Last year, Victoria’s mayor and council had the statue of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, removed from City Hall and put into storage without any consultation from the citizens of Victoria.
That created quite an uproar.
On one side were people who applauded the removal due to the long history of oppression First Nation people experienced at the hands of the usurpers of their lands.
On the other side are the descendants of the usurpers who would like to see Sir John honoured for leading the vision of Canada as a new nation.
A better course of action for Victoria council would have been to engender greater understanding and healing through conversation and discussion. Let Victoria know they were considering the removal or relocation of the statue and the reason why. People are not insensitive to the feelings of First Nations. They are incensed by a council that thinks it knows best.
Victoria council should do a better job of honouring our history, the full story of our history, by returning the statue to Victoria City Hall and adding the First Nations perspective in the form of a statue or equivalent.
It’s doubtful they will.
So, what will happen to the ignoble Sir John A now? Will he find a place of respect in the B.C. Parliament Building or the Royal B.C. Museum? Will he be donated to Macdonald’s first family home in Kingston, Ontario – currently being renovated for $2.13 million? Or will he rot away in a storage closet, forever humbled by today’s political mores?