Nova Scotia premier to discuss 'racist' Halifax statue

Nova Scotia premier to discuss 'racist' Halifax statue
First posted: Sunday, December 13, 2015 02:11 PM EST | Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2015 04:17 PM EST
HALIFAX -- The name of a British military officer once lauded as Halifax's founder is splashed on across the capital city, serving as a constant reminder to the Mi'kmaq community of their ancestors who died under his scalping proclamation more than 260 years ago, says Mi'kmaq elder Daniel Paul.
A statue of Edward Cornwallis sits in a downtown park that also bears his name, just a few kilometres from Cornwallis Street.
But there has been a movement in recent years to strike a compromise that recognizes the city's history while still acknowledging the atrocities Cornwallis committed.
Cornwallis, a governor of Nova Scotia, founded Halifax in 1749 and issued the cash bounty that same year, which included Mi'kmaq men, women and children.
"When you go and you do such a horrible thing with the intent to exterminate a race of people from an area, it's kind of horrible for a society to be idolizing such a man as a hero," said Paul, who has been working for decades to expose "Nova Scotia's hidden history."
"It would be the same as a Jewish person walking down the street in Germany and seeing a statue of Hitler."
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has agreed to discuss options for the three-metre statue that has long been viewed as racist by the Mi'kmaq community and beyond.
McNeil's comments came after a question in the legislature on Friday from Progressive Conservative politician Allan MacMaster, who argued the statue should come down, as it stands as a "tribute to the near extermination of Mi'kmaq people in Nova Scotia."
A spokeswoman for McNeil said the premier plans to meet with Halifax Mayor Mike Savage to discuss the statue, which has stood in the downtown park for more than 80 years.
McNeil noted in the legislature that interpretive signs recognizing Cornwallis were recently removed from the Cornwallis River, which runs near a First Nations community in the Annapolis Valley, following a request from Paul.
"We will continue to work with our partners both municipally and the Mi'kmaq community to ensure that our history is reflected, but done so in a respectful way," said McNeil, who is also the province's aboriginal affairs minister.
Paul said his goal is not to erase Cornwallis from history books, but to strike a compromise that recognizes his brutal acts.
He said he would like to see the statue removed from the park and placed in the depths of the Citadel Hill fortress. He would also like to see the name Cornwallis removed from other places around the city, such as the park and street.
"Cornwallis should be relegated to the history books," said Paul in a phone interview on Sunday, adding that its not known exactly how many Mi'kmaq people died under Cornwallis' proclamation.
About four years ago, a local junior high school stripped Cornwallis from its name amid concerns from the Mi'kmaq community.
A statue of Edward Cornwallis stands in a Halifax park on Thursday, June 23, 2011. Nova Scotia's premier says he will discuss options for a statue of Halifax city founder Edward Cornwallis that the Mi'kmaq community has long argued is racist. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotia premier to discuss 'racist' Halifax statue | Canada | News | Toronto
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Led by the efforts of Daniel N. Paul, there has been much public attention in the twenty-first century on Cornwallis's use of frontier warfare against Mi'kmaq civilians. Paul accuses Cornwallis of committing "genocide". Historians have asserted that this position distorts the past, paying little regard for the historical context of Cornwallis's decisions. Frontier warfare against civilians was standard practice during the colonial period - Mi'kmaq leaders and New England Governors had endorsed this type of warfare since King William's War (1688 ). Further, rather than being intent on genocide, Cornwallis tried to create peace treaties with the Mi'kmaq before and after the 18 month bounty he imposed. As well, had Cornwallis been intent on genocide of aboriginal peoples, he would have also put a bounty on the other tribes in the region. Instead, Cornwallis was able to create peace treaties with the other tribes.
+1 / -1
The lefties hate history cuz it shows them in a bad light.
Golly,walleye, governor Cornwallis doesn't sound much like a Liberal to me,sounds like he was pretty ****servitive minded.
lone wolf
From Wiki"

Cornwallis played an important role in suppressing the Jacobite rising of 1745. He fought for the victorious British soldiers at the Battle of Culloden and then led a regiment of 320 men north for the Pacification of the Scottish Highlands. The Duke of Cumberland ordered him to "plunder, burn and destroy through all the west part of Invernesshire called Lochaber." Cumberland added: "You have positive orders to bring no more prisoners to the camp."Cornwallis's campaign was later described as one of unrestrained violence. Cornwallis ordered his men to chase off livestock, destroy crops and food stores Cornwallis's soldiers used rape and mass murder to intimidate Jacobites from further rebellion.

I can't imagine he'd be popular in Scotland either. How's being an upper crust British prick make him a leftie?
Last edited by lone wolf; Dec 14th, 2015 at 02:18 PM..
It's the lefties who want to get rid of the statue. Lefties don't like history.
lone wolf
"Lefties", apparently, don't like honouring the action of a mass killer

Personally, I think it's a great place for pigeons to poop
Pigeons and statues being what they are, of course.
And history being what it is ...... IN THE PAST. Gone, done, has-been, etc.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

Pigeons and statues being what they are, of course.
And history being what it is ...... IN THE PAST. Gone, done, has-been, etc.

