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  • Lorelei kelliher
    commented 2021-07-22 13:18:15 -0400
    Sorry forgot phone!

    4037891820
  • Sid Knowles
    commented 2021-07-02 12:31:58 -0400
    Henry Dundas, in the City Staff Report on the renaming of Dundas Street, has been accused of delaying the end of the Slave Trade in Britain for 15 years but the Report also acknowledges that this accusation is incorrect. “Though Dundas’s amendment” says the Report, “was adopted and a date for abolition was proposed in 1796, the Bill was never enacted by the House of Lords.” [“Historical Research on the Legacy of Henry Dundas” section of the Report.] How can an Amendment to a Bill that was never became law delay the ending of the Slave Trade? It can’t.

    Before a Bill passed in the British House of Commons in 1796 became law, it had also to be passed by the House of Lords and receive Royal Assent. City Staff know this is how the system operated. The statement in the City’s News Release that Henry Dundas “…was involved in delaying the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, causing more than half a million Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire” is at best disingenuous but is more likely sheer dishonesty. While it is true that Dundas was involved in the 1796 Bill, so were hundreds and hundreds of others in Parliament and the House of Lords and in the administration.

    In 1791, William Wilberforce’s bill to abolish the Slave Trade was defeated 163-88 in the House of Commons. Wilberforce in 1792 introduced another Bill to abolish the slave trade and its fate looked to be similar to the 1791 Bill until Henry Dundas introduced an amendment which called for the “gradual elimination” of the slave trade. This Bill passed the House of Commons 230-85, but it died in the House of Lords and hence never became law and raises once again the question How can an amendment to a Bill that was never became law delay the ending of the Slave Trade? It can’t.

    . In the years following the defeat of the Dundas amended Bill, other Bills to end the Slave Trade were introduced and were defeated in the House of Commons. Between 1790 and 1805 eleven Bills to end the Slave Trade were defeated in the House of Commons.

    With respect to the 1792 amended Bill, it has been argued, not very well of course, that Dundas was a powerful Minister, and he was, but he was not an omnipotent political figure who could force either the House of Commons (as shown by the defeated Slave Trade abolishing Bills 1790-1805) or the House of Lords to pass a Bill they did not want to pass. The House of Lords in the 1790s was a powerful institution and did not routinely rubber-stamp House of Commons Bills as in modern times.

    And with each additional fact about the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the defeated Bills to abolish the Slave Trade, the Henry Dundas’ amendment fades into insignificance. An Amendment to a Bill that never became law could not delay the ending of the Slave Trade by fifteen years and Dundas’ amendment could not result in the enslavement of an additional half a million victims of the Slave Trade. But it is this erroneous belief that “Dundas delayed the ending of the Slave Trade” that powers the movement to rename Dundas Street not only among the woke set of the internet or the politically banal at City Hall, or the buffoons in the media newsrooms, but also in the Staff Report itself.

    The Report downplays and ignores relevant historical facts to make it seem that Dundas had a much greater role in the abolition of the Slave Trade question than he did. (Did you know about the defeated House of Commons Bills to abolish the Slave Trade? Well, you wouldn’t find out about them in the City Staff Report.) Dundas did not play an important role in the abolition of the Slave Trade. His only contribution, and it is a minor one, is that his amendment changed the debate on the Slave Trade from “Should the British Slave Trade be abolished?” to “When shall the Slave Trade be abolished?” And the defeat of the abolition of the Slave Trade Bills in the House of Commons after 1796 show that that institution was not prepared in those years to Abolish the Slave Trade.

    The original City Staff Report makes two interesting statements:

    1. Henry Dundas was “a moderate anti-slavery reformer” and being a “moderate anti-slavery reformer” does not justify the re-naming of Dundas Street.

    2. The conclusion reached by the Staff Report states that Dundas’ “actions from 1792 onward contributed to the perpetuation of the crime against humanity of enslaving human beings.” But what were these “actions”? They are not spelled out and the Report offers no proof of any actions after 1792 by Dundas perpetuated the Slave Trade. Another misleading statement by the City of Toronto staff.


    City Staff was made aware of the shortcomings in their initial report by a written submission during the “Public Consultation” phase of the process. The Staff, however, doubled down on their errors, omissions and misinformation in their Final Report which suggests that the decision to proceed with the renaming had already been made and the “Public Consultation” was nothing but political theatre.

    The origins of the Henry Dundas controversy are in Edinburgh Scotland and revolve around a statue there. Some hardline leftwing historians and quasi-historians in Scotland assisted by the universal scourge of a bunch of woke, media hungry idiots say a lot of questionable things about Dundas as would be expected from a hardline leftwing crowd. but to put this in perspective given their ideological and political beliefs these left wing nutjobs would say much worse things about John Tory (and they’d be able to produce evidence to support some of their claims). The City Staff gives this selected group’s opinions more weight than it deserves.

    The entire rename Dundas Street movement can be seen as a politically driven operation emanating from the Mayor’s office. The Mayor reading the incorrect and/or biased opinions on the internet that Dundas “delayed the ending of the Slave trade” by amending a Bill that never became law and hence delayed nothing, got together with the City Manger’s people and decided to rename Dundas Street. The “Public Consultation” was provided with information which showed that the Mayor’s position was incorrect but John Tory decided to double down on the renaming.

    If John Tory had done any basic research on Henry Dundas before he decided that renaming Dundas Street was a good idea, he would have avoided making another huge “John Tory” error like the one he made as Kim Campbell’s Campaign Manager in the 1993 election when the Conservatives, under John Tory’s brilliant leadership (let’s make that “John Tory’s ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT leadership”) went from holding power with 156 seats to losing power and winning only 2 (TWO) seats. This election also included the John Tory approved campaign ad which mocked a facial feature of opponent Jean Chretien and suggested that a minor physical defect was in and of itself enough to prevent a person from representing Canada on the world stage.

    The City Report calls for the renaming of Dundas Street at a cost of 5 or 6 million dollars based on “historical evidence” of the most questionable kind simply to spare John Tory any embarrassment for believing untrue internet postings. In a city where the waiting time for subsidized housing is over 5 years long, where daycare spaces are hard to find, where the homeless sleep in city parks in tents and wonder what they are going to do when the Winter arrives, John Tory wants to waste 5 or 6 million dollars rather than admit he was wrong.

    Why should John Tory gain an advantage and the homeless, working families, and people needing adequate housing and shelter lose?

    The Report by Coty Staff on the renaming of Dundas Street shows a disdain for the truth. Save the disdain for John Tory. Save the disdain for the City Manager. Save the disdain for the people who wrote the dishonest City Staff Report.

    Sid Knowles

    SUMMARY OF THE POSITIN OF PEOPLE WHO WISH TO RENAME DUNDAS STREET

    1. The street name should be changed because Dundas proposed an amendment t a Bill that NEVER became law.

    2. Because the Bill never became law, Dundas’ amendment could not have prolonged the Slave Trade for 15 years. And the people claiming that Dundas’s amendment to a non-existent Bill prolonged the Slave Trade such as the Mayor are either idiots (too dumb to know better) or liars.

    3. The whole basis for changing the name of Dundas Street is based on a false belief that the Bill that Dundas amended became law and it did not.

    4. There is no justification to spend 4-5 million dollars to change the name of Dundas Street.