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Queen Elizabeth statue coming to Ontario legislature after delay, govt fronts $1.5M

TORONTO — A statue of Queen Elizabeth is coming to the grounds of Ontario’s legislature, ending a years-long delay and reigniting a conversation about the commemoration of historical figures. 

The Ontario government says it has allocated $1.5 million to complete the project, which it hopes to see finished this fall – contractors broke ground on the statue’s foundation late last month. 

The statue was originally intended to go up in 2017, to mark the queen’s Sapphire Jubilee and 150th anniversary of Confederation, but the government says a fundraising effort spearheaded by a private heritage trust faltered.

Minister of Legislative Affairs Paul Calandra says when he learned about the stalled project last year, the government allocated the money to get it over the finish line. 

He says the statue will commemorate Canada’s longest serving head of state, who reigned at a time when the country established itself as a major global power. 

Ontario NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa says the government should have consulted First Nations on the statue, saying the queen stands as an enduring symbol of colonization and the failures of the Crown to live up to its treaty obligations. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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