HALIFAX – As the debate continues over the controversial founder of Halifax, a councillor has apologized for comments aimed at protesters that plan to bring the statue of Edward Cornwallis down on Saturday.
Preston – Chezzetcook – Eastern Shore Councillor David Hendsbee told The Rick Howe Show Thursday that he would like the statue moved to a more prominent or “significant” place, such as along the Halifax Waterfront.
When asked about the planned protest Saturday, Hendsbee said he hoped cooler heads would prevail because “hotheads on the warpath will not accomplish anything.”
The comments drew the ire of Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, who in an interview called them “not helpful” on the path towards reconciliation with the area’s Mi’kmaq community.
“I’m not suggesting anybody is coming in here specifically to disrupt or to be violent or anything like that,” Savage said, adding, “I don’t think it’s helpful to characterize people that way.”
“I’m not ascribing any motives to those who are coming but if you look at some of the Facebook posts, it’s getting quite divisive on both sides,” he said.
“We want to have a peaceful protest, protest is an important part of democracy and we understand that. I just want people to understand that we are doing some work in terms of our relationship with the Mi’maq people here in Nova Scotia, much overdue work but I think important work.”
Later in the day, Hendsbee issued a halfhearted apology for his comments to anyone who may have been offended.
“My use of that word has been deemed by some as inappropriate and insensitive. I apology [sic] for that,” his statement read.
“We spoke about the need for “cooler heads” to prevail and to allow for factual dialogue and respectful discussion to occur prior to any rash decisions about the fate of the Cornwallis statute,” it continued.
“Hopefully that will occur and a peaceful resolution will be sought by all whereby everyone’s heritage is respected and acknowledged.”