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


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#41 Bingo

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:59 PM

 

What's in a name? Call to remove John A. MacDonald's name from schools meets firm opposition.

http://angusreid.org...onald-monument/



#42 LJ

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:59 PM

If Lisa could just understand that there wouldn't be a Victoria for her to ruin if it wasn't for our white forefathers.


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#43 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:00 PM

I found Her Worseship's comments even more odious and dismissive than usual (which is saying something).

...“It’s not like we’re building a new bike lane, or building a new park and we want public input the city is committed to a process of reconciliation and this is the action that we’re taking,” said Helps...

https://www.cheknews...liation-477571/

"This is the action that we're taking" whether you like it or not.



#44 David Bratzer

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:05 PM

Here is another good article about the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald. This one was written by Arthur Milnes and published in the Kingston Whig-Standard on June 29, 2002. Normally I wouldn't copy the article word for word. However, the article is 16 years old, publicly accessible for free to anyone with a library card, and it contains material that is clearly in the public interest to read and discuss:

 

VICTORIA - On the Pacific coast of the nation he founded, Sir John A. Macdonald stares out today towards a seedy street in this otherwise beautiful city.
 
He has a somewhat bemused look on his face as he stands, tucked near a side door of Victoria City Hall.
 
Those coming in and out of the doors hardly notice him as they go about their business.
 
"Buy him a drink," one man says with a giggle when he sees a reporter photographing the statue one hot afternoon earlier this month.
 
At least the man knows who the statue depicts.
 
It was 20 years ago Monday when members of the Sir John A. Macdonald Society, after raising about $60,000 and commissioning a leading artist, presented the statue to the City of Victoria to honour Canada's first prime minister and former Victoria MP.
 
Macdonald represented Victoria in the House of Commons after Kingston voters gave him the boot in the late 1870s.
 
B.C.'s lieutenant-governor at the time, Henry Bell-Irving, unveiled the statue on Canada Day, 1982.
 
Two decades later, Sir John A. Macdonald Society member Chris Considine, a Victoria lawyer, says the City of Victoria has let down his society and the memory of Macdonald.
 
"It [the statue] was placed, temporarily, in the society's view, outside the entrance to City Hall," Considine said in an interview. "And you'll see it doesn't look as if it was meant to be placed there, on the understanding that it would, ultimately, be placed in a position of appropriate prominence befitting Sir John.
 
"The society wants it to go to a prominent place for Sir John."
 
So far, Considine said, the City of Victoria has refused to honour the commitment he said it made 20 years ago.
 
"We paid for it, it's our statue as far as the society is concerned and the city says, 'Oh well, we don't want to move
 
it,' " said Considine, whose great-grandfather was Sir Joseph Pope, Sir John A.'s private secretary and biographer.
 
"So the society has not given up the battle. Like Sir John, the society intends to come back and join forces with City Hall in due course."
 
In 2000, the issue rose to local prominence in Victoria after Considine went before council to press the society's - and Macdonald's - case.
 
Considine told local politicians that the management of the Empress Hotel, a landmark on the provincial capital's waterfront, had agreed to make a prominent place for Canada's first prime minister on its property.
 
As for why Macdonald's memory should be special to his city, Considine said: "We have the Last Spike here, we're the capital city, Victoria was of course his Queen, we are a major tourist centre across Canada.
 
"We feel that Sir John A. should be well represented. It was his riding [after Kingston voters turned on him]. We had the good fortune to pick him up and the good sense to recognize his value and that's why we feel the statue should be here."
 
Unfortunately for both the Sir John A. Macdonald Society and Sir John A.'s memory, Victoria's local politicians disagreed. By a vote of 8-1 in March 2000, councillors turned down the society's request to move the statue to a more prominent spot. This despite an offer from the society to pay the $10,000 relocation costs.
 
"I think he's quite happy there," Councillor Jane Lunt said.
 
The one councillor who supported the motion proved to be no fan of Macdonald either.
 
"Sir John A. Macdonald represented the interest of the Canadian Pacific Railway far better than the residents of Victoria," Councillor Rob Fleming said. "He had a great reputation as Canada's first prime minister but he was also a drunk who was in the pay of the CPR ... an absentee MP parachuted in to represent the riding."
 
The local newspaper, the Victoria Times Colonist, was downright dismissive of moving the statue to the Empress Hotel and of Macdonald's legacy.
 
"It can be argued that Sir John A. is fine where he is, perfectly representative of government as he stares blindly at the drug dealing and prostitution on Broad Street without doing a damn thing about it," an editorial said in February 2000.
 
"If the statue is to go to The Empress, at least lean him in a corner of the Bengal Room, where he can wet his well-documented whistle ... Or maybe plunk him besides Robbie Burns in Beacon Hill Park, where the odd January morning finds an empty whisky bottle left over from the previous night's haggis bash. ... We say stick him outside the Via Rail hut by the blue bridge where, like the rest of us, he can wait, and wait, and wait for the arrival of the decent ... rail service promised as part of B.C.'s entry into Confederation."


#45 David Bratzer

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:16 PM

I found Her Worseship's comments even more odious and dismissive than usual (which is saying something).

"This is the action that we're taking" whether you like it or not.

 

Those comments stood out to me as well.  If there is a legal challenge of the Mayor's decision I could see her public comments being raised in court. Frankly, this is an unusual situation. The "City Family" has been constituted in-camera as an intergovernmental working group that apparently has been authorized in advance by Victoria City Council to have broad and vague authority to spend local taxpayer funds on issues affecting the local, provincial and national public interest, all without any public input. 


