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VIDEO: Statue of B.C.’s ‘Hanging Judge’ removed from New Westminster courthouse

Judge Matthew Begbie became the first Chief Justice of the then Crown colony of B.C. in 1858

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.”

READ MORE: New Westminster council votes to remove statue of B.C.’s ‘Hanging Judge’

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.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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