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Fredericton chapter opposed to the cutting down of trees, ‘revitalization’ of Officers’ Square

The Council of Canadians Fredericton chapter is opposed to plans to cut down trees and ‘revitalize’ Officers’ Square.

Fredericton chapter activist Joan Green tells us, “Many of our Fredericton Council of Canadians people have been involved with this issue!”

Global News has reported, “Members of the ‘Save Officers’ Square’ community group say they’ll do whatever it takes to stop the City of Fredericton from ‘destroying’ a provincial and national heritage site, including taking legal action. Group members say the city’s plan to revitalize the square is threatening the key ‘character-defining elements’ that contribute to the heritage character of the site.”

There are concerns that the ‘revitalization’ means the site’s 19th century decorative cast iron fence will be removed, that St. Anne Point’s Drive will be widened, and that up to 19 large mature trees will be cut down.

The CBC now reports, “After weeks of complaining about a lack of public consultation, opponents of the City of Fredericton’s plan to modernize Officers’ Square in the downtown got a chance to be heard.  More than 200 people came out to listen Tuesday night to more than a dozen speakers address the city’s development committee about a project that would add a skating oval and permanent stage and make other upgrades to the square, at the cost of the trees there now. The city had already cut down some trees before hosting the public consultation meeting on Tuesday night.”

Speakers at that meeting included our friend and ally Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, the traditional chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council, and Margo Sheppard, who is a member of the Fredericton chapter. Click on their names above for videos of their presentations.

Global News notes, “The city is awaiting final sign-off from New Brunswick’s Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture John Ames on their plans to revitalize the square.” The NB Media Coop adds, “The city of Fredericton acquired Officer’s Square from the province of New Brunswick in 2017. Any changes to the defining features of the provincially-designated heritage site must receive approval from the province.”

In advance of the June 26 meeting, CBC reported, “The city has received permission from the provincial government to remove the historic wall at the square and the first five trees, with the understanding that 10 trees will be planted in their place later.”

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