On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted to the toppling of Montreal's Sir John A. Macdonald statue, denouncing what he called "acts of vandalism." On August 29, protesters in Montreal took down the statue of Canada's first prime minister after a rally that called for the defunding of the SPVM. While the prime minister said that he understands the struggle against systemic racism, he doesn't believe that toppling statues moves the conversation forward.\n"I was deeply disappointed by the vandalism that took place over the weekend," said Trudeau.\nEditor's Choice: Over 80 Quebec City Students Are In Isolation After 3 People Got COVID-19\n"I understand the impatience and frustration of Canadians who faced systemic discrimination and racism throughout their lives. [...] I myself am impatient — we need to move forward quickly and in the right way.\n"But, we are a country of laws and we are a country that needs to respect those laws. [...] Those kinds of acts of vandalism are not advancing the path towards greater justice and equality in this country."\nThe prime minister's feelings were reflected in a statement made by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante after the statue was torn down.\nMayor Plante said that the city "will take the time to analyze the next steps to be taken."\n"People [...] are trying to use these elements as a way of furthering debate. I'm more interested in using the real frustrations that people have as motivations to continue to make the big changes necessary," said Trudeau.\n"Our focus needs to be on how we improve things today and for the days to come."\nPM Trudeau, asked re toppling of John A. Macdonald statue in Montreal, says he understands impatience, frustration of Cdns facing systemic racism but asserts “those kinds of acts of vandalism are not advancing the path towards greater justice & equality in this country." #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/F8evdf96uw— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) August 31, 2020\nThe prime minister said that acts of "vandalism" such as what Montreal witnessed on the weekend "[do] not help anyone" advance their cause.\nPoliticians from both sides of the aisle commented on the toppling of the controversial statue.\nConservative Leader Erin O'Toole said that "Canada would not exist without Sir John A. Macdonald. We will not build a better future by defacing our past."\nCanada wouldn't exist without Sir John A. Macdonald. Canada is a great county, and one we should be proud of. We will not build a better future by defacing our past. It's time politicians grow a backbone and stand up for our country. https://t.co/VdskHzFaRy— Erin O'Toole (@ErinOTooleMP) August 29, 2020\nEven NDP leader Jagmeet Singh echoed the sentiment that taking down the statue was a bad move and "doesn't erase him from history"\nSir John A. Macdonald was the first PM of Canada but he was also a key figure in the attempt to brutally wipe out Indigenous peoples.Taking down a statue of him doesn't erase him from history any more than honouring him out of context erases the horrors he caused.— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) August 30, 2020\nMany anti-Macdonald opinions, however, point to the fact that Canada's first prime minister was responsible for the country's residential school system and for systematically starving Indigenous people.\nQuoique l’on puisse penser de John A. MacDonald, détruire un monument ainsi est inacceptable. Il faut combattre le racisme, mais saccager des pans de notre histoire n’est pas la solution. Le vandalisme n’a pas sa place dans notre démocratie et la statue doit être restaurée.— François Legault (@francoislegault) August 29, 2020\nEven more say that Canada shouldn't be glorifying a man with such a bloody history.\nThe debate over monuments to problematic individuals seems set to rage on.