By SHANNON KELLY
One of Nova Scotia’s most photographed sights and top tourist attractions (it receives 500,000 tourists per year) may be lost forever if a community group doesn’t step in to save it from demolition before the end of May.
Peggy’s Cove is not the only lighthouse on the chopping block: 970 lighthouses across the country are in danger of demolition after the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced in 2010 that it can no longer afford to maintain them. Working lighthouses will be converted to less costly steel towers.
Canada’s Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act does allow for community groups to take over the lighthouses, but thus far no group has stepped forward to maintain the historic 1868 lighthouse on Nova Scotia’s east shore. Barry MacDonald, president of the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society, told CTV that the lighthouse is “beyond the range of small community groups to care for,” which may explain why the federal government has only received one petition to assume responsibility for the structure. The provincial government is considering taking over the lighthouse but has not announced a decision yet.
Petitions will be reviewed by the federal government after the May 29 deadline.