Wilfrid Laurier University backs out of bronze PM statues
A controversial project involving bronze statues of Canada’s prime ministers has been axed at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Right now Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald, cast in bronze, stands in the quad at Laurier.
Twenty-one other prime ministers were set to join him throughout the campus but the project has been cancelled.
According to the president of WLU, Max Blouw, there was a lot of opposition to the project.
“The senate actually passed a motion for the board to reconsider. Which it did,” said Blouw
The project was meant to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
A professor at the university, Jonathan Finn, says he was against the project from the get go. He organized a petition to have the statue project halted.
“It's a very antiquated idea. Just to celebrate Canada by erecting bronze statues of prime ministers doesn't actually celebrate Canada,” he said.
In the past Finn voiced his concern about the project because the university is on traditional First Nations land and some of the past prime ministers may have been involved in taking that land away from the First Nations or in developing residential schools.
The 22 bronze prime ministers were being donated by a group called the Statue Project.
They were originally projected for Kitchener’s Victoria Park, but councillors shot that idea down in 2014.
The rejection from Laurier may not be the end of the story for the statue plan. Co-founder of the Statue Project Jim Rodger said there is “always a plan B.”
It will be up to the statue group if they want Sir John A. MacDonald’s bronze casting back, and where they would like for it to go.