Canada’s first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald once remarked, “let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians,” leading the two opposing cultures to unite as Canada. John A. Macdonald’s efforts in bonding the North and giving birth to the Confederation has long granted him a place as one of the greatest prime ministers in Canada, but recent reformations and value changes sheds light on his not-so-great acts. Many critics urged for the removal of his figure and likeness from the public sphere, but due to his lasting positive influence and the remembrance of our past through statues, I firmly believe that John A. Macdonald’s name should remain in the public sphere.
Throughout the history of mankind, many notable people have come and past, their best ideas and contributions engraved in our brains and our society, and Macdonald is one of those visionaries and missionaries. There can be no denial of his part in founding Canada, from solidifying the notion of two official languages, to building and expanding the confederations, Macdonald is someone who deserves to go remembered. Macdonald believed that “[Canada is] a great country and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; [but] we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken,” and held on to his beliefs with the National Policy to insist on a independent and free Canada, even while many are leaving for the US. It is safe to say that without him, Canada would not be the Canada today. The good that he did are irreplaceable by any other person from his era, but his mistakes are common in almost every other political opponent. Macdonald deserves to be remembered by not just those who can afford to learn history in the private sphere, but everyone who have the right to walk the streets. Removing his name and figure not only removes his contributions, but also an opportunity to connect with the past.