Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener statue project: Survey says 79% against proposal

The Victoria Park Statue project received mostly negative reviews from Kitchener residents, with 79% of survey respondents saying they did not like the project “in concept.”

The Victoria Park Statue project received mostly negative reviews from Kitchener residents, with 79% of survey respondents saying they did not like the project “in concept.”

The plan calls for 22 statues of prime ministers to be set outside the path ringing the Victoria Park Commons in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation at a cost of $2 million. If approved by council, the plan would require $300,000 in funding from the city, with the rest coming from private donors. A community group advocating for the project has already raised $1.1 million in funding.

The survey, which was launched in mid-December, closed on Friday and received 2,579 responses.

Seventy eight per cent of respondents were against the city putting up any funds for the statues. Only 12 per cent of respondents voted in favour of the city investing $300,000 over three years for installation and maintenance costs.

Of the reasons listed not to support the project, the most popular option was the cost, with 71 per cent of respondents saying city funds shouldn't be spent on the project.

One commenter said that municipal funds should be directed for “social housing, and real civic education, not statues.”

Coun. Frank Etherington said he was pleased with the survey’s participation rate.

“It’s been a long while since I’ve [seen] this kind of response to any kind of public survey. People tend to lie really low on these kinds of surveys,” Etherington said.

Mayor Carl Zehr will appear on The Morning Edition Wednesday at 8:10 a.m. to discuss the survey results.

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