Balance in the consultation
Part of the motion in New Westminster includes having a community consultation on what to do with the statue and how the history should be presented.
The New Westminster councillors say that Judge Begbie is a nuanced character in B.C.’s history and there’s more to him than the controversy, but it is important to also include the Tsilhqot’in wars.
The statue removal affects some people more than others, explains BCIT Executive Director of Indigenous services, Kory Wilson. Wilson says when taking into account multiple street signs, names of buildings, and statues in the Lower Mainland, the challenge of removing one statue would mean considering the interpretation of many structures.
“… I think (the decision) has to come out of consultation with the understanding that only 3.5% of New Westminster identifies as Indigenous so there has to be a balance in that consultation and we have to really respect the history and the injustices to the First Nations community.” – Chuck Puchmayr, New Westminister City Councillor
While New Westminister City Councillor, Chuck Puchmayr, says it all comes back to the importance of engaging in discussion with all members of the community.