N.S. students’ pitch on future of Cornwallis statue catches attention of deputy mayor
A group of middle school students in Port Williams, N.S., have come up with their own solution to the Edward Cornwallis statue controversy, and it’s caught the attention of Halifax’s deputy mayor.
Six students aged 11 to 13 were asked to discuss what the city of Halifax should do with the Cornwallis statue. Most agreed it should come down, but many also believed the city's founder should still be recognized.
“The idea is that there are four statues from each of the major groups of Nova Scotian population,” says Grade 7 student Henry Mulherin. “The first was British, which is already Cornwallis. The second was Acadian, Noel Doiron, who was the father of the Acadians as one person put it. Viola Desmond for the black Nova Scotian groups, and Grand Chief John Denny Jr. who was the last hereditary chief of the Mi'kmaq.”
The students want to see Cornwallis facing Noel Doiron or Grand Chief John Denny Jr., due to the major conflict between the two.
“They'll be in a conversation, so then when you walk inside you can read their plaques and see who they were and what they did,” says Grade 6 student Hanah Hutchinson.
The students sent this proposal to the city's Special Advisory Committee, and on Wednesday Deputy Mayor Waye Mason came to Port Williams to hear the pitch.
“The quality and maturity of the presentation from the Grade six to eight students has been superior to some of the emails I’ve been getting the last little while,” says Mason.
Mason says it's a proposal worth considering, which is welcome news to the students.
“We were just expecting it to be an idea we put out there, so it was really surprising,” says Hanah Hutchinson.
“I think it means that we are kind of of being recognized, that our idea has gotten off the ground,” says Henry Mulherin.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.