"Holding Court" John A. Macdonald Statue

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

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.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Tearing down Statues is not Reconciliation

    by Dylan Gagnon, about 1 year ago

    Sir John A. Macdonald's actions aren't acceptable to us today and emphasis should be placed on learning about his role in the creation of residential schools and the hardship he brought upon Indigenous communities, in addition to the role he played in founding Canada.

    It must be remembered that even the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee on which this consultation is based, the Honourable Murray Sinclair, did not believe that tearing down statues was productive for the goals of reconciliation. In an article published in the Globe and Mail three years ago he was quoted as saying the... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    A Look at History

    by Deb Hudson, about 1 year ago
    There is so much history that my generation was taught in school that needs to be reexamined. I remember having to memorize the names of all the kings and queens of England in grade 9 or 10 history class at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute. Aside from being extremely boring,, the history taught was not as relevant to me (a Canadian) as it could have been. I was not taught about the cruel legacy of the Residential Schools or inhumane treatment of the residents of Africville by Haligonian officials. How much of our history is missing in our collective consciousness?


    With... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Reconsidering Sir John A. Macdonald

    by Larry Tayler, about 1 year ago

    I posted this essay about Sir John A. Macdonald to my blog, "Making Eye Statements" (LarryTayler.com) on August 2, 2020. It takes about fifteen minutes to read.

    Reconsidering Sir John A. Macdonald

    It’s time to reconsider my opinion of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

    I’ve enjoyed studying history for over sixty years. Inspired by gifted teachers, I majored in Canadian history at university. The more I studied history, the more nuanced it became. I once naïvely believed that history was fixed – a universally agreed set of facts, dates, causes, and consequences. Frozen in time, never to... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Move It Elsewhere

    by Ashley Reilly, about 1 year ago
    My partner was born and raised in the county, half his life in Picton, and we've discussed at length what we think.

    Sir John A Macdonald's actual house is only a few blocks away, it is already used as a museum to teach about him. It makes the most sense to us for the statue simply to be moved there, as it's a more appropriate location, and have it be used as a teaching tool. Whether we agree with the man or not he played a significant role, in this area especially because he settled here, and erasing him does... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Is there a better way to signify the destruction of Canada than by tearing down the monuments of our founder?

    by Shane Hanthorn, about 1 year ago

    I think it's important to keep this statue for many reasons and I think that this new trend of 'cancel culture' as they call it, is extremely toxic and it all comes down to poor attitude. My roots here in Canada and in the county, both European and Native, date back as long as anybody's, and I think the problem that we really have here comes down to perspective and how we choose to look at things. When I see a monument of Sir John A, I don't see a monument representing a racist man who did things that we... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Statue should remain to teach the next generation.

    by Nicole Smith, about 1 year ago

    I think the statue should remain to serve as a teachable moment for the next generation. There are many areas of history that I was never taught in school because it was considered shameful and a blemish on Canada's history. Now that I've educated myself, I'm very disappointed that it wasn't even mentioned in school. I'm fearful that the removal of statues commemorating problematic individuals will do the same concerning the story around them. It's difficult because we don't want to glorify them but we also need something to serve as a reminder of the past. I feel that if... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Disrepectful in our Town Center

    by Angela Martins, about 1 year ago

    This statue shows disrespect for my family and people before me. Indigenous lives were taken by the thousands at the hands of and command of this so called man. Keep him if we must and put your plaques up, but take him away from town center into a museum or at a court house so we do not have to see this man once again starring down on us each time we walk down the main street. Many people were heros, but not on display like this monster is. He is not one we are all proud of


  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Study first ... decide later

    by Steve Campbell, about 1 year ago
    This issue is filled with outrage, for Sir John's previous acts. It's like it's always been in the County ... you can be a great benefactor to the community ... or in this case the birth of a country ... and yet your mistakes can blacken any of your contributions in a heartbeat, for the rest of your life.

    Keep in mind Sir John gave the voting rights to indigenous people, and Laurier took it away. Also note that Mac did not create residential schools, but inherited them from the former ruling powers, much to the agreement of the House... Continue reading

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    First Prime Minister.

    by Charles Pitt, about 1 year ago
    The sign entering picton says ....Picton a proud loyalist town. We have ties to Mr MacDonald like it or not. Was he perfect? No. But he did help make the country what it is today. I feel the statue should stay. It's part of our heritage. Maybe I'm wrong... After all I was born here... So was my parents and their parents. I think if the statue gets us all to talk then it's a good thing.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    History should not be forgotten

    by Laura Coulas, about 1 year ago

    History should NEVER be forgotten as it is a reminder of the past, what happened then which was the norm for these times but also a learning experience for all on what NOT to do in the future. You can't just wipe away the past as Sir John A. MacDonald was a great and wise man for his times and only did what he thought was good for this great country. As a nation, we have evolved into a multicultural, accepting country and as our first prime minister, he should be honored for his contribution to helping us become what... Continue reading

Page last updated: 18 November 2020, 14:44