MONTREAL – Anger is growing in Montreal after the borough of Outremont proposed to rename one of it’s parks in honour of former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau.
The tree-lined park in the tony Outremont neighbourhood, is just a short walk away from Parizeau’s childhood home and even bears a plaque honouring his first wife, writer Alice Poznanska Parizeau.
It seems like a fitting tribute to one of Outremont’s more famous residents – but not everyone is on board.
The current park is known as Vimy Park, named in honour of the soldiers who fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge in the First World War. It is Canada’s most celebrated military victory but it came at a heavy cost, with more than 10,500 Canadian soldiers wounded or killed.
The former Parti Québécois premier was the driving force behind the 1995 sovereignty referendum; he retired from politics after the ‘Yes’ campaign narrowly failed.
Former Liberal MP Bob Rae weighed in on twitter, saying that the timing of the announcement was particularly offensive.
A Dollard-des-Ormeaux man agrees and started an online petition, asking that the park retain its original name.
The name change was initiated by Outremont’s historical society. The City of Montreal’s executive committee approved the request at a meeting Wednesday night.
Municipal council will vote on the motion on June 20.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said Outremont city council would vote on the motion June 20. It is in fact Montreal’s municipal council that is set to vote on the proposed name change.