**Updated** Cornwallis statue removed from downtown Halifax park

**Updated at 5:20 p.m.**

Crews have removed a statue of Halifax's controversial military founder from a downtown park, a day after Halifax council decided it should be taken down at least temporarily.

Scaffolding was set up around the bronze figure of Edward Cornwallis this morning, and the statue was lifted off its pedestal with a crane by late afternoon.

An eagle flew overhead in a cloudless sky, as the removal was met with cheers from a few dozen people gathered to watch what many felt was an historic moment.

Isaiah Bernard, from Nova Scotia's Potlotek First Nation, says he felt his ancestors can finally rest, calling it "a great day to be Canadian and First Nation."

Crews wrapped the statue in yellow straps, hoisted it upwards and placed it on its back on a flatbed truck.

Council voted yesterday to temporarily place the bronze figure in storage until a decision is made on its long-term fate.

Cornwallis is a disputed character seen by some as a brave leader who founded Halifax, but by others as the commander of a bloody and barbaric extermination campaign against Mi'kmaq inhabitants.

Leo Deveau, director of the Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society, says he feels that "Cornwallis has become a lightning rod for a number of things," which he says is unfair.

He says going forward, a balance could be struck to reflect on Halifax's entire history.