Demand the Return of the Statue of Sir John A.
On August 11th, the City of Victoria, under the direction of Mayor Lisa Helps, committed an act of treason against our country. What other word can there be for it than treason? There, right in front of Victoria City Hall, she toppled the long-standing statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister – one of our Fathers of Confederation – Sir John A. Macdonald.
The removal of this monument undermines our history, unity, and integrity as a nation. It is a provocative and offensive action, violating that timeless wisdom: “Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.” – Proverbs 22:28.
Without any public consultation, Mayor Helps and the majority of her City Council (with the exception of Councillor Geoff Young) took it upon themselves to condemn and dishonour the memory of one of our nation’s cultural icons. This was the man who helped create our Dominion and craft its democratic institutions. This was the man who built the transcontinental railway from sea to sea.
Apparently, the only "consultation" that took place was among a small group of select Councillors and aboriginal representatives called the "City Family". This was a special interest group that did not bring to the table all of the diverse perspectives of the people of Victoria. In fact, the Mayor makes it clear that the broader public was excluded on purpose. She made these paternalistic remarks: "The reason we're not doing a big public consultation on the statue per se is it would become a debate about do we keep the statue or do we remove the statue. That's not the debate we want to have." (Watch the video here.)
According to Mayor Helps and the City Family, Sir John A. Macdonald’s (unwitting) sins against the aboriginal people of Canada were far too great. In fact, they believe those sins made his statue a constant eyesore and irritant to the people who passed it by everyday.
But was it really such an offence to the people of Victoria? Or was it just an offence to Her Worship?
Justice Murray Sinclair, the chairman of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (who is an aboriginal lawyer, judge, and senator from Manitoba), said this: “The problem I have with the overall approach to tearing down statues and buildings is that it is counterproductive to reconciliation because it almost smacks of revenge or smacks of anger.”
Mayor Helps’ actions, whether they were vengeful or not, have certainly fired up a vengeful spirit in others. On August 17th, less than a week after the statue came down in Victoria, another statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was grossly vandalized by anti-Canadian extremists in Montreal.
Rather than moving our nation forward on the path of reconciliation, Mayor Helps appears to be dividing Canadians, giving extremists an excuse for their actions, and stirring up anger and frustration among average citizens. That is what treason does.
That is why we are calling for the immediate restoration of the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald. Nothing short of the return of this statue to its place of honour will restore our faith in our elected officials and lead us forward in the path of true reconciliation.
Please join us in signing this petition to call for the restoration of the statue of our first Prime Minister. With B.C. municipal elections set to take place on October 20th, the Mayor and her Council will be paying close attention to what people are saying. We have a real opportunity to get the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald restored. Please sign and share our petition!
FOR FURTHER READING
-Response from the Mayor's Office: http://archive.citizengo.ca/John-A-Reply-Victoria.pdf
-Ontario Proud: https://www.facebook.com/OntarioProud/videos/2151388888471647/