At an emergency meeting held Wednesday night, Kingston council decided to move the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald to his gravesite, pending Indigenous consultation.
It was a lengthy special meeting, centred around the discussion of what to do with the statue currently standing in Kingston’s city park.
Macdonald’s legacy has been under scrutiny over the past number of years and even more so in the past few weeks in the wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at unmarked gravesites at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
Earlier this week, a city working group met to discuss the fate of the City Park statue after renewed calls to remove it from its downtown location. The group voted unanimously to recommend the statue’s removal to council.
About a dozen delegations presented their thoughts and opinions both for and against removing it.
Councillors had three options: keeping it in place; taking it down and putting it in storage; or taking it down and relocating the monument to Cataraqui Cemetery where Macdonald is buried.
In the end, councillors voted on option three, 12 to 1. Council will consult with local Indigenous communities before moving the statue to the cemetery.
The city released the following statement Thursday about the timeline for the removal of the statue:
“Following l(Wednesday) night’s council decision, the public can expect that there will be activity at City Park starting (Thursday) to mobilize equipment and secure the site in order to proceed with the removal of the Sir John A. Macdonald statue. The removal is expected to take place on Friday morning starting at 6 a.m. and take several hours”