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


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#81 Bob Fugger

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:55 AM

Will you wake up one morning with a vegan horse head in your bed?

 

Literally just watched this last night on AMC.

 

Fredo-you-are-my-older-brother-and-I-lov


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#82 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:05 AM

Removed and stashed away. Helps maintains that its fate rests with “the family” and they’ll decide where it goes. When pressed about the likelihood that it will remain stashed away for, well forever, she had no real response.


Assuming City staff don’t accidentally drop it on route to the storage facility.

Helps is good at racking up bills but it is others who get to pay for them. In this case it is the FN who will bear yhe blunt of the criticism. I feel badly for the 20 someting trying to get a job

#83 rmpeers

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:27 AM

Going forward, will all civic decisions be made by an edict from the Mayor's campaign office and then go to council for rubber stamping?
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#84 RFS

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 12:10 PM

Someone needs to get out there and chain themselves to the statue
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#85 Bingo

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:03 PM

Seems like if the statue moved to the Empress everyone would be happy no? 

 

The Empress could open up their own Jonny MacDonalds, and make the statue the focal point.



#86 Bingo

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:04 PM

The Restitution Burger comes to mind.


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#87 punk cannonballer

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:05 PM

I consider myself a progressive person who, despite being the son of an English immigrant, doesn’t care for the monarchy and is fairly ashamed of the brutal treatment of indigenous people in Canada’s history. I would prefer to see more First Nations representation in all forms of our society, and think that reconciliation is an important process in our country’s road towards that. I don’t think Johnny and I would have seen eye to eye on much at all.

 

Having that out of the way, I think this decision is a poor one. It’s poor for the way it has been handled, and it’s poor in its morality. The dude is on our money. I don’t think that the national conversation has concluded sufficiently for a local government to start erasing prime ministers without some dialogue and some perspective. If the city had come out and said that it’s considering doing this and the reasons for doing it (quite rightly in my mind) included John A. MacDonald not being the best or most relevant figure to sit at the entrance to City Hall, and that Council would prefer a more local figure, and that he’d be moved to the legislature grounds or the Empress grounds, then cool. I mean, in the context of a prominent building in Victoria named “The Empress” his own transgressions would sit rather firmly in the shade of a much larger and more egregious colonial monument. It had an entire lounge loosely dedicated to Rudyard Kipling, for god’s sake.

 

Helps’ goals are much different than merely shifting optics. In removing the statue and not relocating it, and replacing it with First Nations art, there is an undertone that First Nations history, society and culture is not merely equal in value to our unavoidable and highly entrenched colonialism, but rather morally superior to it. This is a very dubious and dangerous path to tread. I’m not a fan of the disingenuous arguments populating social media on either end of the political spectrum; conservative people suddenly become historical preservation buffs, when they really just see their own privilege eroding. Left-wing liberal people seem to want to tie themselves to anything they see as progressive regardless of the collateral damage.

 

I see this as an escalation of an agenda that’s divisive and half-baked. I also think it’s the type of issue that will cause people like myself to analyze my mayoral choice more closely in the fall.


Edited by punk cannonballer, 09 August 2018 - 01:23 PM.

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#88 Nparker

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:09 PM

...I see this as an escalation of an agenda that’s divisive and half-baked...

This seems indisputable to me.


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#89 LeoVictoria

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 01:14 PM

I would not be upset if they were moving the statue to another public location. If they said we're moving it to Bastion Square or the Empress, I'd be cool with that. Thing is, it's being removed.


Yeah seems like a perfect opportunity was missed to just move it and make everyone happy.
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#90 jonny

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 02:55 PM

Yeah seems like a perfect opportunity was missed to just move it and make everyone happy.

 

I'd guess the strategy was to ruffle some feathers, make a bunch of noise and make a grandiose gesture. 


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#91 mbjj

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 03:30 PM

Who or what is this family? First I've heard of it. Is it just some private bunch of folks who are now making decisions? Can we get together our own family and do some stuff that WE like?


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#92 Nparker

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 03:36 PM

Who or what is this family?

