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City of Dartmouth at the centre of a branding battle

Click to play video: 'Residents wanting ‘City of Dartmouth’ branding declare it so anyway' Residents wanting ‘City of Dartmouth’ branding declare it so anyway
WATCH: The rebranding of the "Halifax Regional Municipality" to "Halifax" is continuing to ruffle feathers in Dartmouth, and residents are taking a stand. They say their community's identity is being diminished. As Steve Silva reports, some are once again calling home the "City of Dartmouth," regardless of signage or officiality – Jan 26, 2016

Dartmouth is once again the City of Dartmouth, at least according to a group of residents.

“We see that it’s time for us to stand up for our community identity and make sure Dartmouth’s name is defended,”Warren Wesson said on Monday. Wesson is the spokesperson of a group also named the City of Dartmouth.

He said the aim isn’t to separate Dartmouth from the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) but instead to get the community its own official city branding.

The group includes Bruce Hetherington, a former councillor.

The issue was reignited when a sign at Sullivan’s Pond in Dartmouth was changed to simply “HALIFAX” as part of the HRM’s rebranding plan.

The offending sign at Sullivan’s Pond in Dartmouth. File / Global News

“It just aggravates the people,” said Dartmouth Centre councillor Gloria McCluskey.

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She said she is fine with the simpler name being used for national and international marketing purposes but not for local signage.

“We’ll accept amalgamation but then don’t come putting Halifax signs up in Dartmouth,” said McCluskey.

Wesson said he wants future signs to carry the preferred name.

“It would be a shame to lose Dartmouth to the history books,” he said.

Jack Novack, who teaches local government at Dalhousie University, said Dartmouth can be considered a community but changing it to become a city would be difficult.

“Promoting community identity and promoting community cohesiveness, and using it (as a) way to engage people in a political conversation is all very good things, but that’s quite different and apart from being a legal entity, which I think, in the current climate, is probably a non-starter,” said the professor.

Warren Wesson is a spokesperson of the group. Steve Silva / Global News

Wesson said he hopes he can convince other councillors to join his campaign.

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“Halifax uses the Halifax brand, we would like to use the City of Dartmouth brand. We are using the City of Dartmouth brand; we’re going ahead with it anyway,” he added.

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