LETTER: Statue honours Macdonald’s political legacy

Sir John A. Macdonald’s statue was not created to commemorate his stance on residential schools, but rather the fact that he was Canada’s first prime minister. That is an historical fact. While we now know that his thinking on the education of first nation children was wrong, that it has and continues to have negative impacts on our native population, does not change that fact.

His error in believing, at that time, that the native population was inferior to those who came in ships to this country was not his belief and his alone. We have acknowledged and accepted that belief was wrong. But his having those beliefs does not change the hundreds of other decisions he made that contributed in a positive way to the making of Canada as we know it today. It is those positive decisions that lead to the decision to commemorate him with a statue.

Personal I am appalled at the way our native peoples have and are being treated. No one person was responsible, and no one person can correct it. That is the sad truth. We, however, can shed light on those errors without destroying the historical record. That Sir John A. Macdonald was the first prime minister is not in dispute, and being remembered for that is not wrong.

In remembering his feet of clay, his capacity to be human, can be acknowledged as a monumental wrong, but it cannot be undone. What was done after that, by way of attempting to right that wrong, to work toward reconciliation, is also an ongoing truth.

The horror of residential schools cannot be forgotten, but neither should the good done in being the first Prime Minister of Canada. Add some history to the plaque on the statue, the good and the bad, but don’t discard the history the statue was intended to commemorate; and that was not his mistake in creating residential schools or his belief that our native people were not equals, but rather for his role in creating Canada.

Roberta Marshman

Saanich

Just Posted

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Esquimalt puts freeze on taxes for local businesses

The tax increase for residents sits at 5.51 per cent, averaging to an additional $46

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Saanich forwards student-targeted development to public hearing

Proposed development advertises itself to individuals who want a car-free lifestyle

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Volunteer green team joins forces to restore local habitats

Partnerships with schools educate and facilitate remediations

Most Read