Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described activists’ toppling of a statue of Canada’s first prime minister over the weekend as “vandalism.”
Montreal protesters pulled down the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald over the weekend. Macdonald’s policies are linked to the deaths of Indigenous people in Canada from 1860 to 1890 when he was in office. The statue was dedicated several years later.
Trudeau said he understands Canadians’ “impatience and frustration” with discrimination but that it should be up to local governments to decide whether or not to memorialize controversial historical figures.
“We are a country of laws and we are a country that needs to respect those laws, even as we seek to improve and change them, and those kind of acts of vandalism are not advancing the path towards greater justice and equality in this country,” Trudeau said.