I will add, as well that expunging the historic record just because you don't like it is not freeing, liberating or in any way contributing to some sort of collective "truth". That sort of editing of our past, like a lot of political correctness, is worthy of Joe Stalin.

Quote: Originally Posted by relic View Post

Golly,walleye, governor Cornwallis doesn't sound much like a Liberal to me,sounds like he was pretty ****servitive minded.

BTW, for those of you who may not know, HMCS Cornwallis near Digby NS was the Canadian Navy's entry training boot camp for a couple of generations. Now that is SERIOUSLY politically incorrect and should be covered up forthwith. Imagine, a peacekeeping nation like Canada with a military boot camp!? It must be a lie. Pass the "whiteout", please.
lone wolf
I find it interesting that scorched earth and bounties were accepted parts of military action - but now that it's cleaned up and cradled in history, if someone else does the same thing, they're terrorists.
Curious Cdn
... and "Child Soldiers" ... like my 15 year old Great Uncle who signed up with the Artillery at Fort George in 1916 and ended up in France four months later. He was not the only one, not by a long shot.
Oh I know about HMCS Cornwallis,found it quite conservative in '70.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by relic View Post

Oh I know about HMCS Cornwallis,found it quite conservative in '70.

It wasn't Paris Island . I was being a trifle fecitious.
'Not the garrison town': Halifax votes 12-4 to immediately remove Edward Cornwallis statue
Canadian Press
More from Canadian Press
January 30, 2018
January 30, 2018 7:32 PM EST
The statue of Edward Cornwallis, a controversial historical figure, is seen in a city park in Halifax on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Halifax council has voted to immediately remove a statue of Edward Cornwallis from a downtown park amid growing calls across the country to end the reverence of colonial figures as part of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
After just over an hour of debate, it took less than 10 seconds for council to vote 12-4 to temporarily place the bronze figure of Halifax’s contentious military founder in storage until a decision is made on its long-term fate.
“The Cornwallis statue has become a powerful symbol,” Mayor Mike Savage told council on Tuesday. “I believe its continued presence on a pedestal in the middle of a city park is an impediment to sustained progress and forging productive, respectful and lasting relationships with the Mi’kmaq in the spirit of truth and reconciliation.”
Morley Googoo, regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the decision to take down the statue is a “huge opportunity for the city.”
“Other municipalities across the country are dealing with the same very question about how to have a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” he told reporters following council’s decision. “Being here today and witnesses how we talked about it and the progress we’ve made in Halifax, I’m very proud to be here.”
The decision to topple the bronze statue of the city’s founder comes as efforts to scrub colonial names and symbols from public spaces intensify.
Montreal struck the name of British general Jeffery Amherst — a soldier who reportedly wanted to exterminate native inhabitants — from a city street last fall.
A teacher’s group in Ontario voted last summer to rename schools and buildings named after Sir John A. Macdonald, prime minister when the federal government approved the first residential schools in Canada, while a school in Saskatchewan named after a man who recommended residential schools for Indigenous youth is considering a name change.
Contractors examine the statue of Edward Cornwallis, a controversial historical figure, in a city park in Halifax on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
The United States, meanwhile, is grappling with what to do with Confederate monuments, which to some symbolize white supremacy.
The sweeping debate about how to confront a checkered past has prompted some to worry about the erasure of history, a concern Savage addressed head-on.
“This is not about re-writing history, this is about acknowledging that it is not cast in bronze,” he told council. “We are all a product of our history but we do not have to be a prisoner to it.”
Savage added: “We can all be unshackled from what our history is, which sometimes holds us back from true reconciliation.”
Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs had called Friday for the statue to be taken down immediately, because a panel appointed in October to study how the city commemorates Cornwallis had not even met yet.
Mi’kmaq activist Rebecca Moore called the decision to remove the statue “surreal.”
“We’ve been resisting this forever, like my whole life,” she said. “One of the great victories of having the statue come down is the reaffirmation that violence against Indigenous Peoples is wrong.”
Cornwallis is a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax, but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi’kmaq inhabitants.
A staff report to council highlighted rising tensions around the statue, citing a planned protest Sunday that could result in clashes between protesters, damage to the statue and personal injury.
“If we want reconciliation, we pull down the statue immediately,” said Coun. Richard Zurawski. “Let’s end the 500 years of broken promises and take away this visual symbol of supremacy.”
But some councillors criticized acquiescing to demands under the threat of violence, noting that it set a dangerous precedent for city council’s decision making.
One councillor, Steve Adams, called for leaving the statue but also adding statues of Acadians, Mi’kmaqs and others in a “Founders’ Plaza” with interpretive panels.
“This is not the way to run a city, based on threats of violence,” he said.
