Advertisement

Regina council votes in favour to remove John A. Macdonald from Victoria Park

Click to play video: 'John A. Macdonald statue being removed from Regina’s Victoria Park' John A. Macdonald statue being removed from Regina’s Victoria Park
WATCH: Regina city council voted in favour of removing the John A. Macdonald statue in Victoria Park and placing it in storage until a decision is made on where it should be relocated. – Apr 1, 2021

The John A. Macdonald statue in Regina’s Victoria Park is being removed and put in storage.

Regina city council voted 7-4 in favour of the decision at its meeting on Wednesday.

Read more: City of Regina report recommends removing John A. Macdonald statue from Victoria Park

The statue has recently become a contentious issue, given the controversial historical figure’s role in establishing colonial systems that oppressed Indigenous peoples across the country.

Statues in other communities have been subject to vandalism and protest, and many have been removed.

Click to play video: 'What to do about Canada’s controversial statues?' What to do about Canada’s controversial statues?
What to do about Canada’s controversial statues? – Sep 4, 2020

Macdonald has become notorious for his influence on the creation of Canada’s residential schools.

Story continues below advertisement

In June, the City of Regina began consultation with elders and community members, including artists and cultural groups, on how best to proceed.

Kerry Bellegarde-Opoonechaw is an activist and was involved in an online petition going around in the summer supporting the removal. She attended protests, spreading the message to the public.

Read more: ‘Harmful legacy’ of Regina John A. Macdonald statue under review

“They didn’t know their history and what exactly this guy did other than trying to be prime minister and then trying to lay the iron railroad,” Bellegarde-Opoonechaw said.

“He broke up a lot of things and he messed up a lot of homes and families, not just First Peoples.”

She said the statue is a reminder of the hardships Indigenous communities went through and continue to go through today.

Read more: Regina’s John A. Macdonald statue, cenotaph in Victora Park vandalized

“I’ve been sitting there for the last year or so thinking, why do we have that statue there? I think it’s more of a slap in the face and an insult to the First Nations people,” Bellegarde-Opoonechaw said.

“We’re still being reminded and it gets to me. There are places to honor those types of people and it’s not a public park.”

Story continues below advertisement

The statue will remain in storage until the city comes up with a plan to relocate it.

City administration will report back to council in Q1 of 2022 with the results of an engagement process to determine the final location of the statue.

Click to play video: 'New city report recommends removing John A. Macdonald statue' New city report recommends removing John A. Macdonald statue
New city report recommends removing John A. Macdonald statue – Mar 28, 2021

Sponsored content