Plaque that replaced statue of John A. Macdonald vandalized
Published Sunday, August 12, 2018 6:25PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, August 13, 2018 7:57PM PDT
The temporary plaque erected in place of the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald outside Victoria City Hall Saturday has already been vandalized.
On Sunday, passersby could see a large “X” scratched across the face of the plaque, which describes Macdonald’s history as “complex.”
The “X” appeared to have been done with a sharp object, extending almost from corner to corner. The two scrapes meet in the middle, near the word “violence.”
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told reporters she’s not surprised the plaque was defaced.
“I guess it was to be expected,” she said. “Emotions are running high, and what we will be doing in the next few months and year, as promised, is continuing the conversation with the community about reconciliation.”
Helps said she is not sure how city staff will fix the plaque, which has drawn criticism on social media for appearing flimsy and poorly made. She said the city’s sign department made the plaque in about 30 minutes on Friday, and that it is only meant to be a temporary installation.
The plaque describes Macdonald as “a leader of violence against Indigenous peoples,” as well as Canada’s first Prime Minister.
The decision to remove the statue of Macdonald was the result of a year of deliberations and consultation with the local Songhees and Esquimalt chiefs and councils. Victoria’s city council voted to remove the statue last week.
Helps has previously said that the statue would be removed and kept in storage until the city finds an appropriate way to “recontextualize” it.
While the statue is in storage, Helps said the city will continue a dialogue about how to tell a more complete story about Macdonald's history that both celebrates his contributions as the country's first prime minister at the same time as acknowledging the harm he caused.