There is more pressure on the city of Kingston to remove the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in City Park.
About 100 protesters marched from City Park to city hall on Saturday, where they burned an effigy of Canada’s first prime minister.
Saturday’s protest comes after several recent pleas from the community to remove Sir John A Macdonald’s statue, which has been a fixture of City Park for over a century.
However, Mayor Bryan Paterson says that there are currently no plans to remove it.
“The vandalism, the burning and the effigy is really unfortunate because it turns people off,” said mayor Paterson.
On Saturday afternoon, an effigy of Macdonald was set on on the steps of city hall, while what appeared to be over one hundred people protesting for change.
“You cannot discount the thousands of people that see this statue as a symbol for white supremacy, oppression and genocide,” said Jesse Bell, who participated in the protest.
He says the statue should be removed because it’s seen as a reminder of generational trauma to many.
In the last few weeks there have been several petitions circulating online, asking for Sir John A. Macdonald’s statues to be taken down in Kingston and Montreal.
Macdonald’s reputation has been the focus of scrutiny in recent years due to his past attitudes and policies towards indigenous people.
“ It isn’t erasing history, it isn’t a slap in the face to the city of Kingston, it is simply trying to grant the level of recognition and dignity to thousands of people,” said Bell.
However, Mayor Paterson says they want to focus on adding history, not removing it.
” I think it takes away from the collaborative approach where we are trying to work together about how to address his legacy,” said Paterson.
Mayor Paterson says removing the statue will be the focus of a future discussion at city council and it will ultimately be up to council to decide the landmark’s fate.