forever welcoming all those that dream of making this incredible nation their new home.

For more information and a far more detailed look at the proposed Never Forgotten National Memorial site please visit us at www.nfnm.ca to get even more facts and none of the fiction.

See for yourself the stunning beauty, the true significance of the message and the meaning that has been lovingly woven into the Never Forgotten National Memorial, and with that, the creation of Mother Canada.


 


FOR THE LOVE OF CANADA

FOR THE RESPECT OF OUR FALLEN