BONOKOSKI: If Ryerson changes its name, there shall be fire

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I am a graduate of Ryerson.

A few days ago, a group of far-left thugs in Toronto toppled the already-defaced statue of Egerton Ryerson, the founder of the polytechnic institute that has grown into a university.

No one was arrested. The university’s administration has played cuckold and should all resign.

The police shirked their duty and should be charged.

Mob rule won.

I graduated from Ryerson way back in 1972 with a diploma in journalism. The school was Ryerson Polytechnic Institute then and was dismissed by university types as Rye High.

I was just a kid from the Eastern Ontario village of Lyn, a town so small it didn’t even have a village idiot. Until Ryerson entered my life, I had never been to Toronto.

I immediately bought in. Soon my hair was long to fit in with the Yorkville hippie crowd. I didn’t do drugs, even weed. It made me paranoid and therefore very uncomfortable.

I was also farm boy tough, and a good thing, too.


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The timing of the destruction of Egerton Ryerson’s statue could not have been better played.

As an educator at the end of the 19th century, he was one of the architects of the residential school system that was bent on “civilizing” students by “killing the Indian in the child,” and news had just broken that perhaps 215 unmarked graves had been found at the defunct residential school in Kamloops B.C.

The thugs did not seek permission to tear down Ryerson’s statue, lob off his fingers, and toss his severed head into Lake Ontario.

What’s next? Burning down the Ryerson Elementary School in Hamilton, even after it voted to change its name? Or driving up to Parry Sound and the nearby town of Ryerson and raising hell there?

Far-left thugs can get away with such action but if a right-wing agitator did the same to, say, the turtle sculpture coming to Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square next year, they’d be arrested with cries to have their fingers lobbed off, and their heads figuratively tossed into the Lake of Shining Waters.


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And rightly so.

Speaking of Nathan Phillips, maybe commemorations to him should be tumbled, too. Under his direction as Toronto mayor, he pursued an aggressive agenda of demolishing heritage structures throughout the city in order to “modernize” it.

Large blocks of downtown Toronto were purchased and razed and many landmark buildings were destroyed such as the University Avenue Armouries, the Chorley estate, and the General Post Office that was built in 1873 and was the most expensive federal building ever constructed in Canada.

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Surely that pisses off some far-left imbecile enough for him or her to seek out and destroy all things Nathan Phillips for his uprooting of so many people and his heritage destruction.


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But John A. Macdonald is next. He’s a marked man.

I am no defender of Egerton Ryerson but men of his generation cannot, and should not, be judged by the standards of today.

History, too, cannot be changed. Egerton Ryerson, for example, not only helped design the residential school system, he also built the public education system that still exists today in Canada, complete with school boards and elected trustees.

All along, he thought he was doing right. He did not envision the onslaught of tuberculosis, no more than we envisioned COVID-19.

When Ryerson University changes its name, because the administration’s wimps will, I will dig out my diploma from storage and burn it in the office of the university’s president.

Of course I’ll be criminally charged.


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