"Holding Court" John A. Macdonald Statue

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Public feedback for this project has now closed.

The “Holding Court” John A. Macdonald statue will remain in its current location on Picton Main Street following a decision by County Council at a special meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Read more on the County of Prince Edward website.


The Sir John A. Macdonald statue "Holding Court" was returned from storage to Picton Main Street at the Picton Library in early 2020 (after its original installation in 2015). Its return was a catalyst for conversation about Sir John A. Macdonald's past, within the broader context of colonialism. From this conversation

Public feedback for this project has now closed.

The “Holding Court” John A. Macdonald statue will remain in its current location on Picton Main Street following a decision by County Council at a special meeting on Tuesday, November 17. Read more on the County of Prince Edward website.


The Sir John A. Macdonald statue "Holding Court" was returned from storage to Picton Main Street at the Picton Library in early 2020 (after its original installation in 2015). Its return was a catalyst for conversation about Sir John A. Macdonald's past, within the broader context of colonialism. From this conversation came the Prince Edward County Public Library's Speaker Series (Dr. Niigan Sinclair, Sarah Midanik, Kateri Lucier-Laboucan and Calvin Brook) addressed the need for projects which aim to restore Indigenous presence within communities, among other things. Other speakers were scheduled into March, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the series to be cancelled due to public health measures.


The "Holding Court" Statue Working Group" was formed under the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee (PEHAC) to conduct public consultation, research and ultimately to make recommendations to PEHAC about the future of the "Holding Court" statue. Their mandate is to advise PEHAC in their recommendation to Council in regard to the current installation in Picton of the "Holding Court" Sir John A. Macdonald statue.


Their goals are as follows:


  1. Follow the scope of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 10 Principles of Truth and Reconciliation
  2. Conduct research, carry out public consultation and prepare documentation, as necessary, to assist PEHAC in their recommendation to assist Council in their decision on the future of the Holding Court" statue
  3. Assist staff to prepare a report to PEHAC and ultimately Council by December 1, 2020, or as soon as feasible, outlining a recommendation for the future of the "Holding Court" statue.

Through this Have Your Say public engagement page, the Working Group will share information relevant to the public discussion, including their terms of reference, the 10 Principles of Truth and Reconciliation, and other documents (located in "Resources").


The Working Group would like to hear your views on what should be done with the "Holding Court" statue.


Individuals and organizations can tell the Working Group their views:


  • Directly (in person or virtually) by presenting deputations (see "Deputation Guidelines" for more information on making public deputations)
  • During a Town Hall event planned for Fall 2020.
  • Via email to: ecowan@pecounty.on.ca
  • By fax at: 613.476.5727
  • By mail to: The "Holding Court” Statue Working Group, c/o County of Prince Edward, 332 Main Street, Picton, ON, K0K 2T0.

Please note that deputations and all comments are public.


Please explore the feedback options available on this page (below) to give your feedback. Register for updates to this page to get notified when new consultation tools are added as the Working Group progresses towards their goal.


In the words of Dr. Niigan Sinclair during his address in Picton, "What do we do with this history we have inherited together?"

Tell us what the Holding Court statue means to you?

Thank you for sharing your story with us.
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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    New Knowledge

    by Anne , about 1 year ago

    For most of my 56 years, all I really knew about Sir John A. Macdonald was that he was Canada’s first Prime Minister, and he is on our $10 bill. I now have new knowledge about him. Now I know about his key role in Canada’s horrific treatment of our Indigenous People. I am at a loss to understand why having his statue (in front of the library of all places - where knowledge is stored!!) is even a topic for discussion?? There are so many other good options for us to choose from for a statue on our Main... Continue reading

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    FRATERNITY AND GOVERNMENT

    by Brenda Everall, about 1 year ago
    I‘ll add my opinion here, though I am loathe to engage with my former community due to a severe oppression campaign that I experienced from members of that community, which subsequently alienated me away from that area in poor health and extreme poverty.


