Noah Breakspear

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John A. Macdonalds Fight for Canadian Liability




The media is exceptional at highlighting all the detriments that John A. Macdonald took part of during his power in the late 1860s. However, with the recent argument of his controversy, all sight on the great acts he accomplished has been completely lost. We as a country should be united and honour everything our founding father created and recognize the risks and struggles that were at hand. Nonetheless, it is important to identify the malfeasance from prior times and discuss how our morals have changed since. With this being in mind, a country should not be able to excoriate a past official when the set of values has severely changed.  

An ongoing altercation in Canada about the removal of John A. Macdonald statues, monuments, and names of streets and schools is flooding the news with both sides becoming heated. A claim that is being made is describing Macdonald as an “architect of the Indian Residential School system” (Mayor). While this is indefinitely true, we need to look at the statement as a whole. Indeed, Macdonald had the lead role in the Indian residential schools but for any normal human in the late 19th century, this was a completely justified norm. Our Canadian ancestors knew a lot less about the world as we do today and dealt with problems a lot more barbarically. An example of this is indeed how the first Prime Minister treated Native Americans. He accused them of being “a different species” (Macdonald). This resulted in Macdonald creating residential schools in order to cut out the culture and make them more like the mainstream in Canada. Two centuries ago, the way of life was completely different from what we live in now. Of course, this is an unfavourable reflection on Canada’s identity, but they didn’t know any better.

Despite all the wrongdoings and the negative choices, John A. Macdonald made in the past, we cannot just erase history. We need to be able to recognize the good and the bad and improve ourselves to the best of our ability.  These monuments and statues that were made for Macdonald are historic monuments that tell us stories and by telling stories we “recognize that we can do better” (McKenna). There are things in our world that have represent a bad time in history such as the many concentration camps in West Europe. The camps resemble a terrible time when humans began to resolve their problems with hate and violence. However, instead of destroying them, we have turned them into a place to reflect and understand that we had a rough past. Reflection on what we did helps us truly analyze our new morals and beliefs and synthesizes how far we’ve come. The statues that are currently still standing of John A. Macdonald should continue to stand as it represents a founding father that deserves to be recognized for the good and the bad.

John A. Macdonald did start Canada on an amazing path to success but also made some extremist decisions that resulted in lifelong effects on First Nations. Canadian citizens should be aware of how Canada came to be and should educate others about the changes in the country’s current morals. It is not right of us to judge a man from two centuries ago who had a completely different set of values, but we should rather indoctrinate them and understand how we can become better. In centuries to come, our future generations will look back on the decisions we are making right now just as we are and will either agree or disagree with our values. No matter what we choose to do every day, we are always creating history.



Little, Simon. “John A. Macdonald Statue Removed from Victoria City Hall to Cheers and Jeers.” CKNW, 12 Aug. 2018,

Stanton, Kylie. “Cost to Remove Statue of John A. Macdonald from Victoria City Hall Grows.” Global News, 28 Feb. 2019,

“Victoria City Council to Decide Future of John A. Macdonald Statue | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 4 Mar. 2019,


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