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In August, a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was toppled in Montreal by activists during a rally to defund the city’s police. According to CBC, the act was explained in leaflets that described Canada’s first Prime Minister as “a white supremacist who orchestrated the genocide of Indigenous peoples with the creation of the brutal residential schools system Macdonald’s statue was not the first to be toppled or vandalized in Canada, and it very likely won’t be the last. Even before conversations about systemic racism became more mainstream this year, statues of historical figures were the topic of controversy. Heated discussion has swirled around the need for honesty about the ugly parts of history, questioning whether monuments are truly educational tools, or simply celebratory symbols.

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