On Thursday, August 9, 2018, I voted along with a majority of City Council members to remove a statute of John A. MacDonald from the entrance to Victoria City Hall. My reasons are explained in this interview from CTV National News, and in my remarks at the Council Meeting, which I have reproduced below.
On the removal of John A.
August 9, 2018, Lekwungen Territory
This is one small, first step toward establishing respectful relations between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
There has been a lot of talk about “erasing history.”
But erasing history is what has been going on for the last 175 years that settler people and their governments have occupied and expanded their power in this Lekwungen territory.
Our current approach to commemoration conceals the history of this place and the experiences and impacts of colonization.
Removing this statue has initiated an important dialogue about this history, and this dialogue needs to continue and deepen into the future.
I think the statue could be relocated to the grounds of the Provincial Museum, with interpretive information that situates John A. MacDonald in an appropriate historical and cultural context.
I want to express my appreciation to everyone who has shared their views with City Council in relation to this decision. And I want to particularly thank everyone who has advocated for the City to demonstrate leadership by pursuing a different path than the path taken by generations of settler governments that have come before us.
For these reasons, I support the decision to remove the statue and begin the journey down a new path.