Victoria mayor confirms John A. Macdonald statue will be relocated to new public space

Aug 30 2018, 5:28 am

The John A. Macdonald statue removed from Victoria’s city hall building will be relocated to another public space in the city, said Mayor Lisa Helps.

The statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister was removed from outside Victoria City Hall on August 11, after Victoria City Council voted to take the statue down due to Macdonald’s role as a leader of violence against Indigenous peoples.

In an op-ed published on August 29 in the Victoria Times Columnist, Helps apologized for the decision, acknowledging it made “some people feel excluded.”

“I didn’t recognize the great desire of Victoria residents to participate in reconciliation actions. The process going forward will enable this,” wrote Helps.

“I made a public commitment to bring the wishes of council and the public for a wider community conversation about reconciliation and a new location for the statue to the city family. I will do this,” continued Helps.

The Mayor also said she has arranged for a meeting with the John A. Macdonald Society and the statue’s sculptor, John Dann.

Helps also went into a deeper explanation about the decision to remove the statue stating its “original location was a barrier to Indigenous communities’ engagement with city hall.”

“Without relocating the statue, we were not able to invite First Nations to city hall in good faith and respect,” said Helps.

She confirmed that the statue will be relocated to a “more appropriate public space.”

“All the conversations that have taken place and will continue to take place — only serve to broaden our understanding of Canadian history.”

Prior to Helps’ letter, the provincial government of Ontario offered to give the statue a new home.

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