People shouted in protest and cheered in joy as the Sir John A. Macdonald statue was removed from Victoria’s City Hall in August 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

People shouted in protest and cheered in joy as the Sir John A. Macdonald statue was removed from Victoria’s City Hall in August 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria unlikely to make decisions about Sir John A. Macdonald statue until 2022

A well-attended reconciliation dialogue discussed Macdonald’s history

The City of Victoria now has more direction for how to handle the John A. Macdonald statue debacle, though any moves aren’t expected soon.

On Monday night the city held its forth reconciliation dialogue, with a theme of: Sir John A. Macdonald in Conversation. The night presented a look at Macdonald’s history, from his role as Canada’s first prime minister, to his actions in developing the residential school system.

Its aim was to inform the public of the man’s complicated history, and offered an opportunity for people to suggest what to do with the Sir John A. Macdonald statue that was removed from City Hall in August 2018.

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

Live actors performed the historical recounting, and afterwards people in attendance were encouraged to ask questions, discuss and put forward suggestions. More than 350 people attended the event, the busiest turnout to any of the reconciliation dialogues.

“It was an incredibly rich experience,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “The key takeaway was that it was quite informative in terms of getting more information and a deeper understanding of Macdonald’s history.”

Suggestions were put forward on sticky notes, which city staff will now collect and discuss.

One reoccurring theme, Helps said, was to slow down on any decisions.

“With everything that’s happening across the country, there are more important things to focus on,” Helps said. “It’s not a time-sensitive issue.”

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

She added that discussions will move forward with the City Family – a group comprised of city councillors and representatives of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations – but not until after the reconciliation dialogues are complete in July.

“The dialogues had their genesis in the statue, so we’ll probably wait until they wrap up, and even then a decision likely won’t be made soon,” Helps said, adding that so far there has been talk of incorporating some kind of artistic component to whatever happens to the statue.

“The issue can be settled by the end of this term [in 2022], but art can’t be rushed.”

To watch a webcast of the fourth reconciliation dialogue visit victoria.ca/reconciliationdialogues.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

City of VictoriaIndigenous reconcilliation

Just Posted

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ultramarathon a few miles short, but many dollars beyond its goal

Six-day run misses record bid, but Help Fill A Dream fundraiser a big success

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island woman reminds community that not everyone can wear a mask

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

Fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year. (Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Most Read