Politics

No plans to remove John A. Macdonald's name from federal properties, Trudeau says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government has no plans to remove the name of John A. Macdonald from any properties or structures under federal purview.

'These conversations are extremely important,' PM says of controversy over school names

Justin Trudeau told reporters on Monday that the federal government has no plans to remove John A. Macdonald's name from any federal properties. (Neil Cochrane/CBC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government has no plans to remove the name of John A. Macdonald from any properties or structures under federal purview.

Trudeau was asked about the issue on Monday, more than a week after members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario called on schools named for Canada's first prime minister to remove the moniker.

"As has been pointed out a number of times, reconciliation is not just about the relationship between government and Indigenous people," Trudeau told reporters during a press conference at Rideau Hall after his cabinet shuffle.

"Non-Indigenous Canadians have an essential role to play in how we shape a better and more responsible future for everyone who shares this land and these conversations are extremely important to have, to reflect on our past and to build the right future forward together.

"But I can say, unequivocally, there are no plans by the federal government to change the name John A. Macdonald off of anything in our responsibility."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there are "no plans" by the federal government to remove Sir John A. Macdonald's name off any of its properties. 0:41

Last week, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said the ETFO proposal to remove Macdonald's name "missed the mark," but Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, spoke in support of the union's motion.

Among the federal properties named for John A. Macdonald is a prominent building across from Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa.