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Victoria City Hall's statue of Sir John A. MacDonald could be on the move


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 01:00 PM

Statue-of-Sir-John-A-MacDonald-could-be-on-the-move.jpg

Situated along the 600-block of Pandora Avenue at Victoria City Hall's southern entrance, a statue of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, could be relocated. The statue was erected by the Sir John A. MacDonald Society in 1982.

 

Victoria City Hall's statue of Sir John A. MacDonald could be on the move

http://vibrantvictor...be-on-the-move/

 

Could the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald be on the move from its 34-year perch at the southern entrance to Victoria’s City Hall?

 

Possibly, according to a City Hall insider.

 

The source, who is familiar with going-ons at #1 Centennial Square, confirms that several years ago the Sir John A. MacDonald Society approached the City of Victoria to float the idea of relocating the first Canadian Prime Minister’s statue to the Inner Harbour or Centennial Square where it would command a greater presence.

 

Although the idea failed to gain traction at the time, recent musings that parallel the Society’s long-held desires could lead to a mobilization of like-minded efforts during Victoria’s Year of Reconciliation.

 

VV’s source tells us that members of local First Nations bands have posited the idea of relocating the effigy to an alternative location should a decision be made by the City of Victoria to install aboriginal artwork in place of the statue.

 

However, situating First Nations art may not necessarily be limited to the exterior of City Hall and may instead appear inside the lounge or foyer, leaving Sir John A. in place.

At this time no formal applications related to the relocation of the statue have been submitted to City Hall and discussions with elected officials on that topic have been brief. Should plans change the City is expected to initiate a public information and feedback process.

 

© by VictoriaVictoria.ca/Citified Media Inc.


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#2 Mike K.

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:02 AM

Well, it’s happening. On August 11th the City of Victoria will be removing the statue.

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#3 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:06 AM

If I say I am triggered by the removal of the statue, can it remain?



#4 sdwright.vic

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 11:16 AM

Well, it’s happening. On August 11th the City of Victoria will be removing the statue.


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#5 Bingo

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:15 PM

Well, it’s happening. On August 11th the City of Victoria will be removing the statue.

 

Queen Victoria is going to be rolling over in her grave.

We better abolish Canada Day as well.

 

On 8 March, the British North America Act, which would thereafter serve as the major part of Canada's constitution, passed the House of Commons (it had previously passed the House of Lords).[70] Queen Victoria gave the bill Royal Assent on 29 March 1867.[71]

Macdonald had favoured the union coming into force on 15 July, fearing that the preparations would not be completed any earlier. The British favoured an earlier date and, on 22 May, it was announced that the Dominion of Canada would come into existence on 1 July.[72]Lord Monck appointed Macdonald as the new nation's first prime minister. With the birth of the Dominion, Canada East and Canada West became separate provinces, known as Quebec and Ontario.[73] 

Macdonald was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on that first observance of what came to be known as Canada Day, 1 July 1867.[74]

https://en.wikipedia...hn_A._Macdonald



#6 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:18 PM

Queen Victoria is going to be rolling over in her grave...

Re-naming the City of Victoria is also on certain council members' agendas.  :whyme:


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#7 Wayne

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:25 PM

What's next?

#8 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:25 PM

What's next?

See my post above.



#9 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 12:55 PM

Not that it will matter to anyone on the CoV council, but this plan is not too appealing on the CHEK poll:

poll.JPG

I mean it's just the opinion of "settlers" after all.

 


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#10 rjag

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:06 PM

So much virtue signalling and white guilt here.

 

Was the guy an a$$? yup. Was he the architect of the Residential Schools that were around into 1996? Nope, Residential Schools started in the 1830's in New France and New Brunswick and were run by Anglican, Catholic and Methodist church groups long before Sir John A.

 

Did he ramp it up? most likely. Was he a racist? By todays standards yes, back then...not so much.

 

I think this is the wrong move. a more appropriate move would be to move the statue perhaps to the grounds of the Empress or at the back of the Leg by the Fountain and place a plaque telling the story of who he was warts and all.

 

Churchill was no different, he was a nasty drunk and carries some serious baggage around with him but he is also recognized as the person who saved us from tyranny...MacDonald, while not of the same stature, was the father of confederation and our 1st PM....that should stand for something 


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#11 rmpeers

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:14 PM

Agreed. His views were objectionable even then, but hiding the statue just seems like an easy, knee-jerk "quick win." Like a lot of our mayor and council's moves, it feels like the far far left equivalent of buck-a-beer.
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#12 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:22 PM

...Like a lot of our mayor and council's moves, it feels like the far far left equivalent of buck-a-beer.

