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Secord Monument

There are two monuments in the Municipality of Kincardine dedicated to Dr. Solomon Secord. Over 110 years ago, in the years following his death, patients and friends chose to put these up in his honour. The first phase of public engagement has been launched.

To learn more about the monument and the public engagement process download these printable information sheets:

If you have comments or questions, you can submit them online.

Secord Monument 1 in the Kincardine Cemetery

Monument 1 Kincardine Cemetery

Monument 1 is in the Kincardine Cemetery where it still stands today. Its inscription reads:

In memoriam to Solomon Secord, M.D. Erected by his friends to a man who was unalterably opposed to all forms of insincerity cant and hypocrisy. He loved children and animals and was rich in all things worth while. His life was devoted to benevolence and charity and he still lives in the affection of the people. His last words were “give my love to everybody.”

Monument 2 Public Library (currently in storage)

Monument 2, a sundial, was originally installed outside the Kincardine Branch of the Bruce County Library, reads:

I mark the Sunny Hours.

To Solomon Secord, 1834-1910.
Our family physician for 50 years.
This memorial was erected by his loving friends. Served as surgeon with the Southern Army during the American Civil War. All that lived he loved, and without regard for fee or reward, he did his work for love of his fellows.

Removed in the spring of 2023 due to the Queen Street reconstruction project, the second monument remains stored in a secure location. Following the construction, it is no longer possible to return the monument to its original location.

Secord Monument 2 Public Library (currently in storage)

The Issue at Hand

Councils have received requests to remove the second monument due to the reference to Secord’s service to the Southern (Confederate) Army during the American Civil War.

This war centered on slavery, a practice which systematically oppressed and dehumanized Black people.

The reference on the second monument, along with questions about Secord’s role as a medic for the Confederate Army who fought to maintain the institute of slavery, raises concerns with members of the Kincardine community.

There has been no raising of concerns with respect to the cemetery monument where the inscription makes no reference to the American Civil War or Secord’s participation.

Council has received requests to return monument 2 to outside the library. Concerns that removing the monument or amending the wording is disrespectful to Secord’s service to the community are part of these requests. They also express concern for the erasing or denial of history.

With the Queen Street reconstruction project complete, Council is considering the needs and impact upon community of monument 2 due to the reference to the American Civil War.

Following a staff report, the current Council directed that an external consultant(s) be engaged to assist them with decision-making about the second monument.

Public Engagement and Why It's Important

Public engagement about monument 2 is very important to Council. Research into how other communities have worked through similar situations and the best way of moving ahead with a public engagement process was conducted. A common element to the success of the process for all of the communities interviewed was choosing the right facilitator.

Finding a Facilitator

Advice from other municipalities about choosing a facilitator:

  • Does not live in the community in order to remain neutral.
  • Has previous experience facilitating community conversations about monuments/and or the commemoration of people.
  • Has strong facilitation experience and presentation skills.
  • Will include all opinions throughout the engagement process.
  • Has a positive track record in teaching inclusion and equity work.

Staff have researched potential facilitators to advise on the process as well as facilitation of the community conversations. The top candidate has now been selected.

Portrait of Dr. Laura Mae Lindo

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo is the consultant for the engagement process. She will work with the Municipality to provide opportunities for the public to explore history and impacts, share perspectives, consider new ideas, and form new relationships. This will all be important to Council’s decision-making process.

Dr. Lindo is a respected educator who holds both a Master's and PhD in education. Dr. Lindo is a knowledgeable human rights advocate, and a respected ally to vulnerable communities. Most importantly, she is a courageous public speaker, ready, willing, and able to speak to issues often left unaddressed.

A former Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre and Ontario’s Official Opposition Critic for Anti-Racism and Equity as well as Colleges and Universities, Dr. Lindo was the inaugural Chair of Ontario’s first Black Caucus. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Philosophy at the University of Waterloo.

Learn more about Dr. Lindo and her work on her website

Engagement Process
Key Components - Phase 1

This engagement process is looking for all opinions on the second Secord monument. Central to this process is to foster an environment of inclusion that creates opportunities for safe and respectful conversations about the community we all belong to.

Public Survey - March 2024

The first phase of engagement was launched with a public survey on March 12, 2024. The survey is now closed and the results are currently being compiled. Results of the survey will be posted on this webpage.

Community Conversations - April to May 2024

Specific small group conversations with community groups will take place. Results of what is heard at these interviews will be posted here on this webpage.

Future Components

As we hear the feedback throughout the process, future components and steps will be identified.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the engagement process progresses, updates to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be added and posted here.

How can I connect with the facilitator?

Dr. Laura Mae Lindo is available to take questions and/or set-up a meeting with members of the public. Connect with her by e-mail.

Providing this information has to do with the difference between a confidential versus anonymous survey.

