On Public Monuments

AC Centre.jpg

Efforts to banish the names of historic figures from public memory may be distressing but they're hardly new. The Soviets airbrushed unpersons out of official state photos. The toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein was webcast to a mostly delighted world three years before the man himself was executed. Maclean's correspondent Adnan R. Khan observes that "it seems almost vulgar to continue on with idolizing historical figures" in democracies like Canada, for "it is values we should glorify." He's right, of course. And the value Canadians appear to glorify most when naming and renaming our public spaces is cold, hard cash. Sir John A. knew this as well as anyone.