Ontario Premier Doug Ford is supposed to be a conservative. He is supposed to be against wokeism. He is supposed to be against cancel culture and political correctness and bending the knee to ideological thugs.
But actions speak louder than words, and when it comes to the statue of Canada’s founding father, Premier Ford is all about… inaction.
Indeed, the glorious statue of Sir John A. Macdonald remains boarded up, his head shrouded in a garbage bag. It’s been more than two years now since this desecration kicked in, and one ponders: how did a statue honouring our country’s first prime minister become the equivalent of granite-based pornography?
Almost as bad is Doug Ford’s cosmic flip-flop on Sir John. Indeed, the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington noted in a column back in October 2020 that Doug Ford was a champion for Sir John when the City of Victoria decided to remove its statue of Macdonald back in 2018.
Notes Warmington: “A newly elected Ford objected, tweeting ‘Sir John A. Macdonald played a central role in our national story. As one of the Fathers of Confederation, he founded our nation. That’s why our government wrote to the mayor of Victoria to say we’d be happy to give Sir John A. a new home here in Ontario.’”
So, what happened in the meantime? Well, just two years later it turned out that the Queen’s Park Sir John statue was too “triggering” to those delightful “mostly peaceful protesters” who make up the rank-and-file of Black Lives Matter.
Whenever those scholars congregated at Queen’s Park, they would vandalize and paint-bomb the statue. They probably would’ve torn it down, too, but apparently nobody in this magnificent mob possesses an engineering degree.
But who needs heavy equipment or explosives to trash a statue when the sitting government will effectively do the dirty deeds for the mob by keeping the statue out of sight, boarding it up. Out of sight, out of mind?
And as Warmington notes in his column back in 2020: “Ford hasn’t found the time to restore the defaced statue in front of his office. Historians have debated Macdonald’s positives and negatives. He got things wrong and he got things right. But the man responsible for creating Canada and many other things over 18 years in office will always be part of history no matter how many statues remain.”
Indeed, as the saying goes, “show me a great man and I’ll show you a flawed man.” But that chestnut apparently does not fly today. And apparently, Ford’s offer to receive the Victoria, B.C. Sir John statue is now off the table. Or maybe the premier is just hoping everyone collectively forgets about that pledge? What a disgrace.
In the meantime, a sign remains affixed to the statue’s makeshift tomb. It reads:
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is a place for debate and deliberation on issues that matter in our province. Though we cannot change the history we have inherited, we can shape the history we wish to leave behind. The speaker of the Legislative Assembly is considering how the depictions of those histories in the monuments and statuary on the Assembly’s grounds can respect all of our diverse cultures and peoples.
But what does this mean? Is Sir John headed for permanent cancellation (a.k.a., placed in cold storage)? Or will the statue remain boarded up… as in forever? And when exactly is a decision going to rendered on this matter? Before or after the second coming of Christ?
Seeking clarity, I reached out to Ivana Yelich, Premier Ford’s spokeswoman. My questions:
- The language [on the signage] seems ambiguous. Does this mean that the statue is eventually going to be removed from Queen's Park?
- Why is the statue of our first Prime Minister entombed in such a fashion in the first place?
- I understand this statue has been vandalized in the past by Black Lives Matter protestors. Does Premier Doug Ford feel that these people are a "bunch of yahoos" (the term he used to describe those peaceful protestors who demonstrate against the economic lockdowns)?
- Boarding up the statue has effectively removed it from public gaze. Is this essentially caving into the mob that embraces cancel culture as opposed to taking a firm stance that those vandalizing monuments shall be prosecuted?
That was some two years ago. The response? Crickets.
So, are we to assume that going to bat for the first Conservative prime minister is not “on brand” when it comes to today’s Progressive Conservative government? If that is indeed the case, then just brand the Doug Ford PCs as “Jell-O.”