John A. Macdonald statue will go back up where it belongs: Legault

Francois Legault

Premier François Legault was emphatic during a Monday afternoon news conference, saying the statue of John A. Macdonald in downtown Montreal, will be restored and put back in its proper place, after it was hauled down by protesters over the weekend.

"What happened last weekend with the statue of John A. Macdonald is unacceptable," Legault said. "The statue will be restored and reput in place. It's unacceptable in a democracy."

He echoed the sentiments of several other politicians, suggesting vandalism is not the way to address serious social issues.

"Of course, we need to fight against racism, but that's not the way to do it," he said. "We have to respect the history."

A decision on whether or not the statue is restored isn't his to make, however — that rests with the city of Montreal. Over the weekend, mayor Valerie Plante also denounced the vandalism, and added the city would discuss a possible restoration with heritage experts and the city's public art office.

In a statement released Monday, the mayor's office says a "multi-disciplinary team" will soon begin a "period of reflection" on the statue's future — a process similar to the one which saw Amherst St. change its name to Atateken St. last year.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "deeply disappointed" at what happened.

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