Vandals target contentious Edward Cornwallis statue with red paint

Click to play video: 'Statue of Edward Cornwallis vandalized' Statue of Edward Cornwallis vandalized
WATCH ABOVE: Just days after Halifax City Council rejected a proposal to hear whether or not the statue of Edward Cornwallis should potentially be removed from a downtown park, it has been struck by vandals. Global's Natasha Pace reports – May 13, 2016

The controversy over the use of Edward Cornwallis‘ name throughout the city of Halifax and the province, has become so heated that the statue was vandalized with red paint Friday morning.

Halifax regional council voted Tuesday to reject a motion to consider scrubbing the name from several municipal properties.

The red paint strewn on the statue Friday suggests some in the city aren’t happy with council’s decision.

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Cornwallis, Nova Scotia’s first governor, issued a bounty in 1749 on the scalps of Mi’kmaq men, women and children, which some historians have called a “genocide.”

READ MORE: Military historian urges caution in Halifax’s debate over Cornwallis name removal

There have been several campaigns across the province to have the name removed from a city street, park, and to have a statue in the south end Cornwallis Park taken down.

“Stop honouring men, who from the Mi’kmaq point of view is a white supremacist,” Mi’kmaq elder Dan Paul said Friday.

Paul has been leading the charge to have the name removed from provincial landmarks.

“The statue was put up during quite racist times in Nova Scotia, in the 1930’s, and at that time, keep in mind that there were segregated schools here and that black people couldn’t go to theatres, they had to go to the back of the hall and so forth and so on,” Paul said.

“I hope we’re making some progress in race relations in Nova Scotia.”

Last December, Premier Stephen McNeil said he was ready to ask city hall to remove the statue commemorating the historic figure from Cornwallis Park.

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— With files from The Canadian Press. 

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