O'Toole dodges question on removal of Sir John A. statue, commits to “action”

O'Toole dodges question on removal of Sir John A. statue, commits to “action”
Source: CPAC
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Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O'Toole addressed media yesterday to discuss the discovery of the buried remains of 215 children at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

In his remarks, O'Toole gave an anecdote about explaining the discovery to his son, and cited the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's [TRC] Calls to Action 71 to 76.

When asked about the news that Charlottetown's city council voted to remove a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald from Victoria Row, O'Toole did not provide a direct answer.

“...I've talked about our duty to reconcile discussions with our past with our commitment to reconciliation today. Those have to be respectful conversations, and even I've fallen short of my own expectations in that regard. But what we have to do is mark sure that we're committed to reconciliation and what I've proposed today is accelerating the truth and reconciliation commission's recommendations dealing with missing children 71-76.

“I'm asking Mr. Trudeau to move immediately. You will have the full support of the opposition. Let's show that we're going to use this terrible discovery last week to recommit to reconciliation and 71 to 76 of those calls to action will give the families some degree of closure and allow for healing that is so necessary. So this is beyond politics. Let's move swiftly on those calls to action.”

You can watch Erin O'Toole's answer here:

When the reporter pressed on the statue issue, O'Toole stuck to his lines about the TRC with a focus on Justin Trudeau's inaction. 

“I want commitments made. And if you look at the commitments, I'm calling for today — 71 to 76 — they will address providing some closure, helping families know if... one of their ancestors was one of the children found in these graves. This demands action, and you know, sometimes the clarity of a nine-year-old, when I was explaining it to [my son], shows that we have to move.

“Mr. Trudeau promised to implement all the reconciliation measures of the TRC and he really has moved at a snail's pace. So I want Canadians to know, particularly Indigenous Canadians, that I will not just commit to words like the prime minister, I will commit to action and a process of healing and reconciliation.”

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  • By Tamara Ugolini

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