Posted on June 23, 2021

Sir John A. MacDonald Statue Moved From Kingston, Ont., Park

CBC, June 18, 2021

Indigenous people and their supporters cheered in celebration Friday morning as a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was removed from its stone pedestal in his eastern Ontario hometown.

Construction crews began the work of taking down the two-tonne statue of Canada’s first prime minister from its perch at City Park in Kingston, Ont. — where it has stood since 1895 — in the early hours of the morning. {snip}

Kingston council voted 12-1 after a long meeting Wednesday to move the statue to nearby Cataraqui Cemetery, where the Father of Confederation is buried, after many in the community objected to its presence because of Macdonald’s role in the residential school system.


“We want that statue taken down and put somewhere where the First Nations people, when they come into Kingston … don’t have to be reminded of what has happened to our people because of the residential schools,” said Lisa Cadue, a Haudonesoonee woman. {snip}


Indigenous-led activists banged drums and sang songs in the lead up to the statue’s removal.

But there were also people unhappy with the decision, some of whom told CBC the move is a form of “cancel culture” that seeks to judge and erase historical figures based on present-day standards.

Two veterans carrying Canadian flags briefly stood in front of the statue to block construction equipment and objected to its removal. They stepped back after speaking with police.

“We’re a young country with not too many national monuments and this is one that looms large,” said Gordon Ohlke, one of the veterans.

“It’s been a part of Kingston for many, many years. And my family’s been here for many, many years. It’s part of me that they’re tearing down.”