a school has already been named after Louis Riel, who launched a armed rebellion
against the govt.
There ought to be more schools, airports, mountains named after famous politicians. We already use the names of explorers and judges in BC for
schools. Not to mention about a dozen places in BC are named after David Lam,
a local guy.
Royal Oak folks want to skip Trudeau school (external - login to view)
Royal Oak folks want to skip Trudeau school
CBE asks community to consider name
By Sarah McGinnis, Calgary HeraldFebruary 7, 2010
W hen it comes to Pierre Trudeau, Calgarians have long memories.
Three decades after the former prime minister's reviled National Energy Program was blamed for wreaking havoc on Alberta's oil and gas industry, a proposal to possibly name a new elementary school in his honour has sparked outrage by some who say the name has no place on a Calgary institution.
"He absolutely hated Alberta. He absolutely hated Alberta politicians. Why would we want to name a school after him?" asked Peter Litchenfield.
This fall, a new kindergarten-to-Grade 4 school will open in Royal Oak and residents are being asked to help the Calgary Board of Education christen the northwest elementary.
In a recent letter, the board put forward three potential names: Royal Oak School, Pierre Elliott Trudeau School, and Daryl K. Seaman School, after the prominent Calgary businessman and philanthropist who died last year.
The Trudeau suggestion has generated considerable chatter online from Calgarians opposed to even considering the idea.
"It's a disgrace. I think there's probably a thousand better names that Calgarians would find more suitable," said Edie Hiltz, shopping for groceries Saturday near the school site.
She said she was shocked when she read about the proposal through an e-mail from Royal Oak community association.
This isn't the first time the CBE has named a school after a former prime minister. This city has schools dedicated to Sir John A. Macdonald, John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson and Sir Wilfrid Laurier -- two Conservatives and two Liberals. Even former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill is represented.
But resident Janet McKinnon said she preferred naming the new Royal Oak school after the community -- helping everyone know where the school is located -- instead of after such a polarizing figure.
"What did Trudeau do for the education system? What did he do for Calgary?" said McKinnon.
Not everyone was against the idea of honouring Trudeau with a school name.
"I know in the West there's a lot of controversy with Pierre Trudeau. But if you look past what happened with the oil, he did do a lot of good things in this country," said Isabel Janes.
Naming a school after a historic figure also sets a tone and atmosphere for students, she said.
Trudeau was one of three names recommended by a naming committee and is by no means the final name for the school, said CBE spokesman Ted Flitton.
"It's important to recognize it's not about politics. It's about how they lived their lives and how they reflect the mission and values of public education," said Flitton.
"The two gentlemen whose names have been put forward are civic-minded, lifelong learners and contributed to society around them."
If people have strong feelings for or against the proposed Trudeau name they, should make them known to the district, said Flitton.
Community members have until Feb. 16 to vote on the proposed school names or to suggest others.
CBE trustees are expected to make the final decision Feb. 23.
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