Montreal

'Anti-colonial vandals' deface Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Montreal

An anonymous group issued a news release saying the act is a response to the city of Victoria, B.C., removing its statue of Canada's first prime minister.

Group says act is a response to the city of Victoria, B.C., removing its statue of Canada's first PM

This is the third time the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Place du Canada has been vandalized since November. (Stéphane Grégoire/Radio-Canada)

A statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in downtown Montreal was spray painted red Thursday night, the third time it has been vandalized since November.

An anonymous group issued a news release saying the act is a response to the city of Victoria, B.C., removing its statue of Canada's first prime minister.

The "anti-colonial vandals," as they call themselves in the release, say that Montreal should follow Victoria's lead.

The city council in Victoria, B.C., voted to remove the statue as a gesture of reconciliation last week. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

During his time as prime minister, Macdonald's government oversaw the Indian Act in its formative years and established the residential school system.

The defacement comes as the debate over the commemoration of colonial-era figures rages on.

The Plante administration is creating a committee of Indigenous people to help pick a new name for Amherst Street, named for a revered British general who advocated for the use of biological warfare, through smallpox blankets, to kill Indigenous people.

Earlier this month, the City of Victoria announced it was planning to remove the statue of Macdonald from the front steps of city hall because of what it says is his role as "a leader of violence against Indigenous peoples."

Montreal is not considering taking its statue of Macdonald down, but a spokesperson for the city said the Plante administration is "thinking of adding cultural and historical references of the Indigenous community." 

In a statement, the city said it's focusing its efforts to building strong ties with the Indigenous community. 

The statue is expected to be cleaned up by Saturday.

With files from Radio-Canada

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