A contentious discussion is scheduled to take place tonight.
The City of Victoria is continuing with its reconciliation dialogues, with its fourth and most anticipated conversation: Sir John A. Macdonald in Conversation.
A statue of the man was abruptly removed from the steps of City Hall in Aug. 2018, causing a nation-wide response. Some people were thankful to have the statue of Canada’s first prime minister removed because of his role in the creation of residential schools. Others were outraged that no public discussion had taken place, and felt history was being erased.
Monday’s dialogue has been moved to a larger location than City Hall, and will take place at the Victoria Conference Centre at 720 Douglas St. from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
It will be guided by Cindy Blackstock, an Order of Canada recipient and executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is also a professor for the School of Social Work at McGill University. It will also be led by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
The discussion will begin with a performance by the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers, followed by a theatrical presentation to introduce the complex life and work of Sir John A. Macdonald.
The City has made it clear that this discussion will not decide where the future home of the statue is, but rather was put in place to help council make future decisions.
Participants will be asked to look at the politics and context for controversial historical figures.
Anyone interested in attending was asked to register online at eventbright, though the website says it is sold out. The City encourages people to still stop by the venue anyway in case of last-minute cancellations.
For more information visit victoria.ca.