CANADA (NEWS 1130) – Following the removal of a statue of John A. Macdonald in Victoria last month, a new poll shows the majority of Canadians think statues of the former Prime Minister should stay put.
The Angus Reid poll found 70 per cent of Canadians think Macdonald’s name and image should stay in public view compared to 11 per cent who agreed with the removal.
Shachi Kurl with Angus Reid says the highest levels of opposition to removing the statue were in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“In B.C., however, about 57 per cent — the majority — did oppose removing the statue of John A. MacDonald from City Hall in Victoria,” she says. “Twenty-five per cent said that it was the right thing, that they supported it.”
But Kurl adds the pollster has found in the past that there is a desire for reconciliation.
The poll also found the majority thought Canada spends too much apologizing for residential schools.
“As a country, we’ve been apologizing for things for the better part of 30 or 40 years, and it may be that people are not of the view that they should have to apologize for something that happened a hundred years ago or more,” she says.
However, a third disagree and say the harm from what happened continues, and can’t be ignored
When it comes to the statue in Victoria, there is disagreement over whether it should be put back in its original spot, displayed publicly in a different spot, or put in a museum.
The poll was conducted online from Aug. 21-24, 1,500 Canadians participated in the survey. The margin error is +/-2.5 per cent.
-With files from Denise Wong