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WARMINGTON: Father of Confederation’s statue historical past however his legacy can’t be erased

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Whereas town of Victoria is about to tear down a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, the province of Ontario is able to stand him again up.

However will they be allowed to?

Or are the historical past re-writers going to wash the Father of Confederation’s legacy all collectively?

Both means, the brand new Premier Doug Ford-led Progressive Conservative authorities wrote to British Columbia capital metropolis’s Mayor Lisa Helps on Friday asking that Canada’s first prime minister’s statue be repatriated to Ontario to be proudly erected as soon as once more.

“As father of Confederation and our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald holds a big place within the hearts of many Canadians and must be honoured accordingly,” wrote Todd Smith, Home Chief and Minister of Authorities and Client Companies. “Sir John A Macdonald constructed and formed this nation and province. He related the west to the east beneath one flag and one title.”

Letter from Todd Smith, Home Chief and Ontario’s Minister of Authorities and Client Companies, to Lisa Helps, the mayor of Victoria, B.C.

Now, not solely will the bronze statue be toppled and eliminated as a substitute of having fun with a brand new life and placement in his dwelling province of Ontario, the Metropolis of Victoria has determined to place him in mothballs and conceal him away in a storage facility.

Scottish-born Macdonald, who at 18 years and 359 days is Canada’s second-longest serving prime minister, was a member of parliament for each Kingston and Victoria. He was additionally instrumental in creating the nationwide railway that related the nation from east to west.

Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, is proven in an undated file photograph. (The Canadian Press/Nationwide Archive of Canada)

But, citing issues some Indigenous teams have with Macdonald’s speeches and coverage positions following 1867’s confederation, a choice was made to take away his statue from outdoors of Victoria’s metropolis corridor.

The Ontario authorities says it’s going to gladly take the historic artifact off their disrespectful and history-altering fingers.

“Our authorities goes not consider his reminiscence and legacy ought to acquire mud in a storage facility,” wrote Smith. “The federal government of Ontario is providing to take possession of the statue and we are going to proudly show the statue on Ontario authorities property.”

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For some time there it was trying like some widespread sense may assist save the statue. However not for lengthy.

“We’re not eliminating the statue,” Mayor Lisa Helps instructed The Solar, “It was a present to town.”

Disgracefully the reply isn’t any.

“We may have a continued dialogue with the nations and the neighborhood as to the most effective place, means and context to put the statue that balances commemoration with reconciliation,” Helps stated.

At this level that location will likely be a storage lock-up.

Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria, B.C. (Metropolis of Victoria website online)

Earlier town of Victoria vowed to take away the statue on Saturday and “set up a plaque that particulars town’s path of reconciliation with the Lekwungen peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations that led to the elimination of the statue.”

Helps stated in on-line put up: “It isn’t till we started this witness reconciliation program that I realized in regards to the function that Canada’s first prime minister performed in creating residential colleges, the results of that are well-known to be nonetheless felt at this time each by college attendees and their kids and grandchildren.”

The put up says a “cleaning, blessing and therapeutic ceremony” will likely be carried out on that spot.

No phrase on what her plans are for coping with crime, homelessness and drug abuse which, like the primary nations issues, won’t in any means be solved by this repugnant resolution.

I discover this punitive and selective erasing of many conservative historic figures’ achievements repulsive and a results of continuously bowing to revisionist bullying. So it was refreshing to learn Smith’s letter, witness Ford’s resolve and see Conservative Chief Andrew Scheer tweet, “We should always not enable political correctness to erase our historical past.”

The artist who sculpted the bronze statue in 1981 says he gained’t stand in the way in which of its elimination, although he stands by his creation.

“If my sculpture can engender a dialogue in regards to the violence inflicted on Native Peoples, then frankly, I’m honoured,” John William Dann Tweeted Friday. “I’m not certain that eradicating the sculpture is the easiest way to perform this, nevertheless, the sculpture belongs to town and it could do with it because it pleases, ruled, after all by regulation, together with artists’ rights.”

Macdonald’s many grand achievements far outweigh his flaws and concepts from a really totally different time. But he and his character have lengthy been vilified by the liberal left for political achieve. And it’s nonetheless taking place.

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That is additionally not Mayor Helps first foray into rejecting Canada’s historical past and traditions. When elected in 2014 she refused to take an oath to the Queen at her swearing-in ceremony, regardless of that reality her metropolis is called after the very queen Macdonald served beneath.

She stated that was for the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations too.

“If we actually are honest about reconciliation, we have to take away the statue, put it safely in storage and have a continued and bigger dialog in regards to the complicated function that John. A. Macdonald performed in Canadian historical past,” she instructed reporters.

It will begin by locking up and hiding away the Macdonald statue.

Ontario PC vitality critic MPP Todd Smith throughout query interval at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ont. on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Solar/Postmedia Community)

Smith strongly reminded “tearing down statues doesn’t erase the previous” and that “historical past is difficult and Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald’s historical past is difficult however serves as a possibility to be taught — for our college students, for our guests and for our decision-makers.”

Smith stated he was hopeful “our employees can co-ordinate the transportation and supply of the essential monument.”

It might have been becoming to move Sir John A. Macdonald again east by rail.

jwarmington@postmedia.com



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