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#46 On the Level

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:37 PM

I found Her Worseship's comments even more odious and dismissive than usual (which is saying something).

"This is the action that we're taking" whether you like it or not.

 

Lisa Helps

 

I will not be shamed that my family has been here since the 1700s

 

I am proud of my family and my heritage

I don't need to defend my gggg grandfather in your quest (not inferring it was Douglas.)

I am proud that my family was an early arrival in Pictou NS

I am proud that my ggg grandmother is listed as one of the first European woman to settle on the prairie.

I am proud of my families move west....especially when they arrives in Vancouver in the 1800s.  

I am proud of my G Grandfather being Chief of Police

I am proud of Victoria and it's British heritage

I am proud that Victoria is "Victoria" 

 

No one is innocent here...including you.......and not FN tribes fighting each other at the time.

 

What was your personal gain by doing this?



#47 RFS

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:43 PM

When the british first colonized the first nations on the BC coast they let them continue their traditions and ways of life more or less unabated, with one caveat; no more slavery. How evil of them eh
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#48 Nparker

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:47 PM

...What was your personal gain by doing this?

It certainly is meant to appeal to her base and because of the lackluster in the currently announced mayoral race, I can't see it having any negative effect on her chances at re-election.



#49 rjag

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:48 PM

When the british first colonized the first nations on the BC coast they let them continue their traditions and ways of life more or less unabated, with one caveat; no more slavery. How evil of them eh

 

Yup, I bet any mention of slavery among coastal first nations will be revised soon as well


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#50 Mike K.

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 09:33 PM

Mt. Tzouhalem. There’s an amazing history related to the man for which the mountain was named.
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#51 rmpeers

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:31 PM

I found Her Worseship's comments even more odious and dismissive than usual (which is saying something).
"This is the action that we're taking" whether you like it or not.


That's the attitude. I am right and too bad if you disagree. I literally shudder to think how reelection would further embolden her.

#52 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 03:29 AM

 

Helps seems to run into trouble as she doesn't always try to understand both sides of an opinion.    You don't reconcile differences by driving a wedge between cultures.  

 
I'm wondering what this will do to reconciliation itself.  This type of an "us vs. them" approach could set reconciliation back a decade or more.

 

 

Already set back. Helps is a bright woman, she understands exactly the effect on public opinion her actions are having. Driving a wedge between FN and the public forces the FN and their supporters closer to her and benefits her in the long run. It is all about the end game.Unfortunately it will be the local FN who suffer though as the public gets tired of "reconciliation" and turns that into reduced employment opportunities and tolerance for FN. Seeing that in the polls now.


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#53 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 04:13 AM

That's the attitude. I am right and too bad if you disagree. I literally shudder to think how reelection would further embolden her.

 

Had there been some sort of reasonable public dialogue on the issue then I am sure that most people could have come to a compromise on what to do with the statue. Instead, and as usual, it is the way that Helps acted that has offended most people and resulted in the backlash against the local FN.

 

She hand picks her "family" of 7 women and 1 man to meet behind closed doors and come to a decision without any public consultation. She then announces her decision to act in 3 days and threatens council to back her.

 

Very open and transparent.


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#54 Mike K.

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 05:26 AM

She said if anyone tried to stop the statue’s removal that they should be very careful, in that their obstruction would be an affront to “the family” and not tolerated.

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#55 rjag

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:46 AM

She said if anyone tried to stop the statue’s removal that they should be very careful, in that their obstruction would be an affront to “the family” and not tolerated.

 

How is this democracy?



#56 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:50 AM

How is this democracy?

 

How is it democracy to be stating that you are dismantling the statue on a specific date even before council has voted on the matter? Other than Geoff Young, no other member of council seems to be showing any concern over the approach. With two months until the election and a referendum question already being asked, why not just vote to add a question on whether to remove the statue and let the public decide. Certainly the costs to do that would be negligible.


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#57 lanforod

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:14 AM

DEB75104-ECB0-43C3-82A1-115A53451662.png

#58 jonny

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:30 AM

I found Her Worseship's comments even more odious and dismissive than usual (which is saying something).

"This is the action that we're taking" whether you like it or not.

 

It's actually quite hilarious, given we live in BC a.k.a. never-ending-consultation-topia

 

Want to build a SFH? Put in an application. Get in line. Wait months. Prepare for the public hearing. Get the chequebook out. 

 

Want to remove a prominent public statue on city owned property? Please proceed at any time. 


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#59 mbjj

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:31 AM

The Americans could have at least have left up the statue of Lee's horse Traveller. My husband's aunt once told him the family had a connection to Robert E. Lee and all of her other family history discoveries have had a grain of truth. Should he be ashamed if that connection were true? I doubt it.

 

Our Austrian friend back in the 1960s used to apologize to my mum for having been in the Luftwaffe and bombing London. She was always telling him, don't worry about it!

 

If Helps wants to rewrite history and make it just dandy, tell her to write a comic book.



#60 Mike K.

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 07:33 AM

Once again the mayor has succeeded in securing millions of dollars in free marketing and publicity for her brand and her campaign.

It’s a genius strategy. Negative press is free press and today the whole country is talking about her. Nothing is done without an end goal planned well ahead.
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