After a lengthy debate, Halifax’s regional council has voted to temporarily take down the Edward Cornwallis statue.
On Tuesday, council passed a motion from HRM staff recommending the statue in Cornwallis Park be taken down immediately.
It will be put in storage while council attempts to revive a stalled committee,approved in October, to assess the use of the city’s controversial founder’s name on municipal property.
An amendment was also added by Coun. Tony Mancini, ensuring that if the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs wasn’t on board with a new committee in six months, staff would come to council with options.
The final count was 12 to four.
The vote comes just a few days before a protest planned for Sunday at Cornwallis Park, calling for the immediate removal of the statue.
In their report, staff said the most immediate concern is one of “public safety,” warning that “the protests may be less peaceful” thanthose in July 2017.
There’s a “significant risk” of damage to the statue, and of conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters, the report says.
In 1749, then-governor of Nova Scotia Edward Cornwallis issued a bounty on the scalps of every Mi’kmaq man, woman and child. The statue in South End Halifax was erected in 1931.