"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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    We should review the past by today's standards

    by Andreas Kratschmer, 8 months ago

    We should review the past by today's standards, that's how we evolve and make sure that we don't repeat the past's mistaken views.

    I'm original of German background and I wondered, would anybody find it acceptable if there were Hitler statues in Germany? One could argue that he did some good things as well...

    I say get rid of the statue, we should not glorify people that clearly were in the wrong and send the wrong message

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    Balance

    by Megan Richards, 8 months ago
    i would prefer not to see the figure of john a mcd but to leave the courtroom stage and the seat and a plaque explaining who he was and ALL of what he is responsible for in Canada. this courtroom image would serve to imply a continued quest for justice while at the same time bringing the canadian past into the present. i think an acknowledgement that we need truth and reconciliation (and, i would add, restitution) to play a strong role in the recognition and honouring of both settler history achievements and atrocities.

    alternatively, if he must stay, then... Continue reading

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    Perspective

    by ba-mason, 8 months ago
    I would like to see it stay. He’s a very important figure in the history of this Country. That being said, I’d like the other side, the dark side to be told as well. Whether a second statue in his shadow ( the dirty secret), or an additional plaque telling the story.. it is important to have a “scale of justice”, weighing out what was acceptable practices at the time, and how we’ve grown, and that the journey continues still to this day....
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    Keep it

    by Sami Lester, 8 months ago

    I don't usually post public opinions, but I do want to share that while Sir John A's statue deserves the red paint dumped all over it, he is a part of our history and erasing everything from memory that has been a national shame is not the way to go. We have to remember the last to not repeat the past.

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    Our past is our shame

    by Kelvin Wannamaker, 8 months ago
    Let's just admit it, most of our ancestor's mine included were "given" land by the King of England after the American Revolution and we call ourselves United Empire Loyalists for this reason. We flourished in this land, land taken from the native inhabitants, and continue to this day. Honesty around what we did to the native people of this continent hasn't been a strong point of White society until very recent times. I'm 64 years old, completed my secondary education here in the Belleville area, and moved on. History, Canadian history was an important subject taught those many years ago... Continue reading
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    Take it down now.

    by Sofia Faga, 8 months ago
    Historical figures like Sir John A. Macdonald should not be celebrated. This statue commemorates someone who was personally responsible for the genocide of thousands of Indigenous people. Take it down now. It is an offensive affront to the Indigenous survivors who are our neighbours (forced onto reserve and off their traditional territory by The Indian Act). He created the Indian Act which he stated was to force ‘Indian’ people to assimilate into settler culture and renounce their heritage and rights. It was the basis on which residential schools were instituted, stripped Indigenous women of their status rights, and continues to... Continue reading
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    Get the full story.

    by Marc Seguin, 8 months ago

    I believe that presenting the history of any person or event, warts and all, is the best way to go. Rather than applying only current feelings and outlooks onto our imperfect past, let’s present the whole story, as best as we can, based on ALL of the evidence available to us. Let’s not make things up about our history that are not true. Lets not erase the history that can be documented as fact. Let’s add to our history and celebrate a fuller view of our past.

    I am commenting here on Sir John A. Macdonald in general, and about... Continue reading

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    History Lessons

    by Michael Brooks , 8 months ago
    Everyone seems to jump on any parade float moving through society. What I don't understand is no one wants to learn from past misdeeds. Tearing down statues, or symbols of past or present misdeeds doesn't erase those misdeeds. We need to learn from mistakes from the past. All Canadian history, both good and bad should be part of the curriculum taught in schools. We should learn from the past, not tear it down. Place a new placard at the statue containing both the good and bad deeds of Canada's first Prime Minister.
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    Who really can cast the first stone?

    by john cavanagh, 8 months ago
    The statues that are erected for our historical leaders should not be removed. There was a reason they were immortalized. If you want to dig deep enough you can probably find 'dirt' on any historical figure. A lot of the things that we now consider "bad' may have been normal at the time and/or had a legitimate reason for the actions that were taken. As for the Picton statue, it should be left where it as, as that location is meaningful to the town, itself.
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    Decision makers

    by Emery niles, 8 months ago

    History makes us better decision makers. We can only learn from the past if able to see what happened and use it to move forward.