A Balanced Approach to Sir John A. Macdonald’s Legacy
There’s been a lot of debate over the last few years about how to best address the legacy of Sir John A Macdonald. I believe how we proceed here in Kingston, Macdonald’s hometown, will help chart the path forward as our country balances the good and the bad parts of our history. I’ve heard from thousands of Kingstonians on this issue and a clear majority agree that the right approach is to add to our local history, not take away from it.
That’s why last week city council decided that the statue of Macdonald in City Park should remain but what should change are the plaques, both at the statue and at Engine 1095 in Confederation Park. In the months ahead, Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members will work together to create new wording that openly shares both the good and the bad of Macdonald’s legacy. What’s also clear is that we need to tell the stories of our local Indigenous history that up until now have been missing in our community. That’s why city council agreed that the new name for the third crossing should reflect local Indigenous history. By taking this approach, by adding to history and working together, we can chart a course forward that promotes education, dialogue, and reconciliation.