Denise Bombardier vigorously denounces the humiliation that the City of Montreal inflicts on the memory of the father of Bill 101, Dr. Camille-Laurin by refusing to give his name to a simple pedestrian crossing, as proposed by the Société d’Histoire d’Outremont.
Reason given to justify the insult: IT’S A WHITE MAN. The mayoress Valérie Plante’s office explains that the request is refused, because it “did not allow the integration of more women and more representatives of cultural and ethnic minorities”.
Camille Laurin has lived in Outremont for over 20 years. He was Associate Professor and Director of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal, whose borough is home to the new campus where this pedestrian promenade is located.
Well, you have to understand Valérie Plante. The elections are coming and she is counting on anglophones and cultural communities to ensure her re-election. It is revealing that she, like her opponent Denis Coderre, targets this same electorate. It is the only one who counts from now on to be elected mayor of Montreal, once the second French-speaking city in the world.
This is not the first time that the City of Montreal, led by Plante and, before her Coderre, has given priority to its woke-feminist ideology to impose insignificant or downright absurd toponyms and odonyms in Outremont. Before going any further, a confession: I am a member of the Société d’Histoire d’Outremont.
The city of Montreal and its accomplice UdeM have accepted that the central axis of its new Outremont campus bears the odonym “Avenue Thérèse-Lavoie-Roux” rather than that of one of its most eminent professors, Pierre Dansereau who headed its Faculty of Sciences. A great scientist and humanist, he is considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. Pierre Dansereau was born and lived much of his life in Outremont. But unfortunately he was a man. Like Camille-Laurin. Ultimate concession, a green space in the campus bears name.
Rather, the avenue was given the name of Thérèse Lavoie Roux, an honest and sympathetic person, no doubt. But the mark it leaves in history is anecdotal: Liberal minister in Quebec and Conservative senator in Ottawa. But it was a woman. Nothing else explains or justifies his choice, as far as I know.
And if it was absolutely necessary to give the name of a woman to this avenue, I had suggested that of Blanche van Ginkel, a great architect and town planner who taught at UdeM and the first woman to sit on the board of directors of the Order of Architects of Quebec.
While working with Le Corbusier in Paris in 1948, she participated in the creation of the famous Cité radieuse in Marseille, a masterpiece of architectural modernism.
Still in the same spirit, on the “cultural and ethnic minorities” side this time, we imposed, under Coderre with the consent of the University of Montreal, the Mohawk name “Tiohtià: ke Ostirà’kehne” on the Outremont summit park. The Mohawks are not natives of Quebec, but of the State of New York who have territorial claims on the island of Montreal supported by Plante and Coderre who like to repeat the fallacy that “Montreal is an indigenous territory” unceded ” “. The Mohawks enjoy the unconditional support of the Anglos-Montrealers who supported them in the Oka crisis.
The idea of assigning an Aboriginal toponym to the Outremont summit is excellent. This name should however relate to the history of Montreal. Supported by the SHO, I proposed “Tutonaguy”. It is the name of the village which was on the island in 1540-1541, according to the relations of Cartier and Roberval.
In Stalinist times, we followed ideological criteria as narrow-minded and stupid as they are in Montreal now in assigning toponyms in the Soviet Union. We are there. And it’s only just started.