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Cape Breton cemetery damaged by all-terrain vehicle tracks


Tire tracks have made a muddy mess of what is otherwise a pretty and peaceful final resting place next to the ocean in Dominion, N.S.

"Just a total, total lack of respect,” said area Councillor, Darren Bruckschwaiger.

Bruckschwaiger said all-terrain vehicles appear to have taken a shortcut through Chalmers Cemetery at the end of Ocean Avenue.

While there is a dirt path intended for vehicles, some of the tire tracks cross over headstones. In at least one case, the headstone of someone who served in the armed forces was driven over.

"The damage that's here is probably into the thousands of dollars, in work that will have to be done here at this site,” Bruckschwaiger said. “So sure, it costs a lot of money and that's hard on people who are trying to maintain this facility."

Bruckschwaiger was referring to people like Meaghan MacDougall, who has a grandfather and an uncle buried in the cemetery.

"It's pretty disgusting, not going to lie,” MacDougall said of the damage.

MacDougall is head of the volunteer committee that looks after the cemetery. She said they are working on their own to raise money for upkeep, which has been even more challenging ever since their church closed.

"It's going to be tight, just because the only income we have is donations,” she said. “We pay four times, five times a year to get the grass mowed, and it is going to be harder now that it's all ripped up."

Bruckschwaiger said he has contacted Cape Breton Regional Police about the vandalism, and that the force is investigating.

In the meantime, he has a message for ATV drivers who have been cutting through the grounds.

"Stay out of here,” Bruckschwaiger said. “This is not a place for ATVs. We've got beautiful trails they can use, there's all kinds of paths to different areas. This is not a place for an ATV."

MacDougall said along with any donations her committee might receive, the plan is to apply for grants to try and cover some of the repair costs.

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