In the News – Lighthouses, always.

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse, by Scosborne

Tourism approaches like Nova Scotia’s, which rely on a certain amount of “rugged charm” to draw in the visitors, walk a fine line between picturesquely abandoned and dilapidated sights, and just plain neglected and ugly. Combine that with jurisdictional/responsibility issues, and you’ve got a news story.

Take, for example, the recent dust-up over the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse. Despite the millions upon millions of dollars the Conservative government has decided to bestow, graciously, upon the taxpayers who gave it to them in the first place (I never said this blog was apolitical), the government itself was apparently unable to round up the $25,000 necessary to pay for cement work and paint on the province’s most recognizable lighthouse this year (it was supposed to happen last year).

After making the news a few days in a row (with DFO offering to donate the paint to volunteers who were willing to paint the lighthouse – now there’s a liability issue if I ever heard one), some provincial MPs have announced that the lighthouse will, after all, be painted. Of course, the minister in charge of the DFO didn’t make this announcement, but the minister in charge of ACOA, who has decided to give DFO the money. Right.

This is an example of the kind of problems that can emerge when multiple jurisdictions or levels of government have responsibility for different aspects of one landscape – especially when goals are divergent. DFO only really cares if the light is working – the tourism industry (as well as many Nova Scotians) cares what it looks like as well.

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3 Responses to “In the News – Lighthouses, always.”


  1. 1 The Garden Ms. S 06/14/2009 at 3:09 PM

    Sounds like a sorry case of passing the buck – literally.

    I’m glad good sense prevailed. That lighthouse, in particular, is iconic to Canada’s east coast.

    • 2 bluenosegardener 06/14/2009 at 7:44 PM

      Yes, it’s not the tallest lighthouse in the province, but it’s definitely the most viewed – all the news reports I read said it gets about 1 million visitors a year! We feature it in our television and print ad campaigns, we take out-of-town guests there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the lighthouse even had its own stamp (too lazy to google that, though).

      I know DFO is determined to follow the “if the light works it doesn’t need maintenance” approach, but you’d think they would have a classification system for structural upkeep that prioritized high-profile lighthouses.


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