Just hours after it was installed, a new plaque outside Victoria City Hall is in need of replacement.
The plaque was erected Sunday in the place of a statue of John A. Macdonald, which was removed from the front of city hall on Saturday morning.
Victoria city council approved the move earlier this week, saying it had been made in consultation with the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations over Macdonald’s complicated legacy.
WATCH: City of Victoria removes John A. Macdonald statue
The new plaque, which describes Canada’s first prime minister as “a leader of violence against Indigenous peoples,” was defaced with a large “X” carved across it.
The decision to remove the statue of Macdonald has sparked controversy in the provincial capital.
Some supporters of the removal say Macdonald’s public image has been allowed to stand unchallenged, and that having a statue outside of a government building sends a disrespectful message to First Nations residents.
Opponents say the removal was done without adequate public consultation, and that the city’s action amounts to erasing history.
“So John A. Macdonald, in this case, was a great man. We live in one of the greatest countries in the world, without question,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps on Saturday.
“And he was also the architect of the Indian Residential School system. So we need to find a way to both commemorate history and reconcile with history.”
WATCH: Victoria mayor on removal of John A. Macdonald Statue
No one on city council was available to respond to a Global News request for comment, but staff did confirm the plaque will continue to be replaced, no matter how many times it’s vandalized.
As who is responsible? There are no security cameras outside of city hall.
Police say that defacing the plaque is considered a criminal matter.
“There’s lots of feelings on both sides,” Victoria Police Department spokesperson Bowen Osoko said. “It’s important for people to think about the ongoing conversations they can have about this that are, frankly, more constructive.”
— With files from Simon Little