The Sir John A. Macdonald statue is removed from Victoria’s City Hall. (Black Press Media file photo)

LETTER: It’s time to find new home for John A. Macdonald statue

Why wait to relocate Sir John A. Macdonald?

Before first light on a Saturday two years ago, a work crew assembled in front of City Hall and spirited away the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald. It was a stunning act of failed municipal governance in Greater Victoria.

Pretty much every tenet of good governance was bungled during the entire affair.

The province was offered the 635-kilogram bronze statue, but quickly declined. The Ministry of Tourism in Ontario expressed interest, but that never materialized. The Confederation Fountain location on Menzies was entertained for a while. Perhaps the best option, the B.C. Museum, came up in many debates.

A public discussion series on reconciliation was born out of the statue’s removal and protests, after many residents accused the council of moving too quickly, running up an excessive $30,126 taxpayer bill, and limiting public debate.

Spurred, perhaps, council has recently added a governance review – the last was done in 2008 – to its strategic plan for 2021. It’s hoped the statue debacle will be used as a case study in what not to do and to stop it from happening again.

During a reconciliation dialogue on Sir John A. Macdonald attended by 350 people in March, Mayor Lisa Helps told the media a relocation decision won’t be rushed but made prior to the 2022 election. Due to the pandemic though, the final public reconciliation conversations are postponed indefinitely.

The statue could be used to educate people about the past including the context of the times they lived in.

So, why can’t or won’t mayor and council make a decision now on a specific date and place for the statue relocation to include a balanced account of Sir John. A. Macdonald’s mixed historical legacy?

Stan Bartlett

Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de Rock riders zoom through Sooke, visit big donor

11-year-old Sooke girl raised over $10,000 for Tour de Rock with bottle drive

B.C. Greens introduce all-women slate for Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay ridings

School trustee Nicole Duncan assumes Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidacy

Sooke seeks feedback on new building regulation bylaw

In addition to the online survey, a virtual online meeting takes place Oct. 22

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket Greater Victoria again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon but not approach levels reached a few weeks ago

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Abandoned Neucel mill in Port Alice to cost at least $17 million to decommission

Removing hazardous waste and de-risking the site ratchet up bill to taxpayers

Long-term care study credits fewer COVID deaths in B.C. than Ont. to funding, policy

The study was published Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Most Read