From a Victoria News article. More can be found here

...the City Family and the Witness Reconciliation Program...groups were formed in 2017 between the City and the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations in an effort to lead a more “Indigenous-focused approach” to reconciliation...


Edited by Nparker, 09 August 2018 - 03:42 PM.


#93 Mike K.

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 04:03 PM

A “more” indigenous-focused approach to reconciliation? If reconciliation isn’t already an indigenous-focused pursuit, what exactly is it?
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#94 Nparker

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 04:46 PM

To put it bluntly, reconciliation cannot be allowed on "white man's terms". Whether or not this is the right approach to achieve the desired goals is yet to be proven.



#95 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 05:37 PM

Who or what is this family? First I've heard of it. Is it just some private bunch of folks who are now making decisions? Can we get together our own family and do some stuff that WE like?

 

A few pages back David included a link to the document that outlined how the 'family' was formed. From what I read, my understanding is that the meeting and discussion were conducted in camera and that Helps appointed 6/7 people to the 'family' with herself as head. Broad powers were then given to the group to work on reconciliation issues. From what I have been told, several groups have approached the City since this story broke to determine how much, if anything, these members were paid for their 'services' to the 'family' but nobody has responded yet to that request.

 

It doesn't surprise me at all that Helps would appoint people to political positions without any competitive process or external review. She did it with the Police Chief and City Manager so why should her 'family' be any different. Heck there are probably lots of other roles that have been filled behind closed does without any public scrutiny using the same process and the public just doesn't know about it. What I don't understand is why other council members go along with it. I guess none of them care if they are reelected this fall.


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#96 Mike K.

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 05:47 PM

The saying often goes that "the mayor is but one voice among nine elected officials, what she wants needs to be supported by council."

 

Well, here Helps has circumvented council.

 

Nevertheless, removing the statue on the eve of an election may have tainted and unnecessarily sensationalized what ought to be an emotional, important event for the First Nations members of The Family and the greater First Nations community. Why even pursue this at a time when the media can't help but suggest that this is a publicity stunt? It's a shame that this was timed to become an election issue.


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#97 Nparker

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:05 PM

...What I don't understand is why other council members go along with it. I guess none of them care if they are reelected this fall.

Do you believe many of the council members feel they won't be re-elected in October? I am almost certain the "worst offenders" will be shoe-ins to retain their seats at the council table.



#98 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:21 PM

Do you believe many of the council members feel they won't be re-elected in October? I am almost certain the "worst offenders" will be shoe-ins to retain their seats at the council table.

 

Ok let me rephrase that. You would think that at least one council member would state that what hey are doing is wrong. They are spending taxpayer money inappropriately and that there needs to be a degree of accountability placed on hiring decisions. 

 

Perhaps it is because these meetings are being held in camera that people feel as though they cannot speak out.


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#99 On the Level

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:23 PM

Who or what is this family? 

 

Given that from the responses I heard today from Council it sounds like they feel they need to abide by the decisions of "The Family".   Helps is the "Family Head", making her the "Head" of Council if they have forfeited their responsibility and will always "green light" a decision of "The Family".   

 

Of course Helps is also the co-chair of the Vic Police Department .....but it seems she has worked herself to be the "Head" of that too.  Don't go along with the wishes of "The Family" and get in the way of her hiding the statue, then I think you know what is in store for you!



#100 spanky123

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 06:28 PM

Given that from the responses I heard today from Council it sounds like they feel they need to abide by the decisions of "The Family".   Helps is the "Family Head", making her the "Head" of Council if they have forfeited their responsibility and will always "green light" a decision of "The Family".   

 

Of course Helps is also the co-chair of the Vic Police Department .....but it seems she has worked herself to be the "Head" of that too.  Don't go along with the wishes of "The Family" and get in the way of her hiding the statue, then I think you know what is in store for you!

 

Helps appointed the members of the 'family' so of course they are aligned with her. There is no evidence whatsoever that people have any insight or have conducted any consultation with anyone.



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