In a year when most Canadians are marking our 150 Anniversary as a nation, do not overlook this local treasure. If you are looking for something to do this summer with your entire family, make you way to New Hamburg and Castle Kilbride to check out the amazing statues of Canada’s former Prime Ministers. I applaud the leadership of Mayor Les Armstrong and his council for providing an amazing venue for these larger than life works of art. Much like the statue on Parliament Hill of the Famous Five, these statues invite interaction with the audience. While there will be 22 when the project is completed, you can view the initial three with the addition of Borden coming in November 2017.
The project has been led by Jim Rodger, a former KWC principal, and Sandvine CEO David Caputo. The artistry of Ruth Abernethy and Morgan Macdonald is superb. I understand that Victoria Park was not ideal to have 22 guests cluttering the green space.
It is only candid to acknowledge that none of these former Prime Ministers as individuals were perfect. Referring to them as products of their own time does not excuse a harsh judgment for the treatment of our First Nations; however, theirs were the hands on the levers of power that shaped this country—for good and for bad—throughout our history. History should be controversial and a matter of debate. It is through examining the challenges and issues that defined certain preceding generations that can lead citizens to a refined sense of who we are as a nation. What we want to be as a nation going forward. Let us ensure that generation of school children from now on know about residential schools, the Chinese Head Tax and the terrible price of allowing history to be repeated.