The home of Canadian Confederation is keeping their statue of Sir John A. Macdonald — for now.
After a special meeting announced last week and held yesterday, Charlottetown's city councillors voted unanimously to keep the seated, selfie-ready statue of Canada's first prime minister on display at the entrance of Victoria Row.
At the time the special meeting was announced, Mayor Philip Brown said that “reconsideration of public statues” is part of the anti-racism “healing process:”
“It's good to have these discussions,” he said. “It allows us to re-examine our history.”
Indigenous activist Jenene Wooldridge, whose group L'nuey focuses on the Constitutional rights of Prince Edward Island's Mi'kmaq people, went on record against the necessity of tearing the statue down:
“Instead of that empty place on the bench for tourists to take smiling pictures, why don't we have signage that tells his true story? Without truth we don't get to reconciliation.”
The resolution passed by the council states that the “full story” needs to be told, and that Indigenous leaders would be brought in to discuss the fate of the installation.
The statue of Sir John A. was vandalized last week with red paint and cost the city $1,200 to clean. At the time, P.E.I Premier Dennis King said he was, “interested in having a thorough discussion as to how we can best, as Prince Edward Island, represent the history of who we are... and not trying to sugar-coat and pick just parts of it.”
John Alexander Macdonald was born in Scotland in 1815 and held the 1864 Charlottetown Conference to hammer out details of the Confederation of Canada.