So when is a controversy not a controversy?
In my own opinion, an "issue" is not a controversy when there isn't anything wrong with what's going on - at least, locally.
Some people I felt were under the impression there was, or is, a local controversy over the Tommy Douglas statue and how upset the sculptor, Lea Vivot, was over what happened at the official unveiling.
In doing a "reality check", namely by talking to Vivot herself at her Toronto studio, there really is no local issue or controversy involved, and in spite of what a Regina newspaper reported, she will not be moving our statue out of the city and over to Scotland or wherever.
What the controversy boiled down to, in fact, was a reporter or reporters not doing their job.
As Ms. Vivot told me, she had no issue over how we covered her, or how the press in general in Saskatchewan covered her, but she was a little shocked (and then angered) by seeing a photo of her statue on the front of major Toronto and national publications with absolutely no mention of her, or of the fact she made it and gifted it to the city.
Even her lawyer wasn't sure if it was her statue, because he came in with a Toronto paper with the photo on front, showing Kiefer Sutherland unveiling the statue, and he asked if she knew who the sculptor was, as the photo made no mention of whose work was being unveiled.
Some people were not impressed with her reaction, but really, I don't blame her. It's very much like an author having his book published, but then leaving his name off his work. Did it write itself? Clearly not, and over two years of sculpting on the Douglas statue did not happen on its own either. It was her idea, it was her initiative to approach the city with it, and it was her decision to gift it to the city, with only the cost of the materials covered.
On top of this, people have to realize what a major international figure Lea Vivot is as a sculptor; her works are literally all over the world, and in private collections of the famous as well as in major cities. Weyburn is incredibly fortunate to have a Vivot sculpture of this importance and magnitude given to us.
Rather than worrying if there's a controversy, we should: 1. be grateful for this amazing work of art; 2. celebrate it; and 3. remember why it was she gave it to us: so we remember the influence and accomplishments of the subject, Tommy Douglas.
As she told me, the statue is "a gift to all Canadians", just as medicare is available to everyone, because of his work.