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Cornwallis task force public meetings scheduled for June 

Four meetings will take place in HRM


The city's task force for the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the recognition and commemoration of Indigenous history has announced four public consultation meetings will take place in June.

The meetings invite Haligonians to have their say about recognizing and commemorating Indigenous history, which includes what to do about the Edward Cornwallis statue and similar streets and parks named after Bad People.

The four meetings will take place on June 6 at the Mi'kmaq Native Friendship Centre (2158 Gottingen Street), June 11 at the SMU Scotiabank Theatre, Saint Mary's University (903 Robie Street), June 13 at the Millbrook Community Centre (72 Church Road) and June 18 at the Zatzman Sportsplex Nantucket Room (110 Wyse Road).

Halifax's founding father was sent by the British to piss off the French in 1749, and he served as governor of Halifax until 1752. (Please note: He was only here for three years, and managed to spend £174,000 when his budget was only £39,000.) His Scalping Proclamation in October 1749 stated the government would pay a bounty to anyone who killed a Mi'kmaq adult or child in an attempt to move them off mainland Nova Scotia. It had also been his intention to overpower and expel the Acadians, but he retired and returned to England before the 1755 Acadian Expulsion. He was named the founder of Halifax for the city's 150th birthday in 1899, and the controversial statue was erected in the south-end park in the 1930s.

In more recent history, Halifax has seen the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church change its name to New Horizons and Halifax Regional School Board to change the name of Cornwallis Junior High to Halifax Central Junior High in 2011. In spring of 2016, councillor Waye Mason's motion to look at removing Cornwallis' name from municipal assets was defeated. By April 2017 council voted to assemble a panel of experts to review and recommend changes on how HRM commemorates Cornwallis.

In January 2018, in response to the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs walking away from HRM's special committee on Cornwallis' legacy and demanding the Cornwallis statue be removed, council voted for the statue to be taken down and put into storage.

City spokesperson Maggie-Jane Spray says the taskforce's $50,000 budget is shared between HRM and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs, and that to date, the municipality has spent less than $1,000 on all task force efforts. After the initial four consultations, the task force will review and bring their recommendations back to the public.

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