Canada’s first Prime Minister was Sir John Alexander Macdonald. He was the leading figure in discussions and conferences that resulted in the British North America Act and the birth of our country as a nation on July 1st, 1867. Was he a flawed human being? Of course he was. He was responsible for a railroad scandal, the execution of Louis Riel, and a head tax on Chinese workers. He referred to indigenous people as savages and wanted them to be assimilated. The residential schools that began in his time inflicted horrible abuse on those who attended and lasted nearly 100 years in this country. They are a blemish on our history and bring dishonour to every Prime Minster from Macdonald’s time right up to Stephen Harper, perhaps more so to the later leaders who let the system continue even after they knew, or should have known, what was going on in these schools. The City of Victoria has decided, or rather we are told the Mayor and her close circle decided, that out of political correctness a statue of Canada’s first PM that has been standing outside Victoria’s City Hall since 1982, had to be removed which, naturally, has created a controversy. Leaving the statue alone and perhaps adding a plaque with words explaining both the bad and good things he is remembered for might have been a better idea. He was the founder of our nation along with being a colonial tyrant who was symbolic of his time in history. We can’t simply erase the history of Canada in efforts to be politically correct by today’s standards.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.