Canadian troops land at Courseulle-sur-Mer on June 6, 1944.
A French developerplans to build a 70-unit condominium on the site where Canadian troops landed on D-Day to desecrate what opponents of the project call sacred ground.
The local authorities of Courseulles-sur-Mer granted planning permission forDomain of the dunesin February 2019. The two four-story buildings will be constructed just meters from Juno Beach, where Canadian soldiers fought and died during the June 6, 1944 invasion that marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler's reign of terror.
"Building condominiums on top of the memorial is just a huge insult to Canadians."
Foncim will construct the units and a parking garage adjacent to the Juno Beach Centre, Canada's premier World War II museum and memorial in Europe. The museum's lawyers have been fighting the organizers in court for two years.
Juno Beach Center, 19, has attracted more than 1.5 million visitors. He says condo construction is threatening his livelihood.
"The construction of condominiums at the memorial is simply a huge affront to the memory of Canadians who volunteered and overcame their fears to fight and liberate France and the continent," said Cindy Clegg, an Ottawa-based communications consultant, which led a campaign opposing development.
More than 14,000 Canadian soldiers landed and 359 died on the 10-kilometer stretch of sand codenamed Juno. It was the beginning of what the commander of Allied forces in Europe, US General Dwight D. Eisenhower, called "the great crusade". More than 5,000 would die during the two and a half months of fighting in Normandy.
"Canadians are being scammed," said the center's director, Nathalie Worthington.Legion Magazinein an interview from Normandy. “They were given this land and now this land, the road, is being taken away from them. It's like an expropriation."
About 359 Canadian soldiers died on D-Day at Juno Beach.
In one sentenceThe Juno Beach Center described the project on its website as the "biggest threat" it has faced since it opened 19 years ago. “In general we are not opposed to such projects on former battlefields; The French deserve to enjoy the freedoms that the sacrifice of our veterans has brought them," he said.
“However, the Dunes project envisages using the private road [downtown] for vehicle and construction worker access to the site. We are very concerned about the impact this will have on Juno Beach Center."
Worthington said basing legal arguments on the sanctity of the soil on which Canadian blood was spilled would not go to court.
"Technically, we're not against the building," he said. “We are against them wanting to use our road because it will kill us.
“We are limited to that position by the court. If I said I'm against this building because I think it's crazy, because it's disrespectful or whatever... I can't say that, because that would be a for us at JBCabuse of rights(abuse of rights). You in Canada may have this position, you may be surprised.
"We can only stand on the legal side."
The center, a not-for-profit charity, has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors since it opened in 2003, 28 percent Canadian and 36 percent French. A record 103,000 views in 2019, the year of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The presentation of the proposal by an architectDomain of the dunescondominium complex.
The entrance to the city center is the only entrance and exit. The museum paid for its construction on land leased to it by the managers of Courseulles-sur-Mer for 99 years "to give visitors access to the facilities".
Foncim's lawyers initiated legal action for the right to use the road. The museum's resources were almost exhausted when a judge in nearby Caen recently granted planning permission and opened the road to the developer. The fight has cost the center more than $400,000 in legal fees.
The museum said the construction traffic posed "an existential threat" to the center and "the Canadian Memorial's presence in Normandy."
"A bailiff could arrive any day and demand that we open our barrier and allow Foncim access to the highway," the statement said. “They will be able to drive their construction vehicles on our freeway at will.
“Based on the information available, the estimated number of vehicles is over 850. When that happens there will be chaos. The [downtown] is now in serious danger of being overrun and badly damaged by the opening of this road.”
Construction of the condominium is expected to take around 22 months. The center said the judge's decision came without instructions on how the road would be divided.
"It is impossible to organize road sharing in such a way that the commercial [centre] is not seriously affected economically and in terms of safety," he said, noting the adverse impact the pandemic is already having on its operations would have.
"These factors will lead to the decline and possible closure of the [centre]."
