New Brunswick

Father of Confederation statue vandalized in uptown Saint John

Vandals have painted a red X and left red handprints on a statue of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley in King’s Square in Saint John.

Vandalism comes after discovery of unmarked graves at former residential school sites

Red paint was used to vandalize the plinth and plaque of the Samuel Leonard Tilley statue in King's Square in Saint John on Friday morning. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

The statue of a Father of Confederation has been vandalized in uptown Saint John.

The base of the statue of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley in King's Square has been painted with a red X, the phrase "Land Back" and multiple hand prints.

Tilley, born in Gagetown in 1818, was a Father of Confederation.

He served as premier of New Brunswick, lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick and finance minister in the government of Sir John  A. Macdonald. 

Tilley served as a cabinet minister during the same period that Canada's residential school system was created.

The vandalism comes after a subdued Canada Day holiday, when many celebrations were cancelled because of the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former Indian residential schools in Western Canada.

Tilley served as the province's premier and lieutenant-governor and as federal finance minister in the government of Sir John A. Macdonald. (Graham Thompson/CBC)

Several statues of prominent figures have been toppled or defaced with red paint recently, including statues of Macdonald, Egerton Ryerson, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

CBC News has asked the City of Saint John and the Saint John police for comment.