Pandering to one's base is a non-partisan political strategy. Unfortunately it often works.


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#13 RFS

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 01:55 PM

Disgusting communist POS's

#14 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:28 PM

CHEK News poll results are not moving in the SJWs favour.

Capture.JPG


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#15 David Bratzer

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:33 PM

I would like to see the statue moved to the grounds of The Empress. This would be a good compromise that would respect all parties.  It is important to remember that two decades ago, it was the supporters of Sir John A. Macdonald who wanted the statue moved away from City Hall and to a more prominent and respectful location.  Here is a Times-Colonist article from February 11, 2000:

 

A brewing custody battle over the home for Canadian forefather Sir John A. Macdonald proved too complex Thursday for Victoria city councillors who ordered a staff report.
 
On behalf of the Sir John A. Macdonald Historical Society, lawyer Chris Considine asked councillors permission Thursday to move a statue of Canada's first prime minister from City Hall's side door to The Empress hotel.
 
"I cannot think of a really more fitting place for him to be appreciated by so many more people in a historical context as well as a cultural context," said Considine.
 
The society is offering to pay the $10,000 cost of moving the city-owned statue, the cost of a plinth and new plaque so that the statue can be installed across from the legislature and the Royal B.C. Museum.
 
"It's a wonderful opportunity to share Sir John with many people from around the world to convey a sense of the history of this country," he said.
 
The Tory prime minister was also Victoria's MP 1878 to 1882, although he never visited here until 1886.
 
But concerns expressed by Couns. Pam Madoff and Dave McLean over ownership, placement, cost and a replacement statue caused councillors to request a staff report and to call an extraordinary meeting of the little-known Public Art Advisory Committee.
 
McLean likes Sir John A. where he is and if he must move, he wants a replacement.
 
"Do we want to have a public art precinct around the Inner Harbour and the legislature or do we want art and historic memorabilia throughout our whole core and the community. That's an issue," said McLean.
 
But Considine said since Macdonald spearheaded the Canadian Pacific Railway, his statue should be on CPR grounds at the Empress. Further, despite other statues downtown, this would be the "first truly Canadian statue."
 
"(It's a) very important location symbolically and historically," said Considine.
 
The Victoria lawyer later increased his bid and said he will "recommend the society place some seed money with the city in trust for the purposes of whatever else they'd like to put there."
 
Madoff searched the city's archives and said she can not find support for the society's claim that the City Hall location was to be temporary.
 
And although Madoff supports the society's right to ask to move the statue, she disagreed with some of its reasons.
 
Madoff said the statue's location -- on Pandora Avenue across from a pub and a corner known for drug dealing and prostitution -- is not obscure and that it does not need a plinth.
 
"One of the things I've always found so delightful about Sir John A. is that he's on a pedestrian level which creates a different kind of interaction with the art," said Madoff.
 
Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe said "it may be fitting" to move the statue.
 
"There are a few concerns we have at this point. With some meetings with the proponents we will be able to resolve them, I hope."
 
Lowe wants answers on the city's responsibility of the statue while on private land, although the Empress has said it will maintain the art.
 
Here is another article, this time from February 10, 2000, in which the City of Victoria was accused of breaking its promise to place the statue in a more prominent location than City Hall:
 
Where's the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, the father of Confederation and former Victoria MP?
 
No one knows, says Victoria lawyer Chris Considine, a member of the Sir John A. Macdonald Historical Society.
 
And that's the problem.
 
Considine wants to move the statue, currently at City Hall's "obscure" side door on Pandora Avenue, to a flowerbed at The Empress.
 
"He's a founding member of our country and he should have proper prominence for bringing together this country," said Considine Wednesday. He'll make his request to city council today.
 
Considine said only reporters and City Hall staff know where the statue is.
 
Moreover, the intersection of Pandora Avenue and Broad Street is notorious for drug dealers and prostitutes -- giving Sir John A. Macdonald an eyeful.
 
Whereas a move to The Empress will give Macdonald "a prominent home from which he may view and reflect upon Victoria as it enters this new century."
 
