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Acadian groups say Chignecto Isthmus should be designated national park

HALIFAX — Three organizations that represent Acadians in Atlantic Canada are proposing that the Chignecto Isthmus be turned into a national park.

The proposal is contained in a brief submitted recently to a Senate committee currently considering a bill that, if passed, would make Ottawa responsible for work to protect the narrow land corridor connecting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Nicole Arseneau-Sluyter, acting president of the Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, says the national park designation would help protect an area of cultural significance to Acadians.

Arseneau-Sluyter says it was Acadian settlers who first built the dikes to assist farming in the marshy area nearly 400 years ago, and her organization believes it’s up to the federal government to bolster the current infrastructure against the effects of climate change.

She says the national park idea also makes sense because of the number of national historic sites that are already in the area.

Both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick want Ottawa to foot the bill for the estimated $650 million infrastructure project, but the federal government has said it will only cover half the cost.

The Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse and the Société Nationale de l’Acadie were also part of the brief submitted this month to the Senate’s standing committee on transport and communications.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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