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Canada

Montreal committee says toppled statue of John A. Macdonald should not be put back

MONTREAL — A City of Montreal committee is recommending that a toppled statue of Canada’s first prime minister should not be reinstated in a downtown park.

The committee made its preliminary recommendation public today, saying the city should distance itself from the policies of assimilation and genocide against Indigenous Peoples that were championed by Sir John A. Macdonald.

Protesters toppled, broke and defaced the statue at the end of an August 2020 demonstration calling on cities to defund police departments, and the base on which the statue stood has been empty since.

The committee is suggesting that the statue be replaced with an artistic reinterpretation that rejects the colonial vision of Canada put forward by the country’s first prime minister.

The city mandated a committee of experts, public servants and academics to assess the heritage value of the statue first installed in the park in 1895.

The committee will present its findings and recommendations to the public during a meeting on Dec. 7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2022. 

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press