The following is taken from a legal Agreement between “Createscape Waterloo Region” and “The Corporation of the Township of Wilmot”, signed by the mayor, clerk and Createscape. It is dated May 5, 2016.
“The Prime Ministers Statues Project was initiated by residents of Waterloo Region with a view to creating statues of each Prime Minister of Canada as part of Canada’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.”
“The Corporation of the Township of Wilmot is interested in accepting the transfer of the statues and associated research, intellectual property and other assets from Createscape Waterloo Region so that the public benefit in these assets may be optimized by The Corporation of The Township of Wilmot.”
“The Township hereby agrees to accept the transfer of ownership and title of the statues and associated research, intellectual property and other assets as noted in clause 1. It is understood and agreed that (I) Createscape shall transfer all of its interests in the PM Statues and associated research, intellectual property and other assets, and (ii) the Township will be able to use such interests as the sole owner and holder of such interests.”
“Createscape shall, at its cost, install the PM Statues in accordance with its proposal to the Township, subject to any changes that are mutually acceptable during the term of this agreement. Createscape shall acknowledge, and be responsible for the costs of any such acknowledgements or activities, of the project benefactors, funding partners and donors.”
“The Township shall oversee the development and ongoing operation of an educational program that is accessible to the public with respect to the PM Statues and the history of the prime ministers depicted in the PM Statues, their importance to Canada and their times, that is of a quality that meets public expectations. The Township will not be obligated to assume any costs incurred by other parties that may be involved in or contributing to the content or platform for the educational programming.”
“This Agreement shall come into effect on the day of signing. It shall remain in effect until such time as the PM Statues Project is deemed complete by the mutual agreement of both parties. Either party reserves the right to terminate the contract without cause, in whole or in part, upon giving ninety (90) days written notice.”
One might assume that the Township has declined the advice of the “design and curatorial advisory committee” and has terminated the contract.
During a period of 5 years, after signing a legal Agreement, the Township never designed or implemented an “educational component”, essential to the project’s success. After unmarked graves were discovered in Canada’s west, and baby shoes and red paint were dumped on a statue by local vandals, the Township Council decided to hide from the conflict it instigated by neglecting its legal responsibilities. – It used tax money to remove the statues and is storing them in a secret place for a monthly fee – ongoing to this day.
Prime Ministers Statues Project
- Sir John A. Macdonald
- Sir Robert Borden
- Kim Campbell
- William Lyon Mackenzie King
- Lester Pearson
- Sir John Abbott
- Sir Mackenzie Bowell
- Sir John Thompson
- Sir Charles Tupper
See also – as potential future statues?
If Wilmot staff and the Wilmot Council had fulfilled their requirements under the Agreement to provide, “an educational program that is accessible to the public with respect to the PM Statues and the history of the prime ministers depicted in the PM Statues, their importance to Canada and their times, that is of a quality that meets public expectations“, it is almost a guarantee that the participatory ‘buy-in’ from multiple cultural sources would have avoided the emotional distress portrayed by some and the vandalism perpetrated by a few.
It appears that Wilmot Council is interpreting the meaning of the words, “The Township shall oversee the development and ongoing operation of an educational program..” to mean:
- someone else has to take the initiative to develop an overview of a comprehensive curriculum plan, i.e.:
- C.R.D.I. which means Curriculum Review Development Implementation (the process used in education in Ontario)
There is reputable evidence that Createscape had made connections and arranged for provision of the following, at no cost to the township:
- landscaping of the area at Castle Kilbride where the 42 pieces of art were to be located,
- potential expansion of the parking area behind the township hall,
- construction of a longhouse/interpretation centre at the site,
- an educational program created at Nippissing University in its Indigenous Studies education department.
- What did Wilmot Council and staff think was left to oversee?
Wilmot Council failed in its duties and is responsible for the potential loss of a wonderful opportunity that a previous Council recognized in 2016!!
One can only assume that Wilmot mismanaged its communications with the Createscape group, missed the existing opportunities, and so did nothing and spent nothing. Its taxpayers are now paying for its myopia!
How much programming could Wilmot have developed for the $131,452.44 it has dumped into removal and storage as of Aug. 31st, 2022?
The sequence of events – so far
- Feb. 19, 2016: Council and Staff Met With Createscape Waterloo Region
- March 21, 2016: Staff prepared CL2016-06, a report with recommendations to proceed
- April 4, 2016: Council unanimously voted to enter a legal Agreement with Createscape – page 2
- May 5, 2016: Council entered into a legal Agreement to install the Statues – click here to read Agreement. Note Item 7
- April 6, 2016: “Monumental wisdom in Wilmot” (KW Record)
- Some Statues were installed
- Wilmot staff & Council did not produce the educational component as required in the Agreement
- News reports about Residential Schools
- News reports about “unmarked” graves
- Local news reports re. “Prime Ministers Statues” Project
- Red paint was thrown on the John A. Macdonald’s statue by vandals
- Council got political pressure from vociferous minority
- Council passed a resolution that was not representative of Wilmot citizens, and prejudicial re. any future process
- Oct. 5, 2020: Wilmot staff produced a Report to address ‘fall-out’
- Oct. 5, 2020: Council entered into a Supplementary Agreement
- Nov. 2, 2020: Addendum To ILS 2020-27 Describes “The Nature of the Educational Programs” component required by the Agreement. Township admits its responsibilities but does nothing!
- Nov. 2, 2020: Council ‘executes” Supplementary Agreement
- Dec. 7, 2020: Council hires a native group from Ottawa to do research (page 8 in agenda)
- The research group interviews statistically unspecified people
- First Peoples Group reports to staff & Council
- First Peoples Group video – July 5, 2021
- Wilmot Media Release: “What we heard” consult results
- Staff member contracts price for ‘potential’ removal & storage of Statues
- July 5th, 2021 Special Council Meeting
- First Peoples Group presents its report to Council & public at Zoom Council Meeting
- After 74% public favour keeping statues and adding educational components Council voted to remove & store statues
- Council votes to form a “committee” to advise it regarding what to do with the statues
- 5 minutes after the Council Meeting contractor is called to remove statues
- 24 hours later the statues are gone
- Staff refuse to answer questions and claim F.O.I. restrictions
- Wilmot website: summarizes some of the events re. Prime Ministers ‘Path” Project
- No “Statue committee” exists yet. (There is a “study group” consisting of 2 Councillors, and the rest are native peoples – almost all of whom do not live in Wilmot. There was no widely published invitation by Council to ordinary citizens to participate.)
- There will be a Report published by the new C.A.O. in March 2022. Council has made ALL of its decisions based on the statistically invalid product presented by First Peoples Group on July 5, 2021. There has been no subsequent public participation, input and consultation, no interim public updates. This process is flawed and appears “cooked”.
- As of the 2022 election notices, (August 2022) NOTHING HAS BEEN RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC!
- Oxford defines “myopia noun, the quality of being short-sighted, lack of foresight or intellectual insight”.
Background – [click for details
The Prime Ministers Statue Project (now referred to as The Prime Ministers Path Project) is an artistic and educational project.