HALIFAX – Wednesday marks 269 years since Edward Cornwallis was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia, so it’s fitting the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the Halifax founder’s statue has been solved.
The statue of Cornwallis, temporarily removed from the park bearing his name in January, is in storage at 111 Turner Drive in Burnside, according to two sources with direct knowledge of municipal works.
On this date in 1749, Edward Cornwallis was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia.— Andrew Pinsent (@957Pinsent) May 9, 2018
Also, his statue is being stored in Burnside. pic.twitter.com/hBY2rIRJGe
Municipal spokesperson Brendan Elliott could not confirm the location when asked on Wednesday over concerns it could be vandalized.
"This statue has been a lightning rod of discontent for some, and we want to do everything we can to preserve the statue in its current condition while Regional Council decides on a permanent location," he said in an a emailed statement.
Council voted 12-4 in January to remove the statue amid public backlash over how Cornwallis is commemorated on municipal property, particularly from the Mi’kmaw community, over the military officer’s so-called ‘scalping proclamation’ that offered a bounty for those who killed Mi'kmaw peoples.
The statue has been stored at an undisclosed location since it was taken down the day following that vote and in the meantime, council has asked for an advisory committee to be struck to provide it with a recommendation on how to proceed with the use of Cornwallis’ name on municipal property.
The panel’s makeup and terms of reference have yet to be determined, while the next step will be for Council to consider a list of names submitted by The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.
On Tuesday, Council voted to add Grand Chief Gabriel Sylliboy to a list of names that can be used on municipal property, with the public application asking it be considered as a future name for Cornwallis Park if Council were to ever to decide to change its name.
Halifax was founded June 21, 1749, about a month after Cornwallis was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia on today’s date, May 9, 1749.