Monumental no to Prime Minister statues

Councillors voted 8-1 this week to take a stand and prevent 22 statues of former Prime Ministers cluttering up the Common area in beautiful Victoria Park.

The $2-million project, financed by local donors, would have involved taxpayers contributing $300,000 to pay for statue bases. Bills for additional landscaping and ongoing maintenance to clean up vandalism would have also been paid by the public.

That is until 2,441 people responded to a survey and an impressive 1,920 people said no to the statues. Another 1,786 said they did not want their money spent on such monuments.

It took 67 pages to list the hundreds of reasons survey respondents gave in opposition to  the project.

At council, my motion recommended the project not proceed on any city-owned land and not be financed with city cash. Councillors voted to thank the project promoters but reject the statue proposal.

Only Mayor Carl Zehr voted against the motion, heaping “shame” on councillors and  insisting the process which originally included project-design and heritage reports had been “hijacked” by the public survey and its results.

To which I would say if such a process had moved slowly ahead, it would have “hijacked” those survey results and the overwhelming, negative response from those who pay the municipal bills.

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2 Responses to Monumental no to Prime Minister statues

  1. Melannie says:

    It is with gratitude to the 8 Councillors who wisely agreed with their constituents to decline the statute project, that I give my thanks too. As a daily user of Victoria Park, I was completely against this project. It is also evident by voting in favour of the project, that Mayor Zehr is clearly out of touch with those he has been voted in too serve and evident that Kitchener is in need of new directions and new ideas at its Leadership core. Thankfully it IS an election year and Mayor Zehr is not running again.

  2. Maurice Dyson says:

    I would like to thank you for your efforts in helping to defeat this project. I live high up in a condo overlooking Victoria Park and I would have hated looking out of my window seeing the statues of a few outstanding and a lot more, unremarkable politicians defiling our beautiful park. Particularly when tax money would have to be used for their ongoing maintenance and cleaning of the inevitable vandalism.

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