A national online poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies shows that 50 percent of Canadian respondents agreed that historical statues of people representing racist views or policies should not be dismantled. Statues of Sir John A Macdonald in Picton and Kingston have been the focus of recent debate. DOSSIER
A national online poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies has given some thought to the debate over historic landmarks across Canada, including Picton and Kingston where the memorial statue of Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald is being debated more.
Fifty percent of 1,529 Canadian respondents surveyed agreed that historical statues of persons representing racist views or policies should not be dismantled, according to the survey.
The September 9th publication of the poll results, however, showed that 31 per cent of respondents agree to take the statues down.
The results come not long after a rally of activists last month in Montreal toppled a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald for a variety of historical works including the famine of the First Nations as he worked to build a cross-country railway and for his apartment schools which collectively abused local children in an attempt to nullify the local culture.
The survey findings echo in Prince Edward County, where a working group is welcoming public reactions to Sir John A. Macdonald’s bronze representation in downtown Picton, who has been vandalized twice by strangers using paint.
A town hall event is scheduled for later in the fall but no date has been set.
The website can be found at: https://haveyoursay.thecounty.ca/sir-john-a-macdonald-truth-and- pajtimi
The working group is gathering community comments which will be sent to Prince Edward’s council in December for a decision on the statue’s fate.
In Kingston, meanwhile, the city will install two new security cameras at the Macdonald Monument erected in 1895 in City Park to prevent ongoing rounds of vandalism targeting the imposing structure that stands well above visitors.
The move follows a report submitted to Kingston City Council following an 18-month public engagement project called “Your Stories, Our Stories” to help design a balanced narrative of the controversial leader, Whig-Standard reported.
The Leger poll, meanwhile, also found 47 percent of respondents that they were against renaming streets, buildings or schools of historical figures who held racist views or implemented racist policies.
Another 32 per cent agreed with the renaming of public places.
The online survey asked Canadians: “There has been a lot of media coverage lately about historical figures in Canada who have been memorized in statues, who with a closer look at their behavior, are found to have a controversial past and “In some cases, offensive – often in relation to the treatment of indigenous peoples or other minorities. How should these statue situations be handled when they come to light?”
In response, 13 percent said the statue should be removed from public view, another 21 percent said the statue should be relocated to a less public place still accessible to the public but added by accompanying information to tell the full story. of the person being commemorated in the statue, good and bad.
Another 36 percent of people responded that the statue should be left where it is with the accompanying historical story to interpret the person while 22 percent said the statue should be left alone, what happened is the story and the public can do their own research.
Seven percent said they did not know.
In another survey question, 59 percent of respondents said there should be an equal balance of negative and positive perspectives taken into account when making a decision about a public statue.
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