Charlottetown city council has voted 8-1 to keep a Sir John A. Macdonald statue but adopted a proposal by Indigenous leaders to signage and discourage photo opportunities with the first Prime Minister, according to CBC.
The five proposals adopted in the council are:
- Add another figure, such as an Indigenous child or elder.
- Fill in or seal off the empty space on the bench so it can't be used for photo opportunities.
- Install signage, so viewers understand "the devastating role that Sir John A. Macdonald played in the Indigenous history of Canada."
- If the artist engaged is not Indigenous, a Mi'kmaw artist should be hired as a consultant.
- Complete the work as soon as reasonably possible.
The only councillor who voted against the motion was Mike Duffy, no relation to Sen. Mike Duffy. "Eighty-three percent of the emails that came in favoured John A. Macdonald staying where he is, and when you get that kind of feedback from the general public, you tend to listen," Duffy said about his decision to vote against the motion.
Duffy proposed a different solution, "we could look after the Indigenous people by assisting them with their own site," Duffy said. "That's why I voted the way I did." The city council seemed slightly confused about what they were adopting and voted for the motion despite questions they still had on the matter. Some asked if the proposal was negotiable, while others inquired about a new site for the statue.
Vandals frequently threw red paint on the figure, following the trend of similar defacings around the world. The statue has been vandalized at least four times since last spring. The city council hopes the new updates will be completed by the fall.