Regina Council votes to remove Sir John A. McDonald’s statue from Victoria Park

The Regina City Council has decided to remove Canada’s first statue of the Prime Minister from the park and keep it until a new location is found.

so 7-4 In a vote on Wednesday, the councilor voted in favor of removing and storing the statue of Sir John A. McDonald from the city’s Victoria Park. After being asked to remove due to the role of the former Prime Minister in establishing a colonial system, including Indian housing schools. ..

The council spent almost four hours hearing opinions from those who agreed and disagreed with the dismissal before voting.

In recent years, McDonald’s monuments nationwide have attack And Vandalism, Parliamentarians have Blame..

Reconciliation Regina President John Hopkins told the council that the statue was unpleasant for many, both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

Some have suggested placing the statue in the museum and moving it behind the state legislature or to the RCMP Heritage Center.

Regina Resident Trevor Lacnes, who opposed the removal of the McDonald’s statue, does not believe that the city will put the statue elsewhere, citing an example of a long-standing statue of Metis leader Louis Riel. Stated.

Conservative Senator Denise Batters, letter To the Mayor of Sandra Masters and members of the Regina City Council on March 29, claim that the statue of McDonald’s is “a permanent symbol of the promise provided by the Union” so that the statue stays in place. Prompted to.

“Without McDonald’s pragmatism, skills and determination, Canada would not have been united into one great and powerful nation,” Butters wrote.

“Of course, the leaders and heroes of our country are not flawless, and McDonald’s is no exception.”

She added that leaders are a product of their time, which allows them to explore McDonald’s heritage with hindsight by looking at the outcome of decisions and policies made by McDonald’s.

“But we can’t replace his historical background, his values ​​and judgments, with what is prevalent in our own modern times,” she writes. “We can’t erase our history-don’t-but we need to add to it and provide a complete context.”

In January 130 Experts have issued a joint statement defending McDonald’s heritage.

Statements signed by historians, policy experts and ideological leaders ensure that Canadians have “access to a balanced view of our common past and those who created us.” Encouraging governments, historians, teachers, the media, etc.

The joint statement highlights many of McDonald’s achievements. For example, he led the first coalition effort to integrate the scattered colonies of British North America into Canada. It discouraged aggressive American expansionism. Acquired territory that made Canada the second largest country in the world. He persuaded Manitoba, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island to join the coalition.

Other achievements, according to the statement, include leading the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Freedom of expression and promotion of coverage. He defended the unity between French Catholic-dominated eastern Canada (Quebec) and English-Protestant western Canada (Ontario).

One of McDonald’s failures was the establishment of a national policy on Indian housing schools, the signatories said. This policy required all indigenous children to be taught and assimilated into mainstream Canadian society in the Euro-Canada and Christian way of life.

“Despite its widespread support at the time, the school had a dark legacy to this day,” the statement said, saying McDonald’s made “many other mistakes” regarding indigenous peoples and policy. I added. Disapproved. “

However, the signatories documented concerns and friendships with Canadian indigenous people, arguing that McDonald’s failure had to be weighed against his contribution to the state.

A public consultation process takes place to determine what the next steps will be.

Use files from The Canadian Press