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Winston Churchill statue in downtown Edmonton vandalized

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

A statue of Sir Winston Churchill in downtown Edmonton has been vandalized and left covered in red paint.

Police say they received a call about the vandalism around 10:45 a.m. on Thursday. Estimates for time and cost of a clean-up have yet to be determined.

Mayor Don Iveson reported that he welcomes discussion over issues of inclusiveness and addressing historical wrongdoing, but condemned vandalism. "There are more productive ways to move society along towards a more inclusive and uplifting future than vandalizing city property," he said. "The most productive debate and balanced community discussions are where facts can be shared and public input can be heard."

City council is scheduled to hear a report on Aug. 24 about reviewing and revising the city's naming policy.

Although Churchill is revered by many for his role as Britain's prime minister, leading the country to victory over Nazi Germany, and indeed, for being a friend of Canada, some continue to assert his statues should be removed for his racist views. A statue of Churchill in London was defaced several times during the BLM protests last year, almost prompting its removal.

Councillor Jon Dziadyk spoke to TBT:

"Churchill fought against Nazi Germany", he began.

"His dedication and determination are often cited as reasons for the Allied victory against pure evil. I am more than disheartened to see his statue vandalized like this.

Even today, we see swastikas in Edmonton. The battle against fascism is far from over, and I am outraged with the level of hate in today's society. I am a Reserve member of the Canadian Armed Forces and I believe that the current generation sometimes forgets that it was through war and bloodshed that got us our freedoms. Without Churchill, the Nazis would have continued to spill the blood of innocent people. I am calling on the City of Edmonton to immediately clean up this vandalism and prevent it from happening again. I would like to have a civil debate on matters of history but as soon as one side jumps to violence and destruction, they lose all credibility."

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