John A. MacDonald statue in Victoria Park staying put

Lloyd Doyle
August 16, 2018

Indigenous groups have argued that Macdonald is disproportionately honoured in Canada given his role in creating the residential school system and otherwise harming Indigenous people.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps announced the statue will be stored in a city facility until an "appropriate way to recontextualize Macdonald is determined". "That's why our government wrote to the Mayor of Victoria to say we'd be happy to give Sir John A. a new home here in Ontario".

However, Jones had said that while Macdonald's role in Canadian history is a "cause for much discussion", Canadians can not ignore the role he played in founding the country.

"The city has no intention of getting rid of the statue", Ms. Helps said in response to the Ontario government.

The metal post and podium panel for the sign were available for use as they had been fabricated earlier for another objective while the decal with an inscription took only hours to make in the city's sign shop - a decision made by city staff after the council vote to remove the statue.

"It was a gift to the city". The City of Charlottetown says it has no plans to remove the statue.

The mayor said she doesn't regret the removal decision, which came after a year of engagement with local Indigenous communities.

"If we had done engagement with the larger community, the question would have been, 'Do we keep the statue or do we remove the statue?' and that's not the question we need to ask as a community".

"When you're looking at the past, it explains how we got to where we are today".

Helps has been criticized for fast-tracking the statue's removal just two days after council vote on Thursday, but she dismissed complaints about a lack of consultation. "I expect that there'll be more controversies as other cities, and provinces and the federal government take these kind of actions in an era of reconciliation".

The sign erected Saturday in the statue's place reads: "In 2017, the City of Victoria began a journey of truth and reconciliation with the Lekwungen peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, on whose territories the city stands".

"I would say that I would feel upset too, and this whole process of reconciliation is very upsetting, it's very unsettling, it's very hard".

On the posting for their event, the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group writes that "given MacDonald's pivotal role in the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples through the establishment of Canada's residential schools, the removal of a statue in his honour from City Hall will not "erase" history but is rather a means of reckoning with the injustices of the past".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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