A descendent of Henry Dundas is standing up for her ancestor’s name as the City of Toronto scrubs it from subway stations and a major square.

In an interview with True North’s Harrison Faulkner, Jennifer Dundas, a former crown prosecutor and CBC journalist, called the legacy media’s reporting on Henry’s legacy inaccurate and ignorant of the facts.

Dundas said that she had presented several media outlets with a more balanced perspective on Henry’s legacy, but was ignored by these outlets.

“It just shocked me to see what people will do with the information that we were presenting. They would either ignore it or they would take a quote that would be out of context and would not really convey what it was that we were saying,” said Dundas.

“It was so difficult that I actually went to the ombudsman of a couple of major news outlets in Toronto to complain that, look, we’re providing all this information that shows that what you’re printing is inaccurate and that nobody will pay attention to it so could you please do something about this? And in both cases we just got a brush off.”

Dundas, a former journalist for over 20 years, said that the media’s reporting on Henry Dundas’ legacy was more akin to the work of activists and not of journalists whose job is to present the facts and both sides of an argument. 

“What shocked me is that they [the legacy media] were putting themselves in the role of activists in a way and not journalists and were not being fair and balanced.”

Henry Dundas was an influential Scottish politician serving in the British parliament in the late 18th century to early 19th century, holding several key cabinet positions in Prime Minister William Pitt’s government.

Dundas was an abolitionist who fought for the end of slavery and the slave trade. He sought a gradual ending of the slave trade so that the resolution had the chance of passing the Parliament, and so that the slave trade wouldn’t be driven underground or into the hands of foreign nations.
Toronto City Council had recently approved the scrubbing of Dundas’ name from Yonge-Dundas Square, renaming it Sankofa Square.