Halifax's Edward Cornwallis committee has met for only five minutes
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2019 3:52PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2019 11:18AM AST
Nearly a year after the controversial statue of Edward Cornwallis came down in Halifax, the committee tasked with figuring out what to do with it hasn't accomplished much.
They met once, briefly last fall, and no one seems to know when they'll sit down again.
The south-end park that used to be the statue’s home shows no signs of Cornwallis, although the city’s website still calls it Cornwallis Park.
It was this time last year the controversial statue of the city's founder was unceremoniously removed by city crews.
It happened to the cheers of demonstrators, who had threatened to pull it down themselves.
Now the old statue lies in a wooden crate in a public-works yard, awaiting its fate, but the Cornwallis name lives on elsewhere in the city.
Cornwallis Street is right where it always was, although a name change seems almost inevitable, because everything named after Edward Cornwallis is supposed to be up for debate.
“We know there'll be some difficult conversations, but we're all in this together,” said Monica MacDonald, co-chair of the Cornwallis committee.
Last summer, the city unveiled a 10-member committee to study how best to commemorate Cornwallis in an age where some of his decisions and policies are being viewed in a new light.
The trouble is, the committee hasn't done much since then.
“They had one quick, five-minute meeting in this room with a big catered lunch right here,” said Halifax Regional Coun. Matt Whitman. “It lasted five minutes long.”
Whitman, who fought to keep the statue, says even he can't get a straight answer about when the group will meet again.
“I can now go to Halifax Water Commission meetings, I can go to bridge commission meetings, I can go to police commission meetings, but I can't find out when the Cornwallis committee meets,” Whitman said.
In an email to CTV News, MacDonald acknowledges there isn't much to report, but says plans are in the works for the next meeting, slated for some time this month.
Mi'kmaw historian Daniel Paul, who sits on the committee, admits he hasn't heard anything either, but insists the work is important.
“I think it's kinda early to make any kind of statement on it,” Paul said.
A young man approached him about it on the weekend.
“For the life of him, he can't understand why it's taken so long to do what's right: remove the statue, rename the park and the street, and confine Cornwallis to the history books,” Paul said.
So, the Cornwallis name remains intact in the city he founded, at least for the time-being.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.