MONTREAL – The motion to rename Outremont’s Vimy Park in honour of former premier Jacques Parizeau was approved by Montreal’s municipal council Tuesday evening.
The proposed name change provoked outrage in the community.
Opponents argued the move was an affront to the memory of Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War saying the park should not be renamed after someone who tried to break up the country.
The former Parti Québécois premier was the driving force behind the 1995 sovereignty referendum; he retired from politics after the ‘Yes’ campaign narrowly failed.
But ultimately protests and online petitions weren’t enough to sway city councillors who voted 51 to 2 in favour of the name change.
WATCH: Protesters demonstrated in front Outremont town hall Monday to denounce proposed name change
City councillor Marvin Rotrand told Global News that the city plans to dedicate two new public squares in 2017 to commemorate the battles of Vimy Ridge and Dieppe.
The move would mark the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge and the 75th anniversary of the ill-fated raid on Dieppe and coincides with Montreal’s 375th birthday celebrations.
There is no word on when the name change will come into effect.
The tree-lined park, is just a short walk away from Parizeau’s childhood home and even bears a plaque honouring his first wife, writer Alice Poznanska Parizeau.