The Sir John A. Macdonald statue seen here being driven away from Victoria City Hall, cost more than $30,000 to remove Aug. 11, 2018. (Nicole Crescenzi/News staff)

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

The City of Victoria spent $30,126 to remove the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald from outside city hall this summer.

In a new report, the city released the cost breakdown of relocating the piece, stood at the Pandora Street entrance since 1981 when it was commissioned by sculptor John Dann.

The new tally is an increase from the initial $23,000 reported in September.

RELATED: Sir John A. Macdonald statue cost $23,000 to remove

RELATED: Hundreds gather at Victoria City Hall after removal of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Some $21,749 was spent on city staff ($9,303) and members of the Victoria Police Department ($12,446) when the statue was removed Aug. 11 before a crowd of hundreds.

Some came to protest the removal, while others who supported the decision said they wanted to witness the historical moment.

Mayor Lisa Helps announced Aug. 8 the decision to remove the statue had been made in June 2017 through the City Family, a group of elected municipal officials and representatives from Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

RELATED: Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria City Hall vandalized

In a statement that day, Helps said: “We do not propose to erase history but rather to take the time through the process of truth-telling and reconciliation as part of the Witness Reconciliation Program to tell this complex and painful chapter of Canadian history in a thoughtful way.”

A significant backlash ensued with the public accusing Helps of making the decision without public input, for which she later apologized saying “reconciliation is a learning process for all of us.”

RELATED: Lisa Helps apologizes, more consultation needed in statue removal

RELATED: Rewriting history simply complicated

Equipment required to do the job totalled more than $7,683 including crane services ($2,110), concrete services ($3,774), fencing ($356) and miscellaneous tools ($1,443).

A plaque that was installed on the statue’s former site and quickly defaced in the days afterward, cost $694.

The statue is currently in storage in a city facility with plans to relocate it at a later date.


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kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

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