Director of the Juno Beach Center says Canadians have been "betrayed" as Canada's leading World War II museum and memorial in Europe prepares to build a 70-unit residential complex near the D-Day beach
The friendsJuno-Center-Strandand the residents of Courseulles-sur-Mer have spoken out against the project. The mayor who approved the permit, Frédéric Pouille, was recently elected to office. His successor, Anne-Marie Philippeaux, opposed the project but did not revoke approval.
Now Clegg has taken on the matter and formedjuno beach court, a campaign to raise funds for the center and urge Canadian lawmakers to persuade French authorities to halt development. The specific location of the condominium is a former battlefield which historians say may still contain the remains of soldiers killed on D-Day, likely German.
"If we are to preserve the sanctity of this sacred ground and honor the memory of the soldiers who fought and died on D-Day, we need Canadians like you to speak up to get our politicians to speak up get involved,” says the center’s website. . . .
According to Clegg, the center needs funding if it wants to continue to challenge the project. Ideally, he added, Save Juno Beach could raise enough money for the center to purchase the land from the developer and expand a memorial park on the property.
"People in Canada need to be aware that their place of representation here is in jeopardy."
He noted that the initiative's website had already sent more than 1,000 emails from opponents of the project to parliamentarians, including veterans and international affairs ministers.
"People are learning quickly that Canadians are not happy with the situation and are supporting their politicians to find a solution as soon as possible," he said.
The future of the museum is "in the hands of Canadians now," Worthington said. “We have achieved the maximum that is feasible here in the last two years.
"People in Canada need to be aware that their place of representation here is in jeopardy."
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders landen am D-Day von Bernières-sur-Meron.
GILBERT ALEXANDER MILNE/LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA/PA122765
Juno warone of the five Allied bridgeheads. British troops landed at Sword Beach to the east and Gold to the west; The Americans captured the beaches of Omaha and Utah further west.
The stronghold of Courseulles-sur-Mer, at the mouth of the Seulles River, was the strongest German defensive position in the Canadian theater of operations.
H hours late for a higher tide to clear offshore reefs and obstacles, the Canadians landed at Courseulles-sur-Mer later than their western allies and gave the German defenders advance warning of the attack.
'A' Company, the Regina Rifle Regiment, was among the first Canadians to land in a gap between two 75 mm guns at 8:05 am. m. It was more than 90 minutes after the general invasion began along the Normandy coast.
The Reginas, along with B Squadron of the 6th Canadian Armored Regiment (1st Hussars), neutralized the force and advanced on Courseulles. They cleared part of the city before returning to the beach, where they survived.WehrmachtThe troops had recaptured their weapons through trenches and tunnels.
Reginas' B Company landed to the east at 8:15 am. It was pinned down by snipers and heavy machine gun fire before the troops bypassed on the left, moving away from the position and, together with armored soldiers, flanked and captured the bunkers overlooking the beach.
Map of Allied landing sites on D-Day.
More Canadians landed in various sectors between Courseulles-sur-Mer and St Aubin-sur-Mer.
The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and 2nd Canadian Armored Brigade suffered 1,074 casualties as they advanced nearly 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) inland on the first day of fighting, the most powerful push of any Allied landing force.
"Any action that distracts from the sacrifices of those who ministered at Juno Beach is the wrong course of action."
The Reginas fought in Normandy and Northwest Europe until the end of the war, suffering 458 KIA on 7 May 1945.
In a brief statement, the Royal Canadian Legion said it was still collecting information on the current situation at Juno Beach.
"Any action that distracts from the sacrifices of those who ministered at Juno Beach is the wrong course of action," spokeswoman Nujma Bond said. "The Legion was upset to learn of this proposed development and we are currently discussing the next steps to respond to this potential incursion on sacred ground."
The center and adjacent lands are "an educational experience for anyone to learn what happened here and to learn the lessons now and for future generations," Clegg said. “The tranquility and sanctity of the place is completely broken by 70 condominiums towering over this area.
“You don't see condos in Omaha Beach. You don't see any condos in Dieppe. You don't see any condominiums in the Battle of Waterloo. Why You Should Have Juno Beach Condos?
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