Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has apologized for not including more people in the decision to remove the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald from the front of Victoria’s City Hall. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

B.C. mayor apologizes: more consultation needed in removal of Macdonald statue

The mayor of Victoria apologized on her municipal campaign website for not consulting enough people before removing a statue of John A. MacDonald from city hall

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has released an apology for not including more people in the decision to remove a statue of former prime minister John A. Macdonald from out front of Victoria’s city hall.

“As mayor of Victoria, I apologize for not recognizing that the city family’s process might make some people feel excluded from such an important decision,” Helps said in a statement on her campaign website. “I didn’t recognize the great desire of Victoria residents to participate in reconciliation actions. The process going forward will enable this.”

RELATED: Victoria to remove Sir John A. Macdonald statue from City Hall

Helps initially announced the statue would be removed Aug. 8 and crews were on scene during the early morning hours of Aug. 11 to complete the job.

This caused immediate outrage both locally and nationally, and sparked a rally later in the day where hundreds gathered either in opposition or support of the statue’s removal.

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather at Victoria City Hall after removal of Sir John A. Macdonald Statue

The decision to remove the statue was made in June 2017 by the City’s Witness Reconciliation Program and the City Family, two committees that include Helps, Coun. Marianne Alto, Coun. Thornton-Joe and representatives of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

“Reconciliation means following Indigenous leadership. It means listening carefully to how symbols and monuments that might be meaningful to many can create barriers for others,” Helps said.

“And it also means being in dialogue and creating opportunities for true learning and conversation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. But it is complex, and so we will make mistakes as we navigate and try to walk this road together.”

Helps added that moving forward, she has made a public commitment to bring forward the wishes of council and the public for a wider community conversation about reconciliation and the new location for the statue.

To that end, she has arranged a meeting with the John A. Macdonald Historical Society and the statue’s sculptor, John Dann.

ALSO READ: Sculptor of John A. Macdonald statue speaks out

“The statue in its original location was a barrier to Indigenous communities’ engagement with city hall,” Helps said. “Without relocating the statue, we were not able to invite First Nations to city hall in good faith and respect. Reconciliation needs to take place in the real world, not just in our hearts.”

To see the full statement, you can visit her campaign website at lisahelpsvictoria.ca

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Two dead in accident north of Campbell River

Highway closed in both directions

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the North Island-Powell River riding

In an effort to inform the North Island-Powell River riding constituents, we… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Spirit of Terry Fox lives on in Campbell River

Community turns out for annual run in Fox’s honour

New initiative challenges Campbell Riverites: ‘Don’t walk in the hallways’

Physical literacy is the foundation upon which healthy living is built … and it’s important to practice

Campbell River’s POTA is looking forward to an artsy autumn

Group’s major fundraiser and extravaganza hits Tidemark Theatre Oct. 5

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read