Your turn to speak up.
Kitchener council wants to know if you like or dislike a statue-leadership project proposed for Victoria Park.
The $2-million project involves placing 22 bronze statues of Canadian Prime Ministers around the outside pathway of the Common area in front of the clock tower.
The proposal, endorsed by Governor General David Johnston, is the brainchild of two very passionate local residents, Dave Caputo and Jim Rodger.
Councillors were told about the sesquicentennial initiative this week when its promoters tabled the idea and requested public reaction before next March when it will return to council. A final decision is expected by next June.
A few positives and negatives associated with the idea:
On the plus side, promoters have received pledges for $1 million of the required $2 million and hope to receive more money from federal-provincial governments to help pay for a proposal that is designed to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.
The statues would also be a first in Canada and might attract tourism dollars. It would also provide a lasting historical resource for educators.
Among the negatives, Kitchener taxpayers are being asked to donate $300,000 to pay for statue bases, landscaping and cleanup of vandalism which, considering the dubious antics of some PMs, is bound to happen.
Some critics argue that numerous other Canadians are far more worthy of statues than unelected Prime Ministers.
There are also questions about why Canadians would fete some PMs who have displayed appalling leadership. Examples include the internship camps for Japanese residents and rejection of Jewish refugees facing extermination in Germany by a Prime Minister who also praised Hitler.
Help decide. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can pass on your opinions to council.