Nameplate ripped off John A. Macdonald statue in Regina
The statue has garnered attention in recent months due to a petition to remove it from Victoria Park
The nameplate has been ripped off of the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Regina's Victoria Park.
While calls to remove the statue go back to 2017, it has garnered attention in recent months due to a petition going around to have it removed. The petition was started by Star Andreas and Kerry Bellegarde-Opoonechaw.
The petition has gathered over 2,600 signatures to date and it calls for the statue to be moved to a museum. It is the last remaining statue of the first prime minister in Western Canada.
Bellegarde-Opoonechaw said she hopes whoever took the nameplate off of the statue is held accountable.
"I myself did not want any part of the statue damaged like I had mentioned many times, we just want it moved and I didn't want it toppled or taken down or damaged in any way so that to me is unacceptable," she said.
The nameplate stated the name of the first prime minister, as well as the words "father of confederation." The sign from the city that states it is meeting with Indigenous elders, artists and community members is still around the bottom of the statue.
Bellegarde-Opoonechaw said she believes the city will likely replace the nameplate as a decision on whether or not the statue will be removed won't be made by city council until 2021.
In September, Conservative MPs rallied at the statue to voice support for keeping it exactly where it is.
Andrew Scheer, MP for Regina-Qu'Appelle, put together the rally and acknowledged the negative consequences of Macdonald's decisions, but he said that taking down statues will mean people won't remember positive contributions.
Bellegarde-Opoonechaw said while protesting at the statue in recent months, she has faced backlash from the public and accusations of trying to tear down the statue.
"They think that I myself am trying to rip it down or damage it which I'm completely not for, I do understand it's a piece of art and I respect that," Bellegarde-Opoonechaw said.
The statue has been vandalized more than once in recent years, once back in 2018 with the hands of the statue painted red.