NATIONAL PULSE – Vast majority want Sir John A. to stay in public view

Most say Canada spends too much time apologizing for residential schools and should move on


September 6, 2018 – As a long summer of discussion over the legacy of the country’s residential school system and dispute over the subsequent actions of politicians comes to an end, Canadians are weighing in.

After a decision by Victoria’s mayor and council to remove a statue of John A. MacDonald, a new public opinion survey from the Angus Reid Institute finds the majority say remembering the trauma of residential schools should not come at the expense of memorializing the country’s first Prime Minister.

While twice as many are opposed to the specific removal of the statue in Victoria as supportive (55% versus 25%), fully seven-in-ten (70%) say, generally, the name and image of John A. MacDonald should remain in public view. This compares to just one-in-ten (11%) who say his name and image should be removed.

Canadians are also nearly twice as likely to say their country “spends too much time apologizing for residential schools” as to say the harm from that policy continues and cannot be ignored.

Against this backdrop, however, half the country is also supportive of either a statutory holiday commemorating the legacy of residential schools (51% support this) or designated “day of remembrance” that is not a statutory holiday (53%).

More Key Findings:

  • Nearly six-in-ten Canadians say the country “spends too much time apologizing for residential schools” (57%). Conversely, about one-third (31%) say “The harm from residential schools continues and cannot be ignored”. The rest (12%) are unsure
  • More than half (55%) are opposed the removal of the John A. MacDonald statue from in front of Victoria city hall, but Canadians are divided over whether it should be restored to its original spot (37%), displayed elsewhere publicly (13%), or placed in a museum (44%)
  • Age and political affiliation are highly correlated with views on these issues. Past Conservative Party of Canada voters overwhelmingly oppose removing the Victoria statue (81%), while past Liberal Party supporters are more divided – with nearly half (47%) also opposed

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (6612 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on NATIONAL PULSE – Vast majority want Sir John A. to stay in public view

  1. Cynthia Friedman // September 6, 2018 at 5:38 PM // Reply

    I really think the Sun revolves around the Earth. It makes so much sense, doesn’t it? Look at it — traveling across the sky every day. I mean, if no one told us otherwise, a lot of us would have that opinion.

    Does that make it right?

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