ontario news watch

Governor General wants to help both sides in statue debate understand each other

WINNIPEG — Gov. Gen. Mary Simon says she wants to help people come together on both sides of the debate over statues of former monarchs on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature. 

Simon is visiting Winnipeg and spoke to reporters at the provincial legislature.

When asked about two statues of queens that were torn down two years ago, Simon said her office is apolitical.

Simon, who is Canada’s first Indigenous governor general, says it’s important for people to recognize the effects of colonization and residential schools on Indigenous people.

She said there is frustration and anger.

The statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth were hauled down on Canada Day in 2021, in a protest over the deaths of children at residential schools.

The Queen Victoria statue was damaged beyond repair, while the Queen Elizabeth monument was fixed and reinstalled last week.

Over the weekend, it was spray-painted with the words “colonizer” and “killer,” but the graffiti was cleaned up by the next day.

The Canadian Press

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