Kitchener politicians to leave John A. Macdonald statue doused in red paint

Local politicians in Kitchener, Ontario have said that they will not remove the red paint from a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald after it was desecrated for a second time.

Nico Johnson Montreal QC

Local politicians in Kitchener, Ontario have said that they will not remove the red paint from a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald after it was desecrated for a second time.

Sir John A. Macdonald, who has recently become a target for anti-racism protestors, is viewed by some to be racist for his views on colonialism and Indigenous peoples.

Despite this, Macdonald is considered to be the father of Canada's confederation, and one of the most important men in this country's history.

After the first instance of vandalism, the statue was covered in a tarp. This was removed on Tuesday evening. A few hours later, the statue was targeted again, according to CTV News.  

As a result of this, local politicians have decided to keep the statue doused in paint, and are even considering renaming the "Prime Minister's Path" found around the statue.

Ron Taves was the first community member to notice the vandalism on Tuesday and he was “dismayed.” He went on to say that "I wish they would take things and work on their frustrations in another manner, as opposed to taking action and devastating items in our community."

Cheyanne Thorpe, an indigenous woman living in Wilmot Township, agrees with the decision to remove the tarp and leave the paint on the statue.

"The point of the red paint is a statement, a very strong statement at that," she said. "Until we can discuss what that statement means and the weight that it carries and what we might be doing moving forward in regards to the statue, that it should be kept, it shouldn't be hidden and it shouldn't be washed away."

Originally, the statue was covered in paint on Sunday—National Indigenous People’s Day—and was completely washed off by Monday. It was after the second act of vandalism that local officials decided to give up on washing it off.

Last week, the Sir John A. MacDonald statue was vandalized in Queen's Park in downtown Toronto. This brings the total of vandalized MacDonald statues up to three.

A statue dedicated to the first prime minister was also defaced in Montreal just over a week ago, with vandals painting the statue red, with one protester saying: "The MacDonald Monument is the Canadian equivalent of a racist, Confederate statue in the United States."

His viewpoint, however, is not universally taken by Canadians. Conservative commentator Aaron Gunn said that "without John A. MacDonald this country would likely not even exist. He was also remarkably progressive for his time."

"MacDonald defended the rights of black Canadians, extended voting rights to many First Nations (later repealed by the Liberals) and was one of the world’s first proponents of universal suffrage for women," Gunn continued.

Statues have been pulled down and defaced across North America and abroad, with protesters and vandals charging each statue as commemorating historical figures who held unfavorable views concerning racism and colonialism.


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