For the second year in a row, there will be no celebration on the birthday of Sir John A Macdonald.
In the past, an event had been organized by local author and historian Arthur Milnes, but after his home was vandalized and other events protested, he decided to no longer host them.
“That attack on our home over this took a lot out of me I am still dealing with my shrink,” Milnes wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week. “We had to cancel last year’s statue ceremony over public safety concerns, particularly for school children.”
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Local Sir John A landmarks have been repeated targets of vandalism over the years, and on his birthday, the city hoped to prevent similar incidents.
“I think it’s fair to say that there have been security measures that have been in place for a number of years, at different locations around the city,” Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said.
Security around Kingston City Hall, the statue at City Park and MP Mark Gerretsen’s office, which was covered in red paint last year on Sir John A Macdonald’s birthday.
City of Kingston officials have said they won’t completely distance itself from Sir John A, instead telling stories, both bad and good, related to one of the fathers of Confederation.
“There are the dark chapters. I think it’s a disservice to ignore one, or both of them,” Paterson said.
So I think it’s an opportunity to continue to engage in those discussions.”