    My attempts to blow the whistle on sexual abuse in foster care were met with serious opposition from a network of people in PEC. I eventually found a document called “Blessed Be The Tie That Binds“ that revealed a shadow government to me and how it was affecting the community. I eventually went on to discover a... Continue reading

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    Our Community

    by Sharon, about 1 year ago

    I have worked in many indigenous communities across Canada. I have learned about and witnessed the effects of inter generational trauma. I can tell you first hand that the statue is a trauma trigger for some in our community. Commemorating this man does harm. It does not belong on our Main Street.

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    Genocide and Nation-destroyer

    by Paul Allen, about 1 year ago
    When Holding Court was erected on Picton Main Street in July 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC) had already started publishing its findings and recommendations, including John A. Macdonald's political ambitions and racist attitudes lead him to initiate and prosecute a campaign of cultural genocide against Indigenous Peoples. The TRCC's findings with regard to Macdonald's priimary responsibility for the creation of Indian Residential Schools in Canada were perhaps the first glimpse that many Canadians had of Macdonald's dark legacy as their first Prime Minister and Superintendent-General of Indian Affiars. The TRCC's findings in 2015 re: Macdonald's cultural... Continue reading
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    You can't erase history (which is why it has to go)...

    by Matthew Sheahan, about 1 year ago

    The discussion that is happening around Holding Court on Main Street Picton is one that this community, this province and this country needs to have. There is a misconception that history is a static and firm thing. We are “erasing history” by removing a statue that was placed in 2015 (ironically the same year as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released their 94 Calls to Action - timing is everything, and I don’t think that this decision to put up the statue really “read the room” so to speak). To argue that history is erased by removing a statue erroneously... Continue reading

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    Let's celebrate all aspects of Canada's history

    by Keenan Sprague, about 1 year ago

    It's past time that non-indigenous Canadians take a fresh, candid look at our history from the perspective of North America’s indigenous peoples. In doing so, many will be confronted with uncomfortable and ugly facts that were glossed over or omitted entirely from the histories many of us were taught in school.


    Here’s the difficult truth that everyone needs to come to terms with: since the beginning of the colonization period and for centuries thereafter, Europeans systematically murdered, displaced, tortured, and subjugated indigenous peoples all across the planet, including here in Canada. During those times, Europeans, in large part, held views... Continue reading

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    Proud of our Canadian heritage

    by Marg Tripp, about 1 year ago

    I am proud of Canada and all that has been accomplished as a nation. The statue of Sir John A is a reminder of our roots and the Fathers of Confederation who did so much to establish this wonderful country. No one is 100% perfect or without fault and we choose to focus on the good or bad. The present trend of "cancel culture" doesn't help us learn from the past as we must do.

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    A statue is not a history lesson

    by Andrea Dawes, about 1 year ago

    I am quite confused by the number of comments that seem to equate the John A. MacDonald statue’s presence with a history lesson - arguing that by removing it, we are somehow erasing a part of history and our ability to learn about MacDonald and his actions. I am ready and willing to learn - and to have future generations learn - the facts about politicians’ roles in and contributions to Canadian history. However, I strongly believe that this education should take place in an environment designed for balanced, nuanced learning (e.g. a classroom or museum). And, in the case... Continue reading

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    Sir JOHN A Stays

    by Gordon, about 1 year ago

    I am a supporter of the Sir John A MacDonald statue remaining at its main street location.

    The Mayor has stated that the working group will not be examining the history of Canada, but rather focusing on the statue itself. With that in mind, the question becomes what does the statue represent to our community? Its original intent was to represent a moment in time where a young lawyer held a court case in the town of Picton. Little did we know that he would become an important political figure in the future building of our country.

    History aside, lets... Continue reading

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    Relocate this statue to a more appropiate place like the Courthouse.

    by Marilyn Toombs, about 1 year ago

    The entrance to the library is a completely inappropriate place for this statue. It will only garner more scorn and controversy if it stays.


Page last updated: 18 November 2020, 14:44