Déclaration faite le 14 juin 2011 par Senator Rose-Marie Losier-Cool (retired)
Hon. Rose-Marie Losier-Cool:
Honourable senators, on June 3 and 4, I attended the 130th annual general meeting of the Société nationale de l'Acadie, an organization that brings together a number of provincial advocates for Acadians and promotes Acadia to our governments and abroad.
We gathered at a place that is almost mythical for Acadians: the Grand-Pré National Historic Site in Nova Scotia. One of the greatest Acadian settlements before the Deportation, Grand-Pré suffered the expulsion of its entire Acadian population and the confiscation of assets by the British during the Great Upheaval of 1755.
Grand-Pré, home of Evangéline, the subject of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, is now a Parks Canada national historic site. This site, which is unique in the world, commemorates the Deportation and is steeped in history. For this reason, its supporters, the entire population of Grand-Pré — including anglophones, Acadians and Mi'kmaq — have been working since 2004 to have the Grand-Pré site added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. By respecting the environment, it has become a sustainable development project.
The World Heritage List celebrates more than 900 extraordinary sites throughout the world, including the Rideau Canal here in eastern Ontario and the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia. Once a site is placed on the list, its integrity and what makes it so special must be protected from any change or destruction. Inclusion on the list also guarantees increased tourism, which would provide attractive economic benefits for the Grand-Pré area.
UNESCO will decide whether or not to add Grand-Pré to the list in July 2012. Honourable senators, if you would like to learn more about this wonderful project, I suggest you visit the website inscriptiongrandpre.ca. Perhaps you, too, will be as enthusiastic about this project as I am, and I wish it complete success.