Sir John A. vandalized

A downtown Montreal statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was spray-painted red early Friday, with an anti-colonial group claiming responsibility for the vandalism.

It said it wanted to show its opposition to far-right groups and white supremacy as well as its support of the City of Victoria's recent decision to remove a statue of the former prime minister.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps announced last week the city would be removing the statue because it serves as a painful reminder of the violence inflicted on First Nations at residential schools.

The action has sparked a national debate around how best to represent historical figures who made positive contributions to the country at the same time as sharing discriminatory or hateful perspectives more common to their time.

In 1883, Macdonald argued in the Commons for the removal of Indigenous children from their "savage'' parents so they could learn the ways of white men.

The same Montreal statue was vandalized last year.

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