September 12, 2017 8:25 am

Kentville N.S. official says council never intended to name bridge after controversial figure, Cornwallis

A statue of Edward Cornwallis stands in a Halifax park.

Andrew Vaughan/CP

A municipal official says his community never intended to name a bridge after a controversial Nova Scotia governor who issued a bounty on Mi’kmaq scalps.

Kentville’s chief administrative officer Mark Phillips says Cornwallis Bridge was just an internal working name for the span.

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READ MORE: Bid launched to rename Nova Scotia’s Cornwallis River honouring contentious historical figure

He says council passed a motion two years ago to name it after the community’s longest-serving mayor, Wendell Phinney.

The comments come after a woman launched a bid to change the name of the bridge and the Cornwallis River.

Isobel Hamilton says Edward Cornwallis also played a brutal role at the Battle of Culloden, violently suppressing the Jacobite rebellion in her Scottish homeland.

READ MORE: Edward Cornwallis considered: The man behind Halifax’s divisive debate

But she says her motivation isn’t about scrubbing Cornwallis’s name from history, but rather recognizing the province’s Indigenous roots.

WATCH: Municipality to reassess how Edward Cornwallis is commemorated

The Town of Kentville recently covered up the name Cornwallis on a poster of the new bridge set to be built next year.

Still, calls remain for the province to rename the river, with Hamilton’s petition suggesting the original Mi’kmaq name be restored.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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