The statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, will be removed from outside Victoria city hall. The reason for this decision is that Sir John A. used racism to fuel his decisions while in office.
In 1887, the first of Vancouver’s many anti-Chinese riots had just broken out when Sir John A. Macdonald stood up in the House of Commons to propose further measures to keep out the Chinese.
The Chinese took white jobs, he said. The Chinese would breed a “mongrel” race in British Columbia and threaten the “Aryan” character of the Dominion. Altogether, the prospect of having white working classes living alongside Chinese could lead only to “evil.”
Sir John A. Macdonald was one of the founders of the Dominion of Canada and during his terms as prime minister (1867-1873 and 1878-1891), the transcontinental railway was built. But he also served during the time the federal government approved the first residential schools in the country.
“He built this country but decided Indigenous people did not have a place in this country. They were disposable,” said James Daschuk, an assistant professor of history at the University of Regina and author of Clearing the Plains.
“He set up treaties and broke them, starved thousands of people on reserves, and was the architect for the relationship between Canada and First Nations … and the racism still festers today.”