Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to concerns over an Ontario Elementary Teachers’ Federation motion to review the use of former prime minister John A. Macdonald in the naming of schools. The idea of removing John A. Macdonald’s name from Canadian schools doesn’t enjoy majority support in any demographic across the country, at least according to a poll released by the Angus Reid Institute on Tuesday.
The poll asked 1,512 people what they thought of removing the name of Canada’s first prime minister from schools, as was suggested by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario because of Macdonald’s role as the “architect of genocide against Indigenous Peoples.”
Coverage of schools named after John A. MacDonald on Globalnews.ca: Brad Wall pens post urging people who want to remove Sir John A. Macdonald’s name from schools to reconsider Kingston debates Sir John A. Macdonald’s legacy and if his name should be removed from public spaces What removing John A. MacDonald’s name from Ontario schools could mean for Nova Scotians The Angus Reid Institute asked for people’s opinions after presenting Macdonald as both Canada’s first prime minister, and as the one who approved the first residential schools.
Fifty-five per cent of respondents in the institute’s survey said they opposed the idea of renaming schools that bore Macdonald’s name, while one-quarter of them said they were in favour of it.
Results were fairly consistent across the provinces; at 28 per cent each, the idea enjoyed the most support in British Columbia and Quebec, and the least in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where together, 19 per cent of respondents said they were on board with the idea.
Opposition was strongest in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 66 per cent, followed by Alberta with 63 per cent.
READ MORE: Teachers’ union pushing to strip Sir John A. MacDonald’s name from Ontario schools
Differences were more pronounced along political lines.
Of those who voted Conservative in the 2015 election, 76 per cent opposed taking Macdonald’s name off of schools, while 56 per cent of people who voted Liberal and 37 per cent of those who voted NDP felt the same way.
At the other end of the spectrum, support for removing Macdonald’s name was strongest among NDP voters from the last federal election (37 per cent) and weakest among Conservative voters (16 per cent). Sir John A. Macdonald is shown in an undated photo. An elementary teachers’ union in Ontario has issued a call to remove the name of Canada’s first prime minister from schools in the province. “This is a suggestion that is sort of running up against a wall of firm opposition,” Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, told Global News.
“And while that opposition is driven largely by past Conservative voters, more than half of Liberal voters and two in five NDP voters also oppose that move.”
But that wasn’t the only notable result in the institute’s poll.
It also found that a strong majority of Canadians in every survey demographic felt that people should “take into account the entire life of an individual and principal legacy they left behind.” This graph shows that 88 per cent of respondents to an Angus Reid Institute survey feel that, in assessing names to monuments, we should take an individual’s entire life and principal legacy into account. Macdonald is largely remembered for his role in founding Canada, and in building the transcontinental railway.
But he was also an architect of the residential school system, and he denied food to Indigenous people until they moved to reserve land so the railway could be built in the first place.
Macdonald’s government also levelled a head tax of $50 on […]
(Visited 11 times, 3 visits today)