This is not the way to run a city, based on threats of violence.
Halifax Coun. Steve Adams
Savage said the decision is “not about the threat of violence” or “being blackmailed.”
“I feel very strongly it’s the right thing to do,” he said, noting that he doesn’t want to bury the “lessons of history” or “hide the truth” and would consider the idea of a heritage park.
Halifax councillors voted last fall to launch a special advisory committee that would provide council with advice on what to do with Cornwallis commemorations, as well as make recommendations for honouring Indigenous history.
Read the full motion here:
View this document on Scribd
But the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs has said it was frustrated with a process that has dragged on for “far too long.”
The assembly said it submitted names of potential Mi’kmaq panellists, but the committee had yet to be formed.
In a statement, the Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society urged all parties to “re-engage in meaningful dialogue.”
“It’s unfortunate that council felt it necessary to remove and place the statue in temporary storage due to the concern for public safety,” the statement said. “This action has sidelined the special advisory committee process.”
Red paint defaces the statue of Halifax city founder Edward Cornwallis in Halifax on Friday, May 13, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
‘Not the garrison town’: Halifax votes 12-4 to immediately remove Edward Cornwallis statue | Toronto Sun
Didn't the Mi'kmaq fight for the French? looking for reconciliation on the history of picking one colonialist over another
Halifax politician under fire again for retweeting 'ethno-nationlist' group Cornwallis statue letter
Canadian Press
More from Canadian Press
February 2, 2018
February 2, 2018 11:30 AM EST
HALIFAX — A Halifax city councillor who has been criticized for making racially insensitive comments is coming under fresh scrutiny for retweeting a letter from a Canadian group some say is a white supremacist organization.
On Thursday, Coun. Matt Whitman retweeted a letter addressed to Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and the council from ID Canada, a self-described “ethno-nationalist” group created as “a response to Canada’s decaying identity, increased third-world immigration and the prevalence of anti-European sentiments.”
The document was critical of the municipality’s decision to take down a statue of Halifax’s controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis, and place it in storage while council determines its long-term fate.
The one-page letter said the statue’s removal represented “an egregious affront to our past” and a “brutal disregard toward the accomplishments of Canada’s European founders.”
Another councillor, Deputy Mayor Wayne Mason, said he was stunned when he saw the retweet after someone pointed it out to him Thursday afternoon.
Contractors remove the statue of Edward Cornwallis, a controversial historical figure, in a city park in Halifax on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
“I looked at it and went, ‘Holy crap — this is racist stuff,”‘ he said Friday. “This isn’t a political thing… no man, you retweeted white supremacy, full stop.”
He immediately took to Twitter to scold Whitman for retweeting the letter from the group, which on its website promotes the idea that, “Canada is a nation of European values, traditions, customs and culture. Canada was never meant to be a melting pot of third-world migration.”
“You are retweeting a neo-nazi hate group. I am speechless. What the hell is wrong with you?” tweeted Mason.
For his part, Whitman acknowledged that he didn’t have time to look into the group before retweeting it, saying, “I don’t background check every tweet I see.” He said he has deleted the retweet and blocked the group since, also charging that Mason’s Twitter comments were politically motivated.
He did, however, update his Twitter profile to say, “Tweets, Likes and Retweets are NOT necessarily endorsements so relax, move on…Next.”
The exchange caught the attention of many on Twitter, with some calling for the embattled councillor to step down.
“You should really resign from being councillor of our community,” one woman tweeted. “You should not be in this position.”
Another said: “In one day, you’ve managed to degrade the actions of the mayor, mocked the lyric change to the national anthem, and retweeted a white supremacy Twitter account. All of this before the end of rush hour.”
Whitman did not respond to a request for comment.
Mason said the matter could be addressed by council if formal complaints are filed.
ID Canada responded on Twitter as well, saying, “Sad that Mr. Whitman is being scolded for supporting our letter condemning the removal of #cornwallis. You do not need to support us as an organization to support the preservation of Canadian identity. No, we’re not ‘white supremacists.”‘
The incident marks the latest controversy involving the councillor for Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets.
Last October, Whitman issued an apology for using the word “Negro” in an interview, prompting public outcry and at least one official complaint to the municipality.
‘Not the garrison town’: Halifax votes 12-4 to immediately remove Edward Cornwallis statue
Halifax councillor apologizes for using word ’negroes’ during interview
At the time, the lone African-Nova Scotian member of council, Coun. Lindell Smith, asked Whitman to refrain from using the word, saying it was not appropriate, while the mayor said it was a “poor choice of words.”
Whitman also apologized for a video he posted online that used racially insensitive language. In the video, Whitman yelled “Chinese fire drill!” as he and a friend scrambled from a car.

Halifax counc. slammed for ‘ethno-nationalist’ Cornwallis note retweet | Toronto Sun

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