'We'll take your statue'

The Ontario government says it will take Victoria's statue of Sir John A. Macdonald.

The statue of Canada’s first prime minister was removed Saturday, in what Victoria’s Mayor Lisa Helps called a gesture of reconciliation to First Nations over his role in creating Canada's residential school system.

The removal has drawn criticism from conservatives over rewriting the nation's history.

Ontario Culture Minister Sylvia Jones says the province has written to Victoria, saying the province would be happy to find the statue a new home in that province.

“History matters, and we need to acknowledge the important role that Sir John A. Macdonald played in Canada and Ontario’s history,” Jones said. “He did more to found our nation than any other Father of Confederation.”

“History is complicated. People are complicated,” she said.

The statue is in storage “until an appropriate way to recontextualize Macdonald is determined," Helps has said.

“We do not propose to erase history but rather to take the time through the process of truth-telling and reconciliation … to tell this complex and painful chapter of Canadian history in a thoughtful way,” she said in a blog post.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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