Hal­i­fax mayor speaks out against re­moval of Corn­wal­lis statue in park

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - AT­LANTIC -

Ten­sions over how Hal­i­fax honours its con­tentious founder are grow­ing as a plan to top­ple the statue of Ed­ward Corn­wal­lis from a down­town park cir­cu­lates on so­cial me­dia.

A Face­book event called “Re­mov­ing Corn­wal­lis” in­vites peo­ple to a protest Sat­ur­day to “peace­fully re­move” the large bronze statue from atop a large stone pedestal.

Hal­i­fax Mayor Mike Sav­age spoke out against the plan Tues­day, not­ing that re­mov­ing the statue by force is not con­doned by the Nova Sco­tia Assem­bly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs.

“It is true that many Mi’kmaq peo­ple, Indigenous peo­ple, and oth­ers of all back­grounds dis­agree with the con­tin­ued pres­ence of Ed­ward Corn­wal­lis on a pedestal in a public park,” he said in a state­ment. “I un­der­stand this po­si­tion and am com­mit­ted to a res­o­lu­tion of this sit­u­a­tion.”

Al­though Sav­age said the city will not stand in the way of “le­git­i­mate public protest,” he said the city will not “con­done vi­o­lent ac­tion in the place of real di­a­logue.”

City coun­cil­lors voted in April to ex­am­ine the use of Corn­wal­lis’s name on mu­nic­i­pal prop­erty. An expert panel, which in­cludes Mi’kmaq voices, will weigh in on com­mem­o­ra­tions of Corn­wal­lis in the city in­clud­ing the statue.

Sav­age said the panel will “rec­om­mend an ap­pro­pri­ate way for­ward for what has be­come a po­lar­iz­ing is­sue in this com­mu­nity.”

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