Councillors Pam Madoff and Dave McLean took offence to the negative references to City Hall's location.
 
"We're just now spending a lot of money on the Broad Street revitalization from the Eaton Centre to that entrance. I quite like Sir John A. right there," said McLean.
 
McLean maintains Victorians do see the statue and moving it will only benefit tourists. But if the statue does go, McLean wants compensation -- an Emily Carr statue, perhaps.
 
"We're not going to let it go for nothing," he said.
 
Macdonald immigrated to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland and was first elected to the legislative assembly at the age of 29.
 
By 1857 he was the associate prime minister of Upper Canada and he forged the alliances necessary to make possible Confederation in 1867. He was also integral to the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
 
Macdonald represented Victoria from 1878 to 1882, and died in office in 1891.
 
"He's an outstanding representative of Canada and Canadian unity, as well he gives us a sense of our history both as British Columbians and Canadians," said Considine, whose grandfather was Macdonald's private secretary and official biographer.
 
Considine would like to see the statue moved by Canada Day, July 1. When the Sir John A. Macdonald Historical Society donated the statue to the city in the early 1980s, the idea was it would be placed in an ideal location.
 
Inexplicably, said Considine, the city "reneged on its commitment to provide a prominent location for the commissioned statue and rather placed it, without a plinth, at a rather obscure location near the side entrance to City Hall."
 
Madoff said the Pandora Avenue entrance is not obscure but could be convinced to move it -- if the "obscure" location was not a factor.
 
"They could say they'd like to move it to an even more prominent location and that would be fine," she said.
 
The historical society has offered to pay to refinish the statue, transport it, and set it on a four-foot plinth with a plaque containing biographical details.
 
In a letter to Considine, Empress general manager Ian Powell, said the statue is welcome at The Empress.

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#16 Mike K.

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:40 PM

The mayor said today on CFAX that history should be re-written and is constantly being rewritten.

I think she meant it should be revaluated and historical notions challenged, but “re-writing” history means hiding one truth in favour of another, or arguing (with insufficient facts to back it up) that one truth is no truth at all.

Why couldn’t we have appended an info box next to the statue or changed the description to a more modern take on who he was? Why remove it and hide it?

I ask because as a former resident of a Communist country and someone who had family suffer at the hands of the Nazis and the Soviets during and after the war, the Swastika is a symbol that is very toxic and emotionally draining. But so is the Hammer and Sickle, and equally so I might add. And yet its flown in my community during protests. Products are made and sold in my community with that symbol and derivatives of it, and politicians in this country wear garbs depicting that symbol and they do with so with completely immunity and indifference towards anyone who may hold a very different opinion of that symbol and what it represents.

And the great irony is that that symbol and the feelings towards it many Victorians hold are relegated to insignifance by the same people who champion the removal of MacDonald’s statue.


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#17 LeoVictoria

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:45 PM

And you won’t see a Lenin statue at city hall.

You are basically making the city’s point Mike. You wouldn’t appreciate a communist statue at city hall, and First Nations don’t appreciate one of a guy that thought they were savage sub-humans.

An easily understandable sentiment I should think although I imagine that this will not help the mayor or council politically.

#18 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:47 PM

Times-Colonist article from February 11, 2000


...Madoff searched the city's archives and said she can not find support for the society's claim that the City Hall location was to be temporary. And although Madoff supports the society's right to ask to move the statue, she disagreed with some of its reasons. Madoff said the statue's location -- on Pandora Avenue across from a pub and a corner known for drug dealing and prostitution -- is not obscure and that it does not need a plinth. "One of the things I've always found so delightful about Sir John A. is that he's on a pedestrian level which creates a different kind of interaction with the art," said Madoff.

So assuming she voted in favour of removing the statue today, what has Ms Madoff learned about Sir John A's history about which she was ignorant 18 years ago - or are her morals just that flexible?

Terms limits might be a good way for Councillors to save face.


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#19 RFS

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:49 PM

Come on kim jong un. Get some nukes and erase the mistake that is the unceded traditional territories of songhees and blah blah blah

#20 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 02:53 PM

...the great irony is that that symbol and the feelings towards it many Victorians hold are relegated to insignificance by the same people who champion the removal of MacDonald’s statue.

The feelings of those people don't matter. All people may be created equal, but in addressing past wrongs the opinions of a large majority of the population are ignored.



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