Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Parking it where the sun don't shine

Today's topic is how to canonize an inept former Premier Ministre du Quebec. The man who panicked and begged the feds to bring in the army and the War Measures Act during the October Crisis. The guy who called in the Canadian army again 20 years later during the Oka Crisis after his bumbling provincial police shamefully opened fire on the Kanesatake Mohawks, escalating a minor land dispute to a tribal war. The only politician to formally set aside the Charter of Rights and Freedoms using the infamous "Notwithstanding Clause" to pass an incredibly silly piece of legislation. Yes, good 'ol BooBoo.

He was a pol who never saw a bit of Quebec society's fabric he couldn't resist yanking on to the breaking point. The one thing he did right - although it disrupted the ecosystem terribly in the process - was to build mammoth hydro-electric projects in the James Bay region, thereby securing our energy needs with a renewable resource for decades afterward.

But that's not enough reason to rename Park Avenue (or Avenue du Parc) as Ave. Robert-Bourassa.

For one thing, we already have a major artery - not far away from Park - named Boul. Henri-Bourassa. Oh sure, it's not the same Bourassa, but tell that to confused out-of-towners who just want to know how the heck to find their way to the Grand Prix.

For another, I used to live on Park and have always appreciated the name for its blessed brevity - especially when filling out Quebec government forms that never seem to provide enough space to write such stuff as "Ave. Robert-Bourassa".

And yet another: Park (or Parc) could be confused as being vaguely english-sounding, as a friend of mine pointed out. No wonder the pencil pushers can't leave it be.

- 30 -

1 comment:

Nikolaos Karabineris said...

It was with great sorrow and a heavy heart that I heard the news from the dictatorship at Montreal City Hall. They have taken upon themselves, without any public consultation to change the name of my beloved Park Avenue to Robert Bourassa Ave. Mayor Tremblay and his puppets secretly planed to impose the will of a political party's French majority onto the most culturally diverse street in the heart of a great city. Going against the vast majority of Park Avenue's residents and business owner's. Opposing the wishes of Bourassa's family to rename St. Joseph Blvd., where Bourassa grew up, claiming it would bring opposition from the Catholic Church. Ignorant to the fact that a short block away Laurier Ave. was renamed from St. Louis Ave. in 1899, a time when the Catholic Church was at the height of it's power.Stop the injustice and lend your support.

I call upon all the citizens of Montreal to rise up and ensure that Park Avenue will live on forever!