Complaint about Stouffville sculpture led feds to spend $103,000: Report

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One person’s opinion was apparently worth $103,000.

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Someone complained to the Department of Public Works about the state of a sculpture outside the post office in Stouffville, which led the department to allocate $103,000 to restore it, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

The fading artwork is called “the lemon” by locals.

The nine-foot sculpture was installed in 1973 under a federal program to commission public art.

“In March 2018 a member of the public contacted the MP for Markham-Stouffville, Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott, to express concerns about the deteriorating condition of a sculpture outside the post office,” wrote staff.

There was $78,000 budgeted for restoration, $24,000 for staff salaries involved.

Staff determined the sculpture was located on Crown land and not on municipal or Canada Post lands.

“We are ultimately trying to determine ownership,” emailed one staffer.

“We’ve been on this case for weeks now,” replied a co-worker.

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Philpott’s office was “not satisfied,” wrote a political aide. “This is very embarrassing.”

The sculpture was taken down in 2019.


Philpott resigned from cabinet on March 4, 2019 and lost her re-election bid in the 2019 campaign.


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