The words ‘anonymous’ and ‘confidential’ are often used synonymously when describing surveys. The Secord Monument Survey is a confidential survey, which means that the answers are linked back to personal information.

While overall survey responses will be shared and analyzed by the facilitator, the associated identity of the individual participants will never be shared/ reported or publicly tied to individual responses.

A confidential survey was chosen for this stage in the engagement process for the following reasons:

  • Confidential surveys are useful because of the ability they provide to drill down into results of the survey.
  • It allows the results to be segmented and analyzed by groups. Based on the segmented data it provides information about where potential issues or solutions lie.
  • A confidential experience rather than an anonymous survey promotes social civility and reduces the incidence of rude or hurtful responses.

About confidentiality

Given the confidential nature of the survey, it is important to emphasize that there is no intention of disclosing participant details. Rather, this confidential survey allows us to document trends in the survey responses. This will help us better inform council about the desires and needs of the Kincardine community while reserving the option of following up with individual survey participants should it be necessary.

Anonymous surveys

In contrast, when participation is anonymous it is impossible to know how many times a Kincardine resident has participated in the survey, or if people responding are from our community. We want to ensure that everyone has the chance to share their insights equitably, and being able to connect individual responses to actual residents allow us to ensure that our focus remains on the Kincardine community.

An ethnicity survey question is often part of a survey’s section where you ask for demographic information. Demographic questions help to clarify the characteristics of the population being surveyed (in this case, Kincardine residents). Collecting this information not only allows us to ensure that we get representation from the diverse groups that make up your community, but it also helps us avoid assuming that survey participants are of a certain demographic.

This information will be kept confidential, and you will also have the choice to skip over the question if you prefer not to answer.

Here are some examples of how you can respond to an ethnicity or race question:

  • White
  • Canadian
  • English
  • German
  • Scottish
  • Chinese
  • Italian
  • Indian
  • First Nations
  • Afro American
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Etc.

Personal information is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act for the purpose of creating a record to be used for analyzing survey results related to the Secord Monument. Questions about the collection of the personal information may be addressed to the Clerk of the Municipality of Kincardine, 1475 Concession 5, R.R. 5, Kincardine, Ontario N2Z 2X6. Phone: 519-396-3468 ext. 7111.

Personal information collected will be protected under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and be subject to the exemptions in the Act. Per this Act, personal information including information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual will be protected and will be redacted in any public report.

On January 24, 2024, Council directed that external consultant(s) be engaged to provide advice on the process and to assist in the facilitation of a public engagement process regarding equity, diversity and inclusion, in order to assist Council in its decision-making related to the Secord Monument.

The facilitator hired is not making a recommendation to Council. The facilitator is collecting and presenting information gathered from the community to assist council in its decision making.

With the construction work complete, Council has decided that now is the time to provide the opportunity for community members to voice their opinions, concerns, and perspectives regarding the monument. This input will help Council make an informed decision related to the Secord Monument given that it cannot return to its original location.

The purpose of the public engagement process is to invite individuals with differing views to engage in respectful dialogue and discussion. Through the conversations we hope to hear perspectives from diverse voices and consider the impact of their beliefs on others.

Through the engagement process it is important to Council that we create an environment where all members of the community feel valued and respected, and that this is part of a broader effort to promote and support actions to achieve equity and inclusivity.

We choose to leave the comment sections open on the majority of our social media platforms so there can be dialogue about the items we post. These conversations can include both negative and positive perspectives, both of which can help us to learn more about the topic.

We do monitor the comments that happen on these public forums to ensure that they stick to our guidelines for respectful conversation:

Posts that are not acceptable will be removed for the following reasons:

  • Provides the personal information of individual;
  • Promotes, perpetuates or fosters discrimination based on race, creed, colour, age, religion, gender, marital status, nationality, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;
  • Is profane or abusive;
  • Is sexually explicit or link to content that is sexually explicit;
  • Conducts or encourages illegal activity;
  • Is non-Corporation of the Municipality of Kincardine related business advertising and or promotions;
  • Is for the purpose of promoting a candidate for municipal, provincial or federal election;
  • Personal attacks on individuals or specific groups;
  • Any content that is believed to be inappropriate in the opinion of the Municipality of Kincardine.

We are sharing copies of all comments regarding the Secord Monument public engagement with the facilitator, including those which are removed.

Please remember that hateful commentary takes a mental toll on our audience and on our staff, who are responsible for keeping the conversation healthy for others. Please, be respectful.

Phase 1 of public engagement will end on Friday, May 31, 2024.

You can email Dr. Lindo until Friday, May 31st at 4:30 p.m. to provide your input. Following May 31st, Dr. Lindo will work on summarizing what she has heard throughout the first phase of the public engagement process.

She will present this summary to Council on July 24, 2024 and it will be available to the public on this webpage.

Diagram illustrating how the 6 components of the engagement process all contribute to the community we all thrive in and belong to.

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