Mayor Mike Savage started off Halifax city council Tuesday in an unusual way – by reading a statement given to him over the weekend by a group of protestors known as “Removing Cornwallis”
Saturday, more than 100 protesters gathered at Cornwallis Park. Savage said he was given two things by organizers of the protest: a bag of tobacco and a declaration for him to read in council chambers.
He started off Tuesday’s council meeting by reading the declaration and the demands put forward by protesters, which are as follows:
- “The immediate removal of the Edward Cornwallis statue as it represents a symbol of genocide and continues to prevent reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples;
- “Host a Peace Assembly to facilitate reconciliation and peace amongst all peoples; and
- “To create an Indigenous-Halifax Expert Panel comprised of representatives from the Halifax Regional Municipality and Indigenous Peoples.”
WATCH: Halifax mayor Mike Savage reading declaration at city council
Before reading the declaration, one woman in the council’s gallery says she was asked to put down a homemade sign she made and eventually asked to leave.
Another protester was also asked to leave the proceedings after asking questions during the meeting.
Both signage and asking questions during council meetings are prohibited.
Originally, the group had planned to remove the statue of Edward Cornwallis themselves but reached a compromise with the city and the stature was tarped for a time being.
The statute didn’t stay covered for long, once the tarp was removed, someone vandalized the statue with graffiti.
City crews have since worked to clean up the statue.
Meanwhile, a survey earlier this year by Corporate Research Associates found that the majority (58 per cent) of the city’s residents disagree with the removal of Edward Cornwallis’ name from public infrastructure, such as roadways or statues.