Halifax mayor speaks out against removal of Cornwallis statue in park
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.”