The statue of a controversial judge that stood in front of the courthouse in New Westminster is now gone.
Judge Matthew Begbie became the first Chief Justice of the then Crown colony of B.C. in 1858.
These days, Begbie is remembered as the judge who presided over the murder trial of five Tsilhqot’in men as part of the Chilcotin War in 1864. All five were hanged near Quesnel, with a sixth hanged in New Westminster.
Premier Christy Clark exonerated the men in 2014 and in May of this year, New Westminster council voted to remove the statue.
Councillors Nadine Nakagawa and Chuck Puchmayr said in their motion that the statue is a “symbol of the colonial era and this grave injustice.”
But not everyone was happy about the statue’s removal.
“That is too bad. You can’t erase history but we can learn from it,” said one Instagram user.
“So New Westminster is to re-write history taking down any colonial history,” said Dan Donnelly on Twitter.
So New Westminster is to re-write history taking down any colonial history. What will replace Begbie stat, with a new one of Chief Dan George ? God dam disgusting.
— Dan Donnelly 🇨🇦 (@mortyNW) July 7, 2019
First it was Sir John A. Macdonald now it's Sir Matthew Begbie…
The radical left is hell-bent on
destroying this country and erasing its history. Toppling monuments to those who built this country and laid the foundation for our future.
It's time to fight back. pic.twitter.com/0PPWCpFrvf
— Aaron Gunn (@AaronGunn) July 7, 2019