POLITICS

Pierre Trudeau Tribute Pushed By Toronto Councillors, But Doug Ford, Denzil Minnan-Wong Opposed

10/04/2013 12:53 EDT
CP/Getty

Pierre Trudeau once said: "The past is to be respected and acknowledged, but not worshipped. It is our future in which we will find our greatness."

But two Toronto city councillors believe Canada's largest city has done a poor job paying respect to our 15th prime minister.

Councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Peter Milczyn have put forward a motion which would direct staff to identify a "significant Toronto landmark" to be renamed in Trudeau's honour, The Toronto Sun reports.

The landmark could include a major building, roadway or gathering place.

The motion points out that since Trudeau died in 2000, "the recognition of his contribution to our city and to our country by the city of Toronto is long overdue."

When Trudeau passed away, former mayor Mel Lastman sang his praises and invited Torontonians to sign a book of condolences.

"Pierre Trudeau was Canada," Lastman said in a release at the time.

And while efforts to rename the Humber Bay Pedestrian Bridge in Trudeau's honour failed in 2001, there is a French elementary school named after the prime minister.

But some conservative councillors — including the brother of Mayor Rob Ford — aren't exactly thrilled with the idea.

Councillor Doug Ford told The National Post he's not in favour of a renaming project because he "wasn't sold" on Trudeau's politics while Denzil Minnan-Wong seemed befuddled by the very proposal.

"Pierre Trudeau has done as much for Toronto as shoemakers have done for fish," Denzil Minnan-Wong told the paper.

The motion credits Trudeau's government with creating the Harbourfront Corporation and Berardinetti also told The Post the former PM's approach to multiculturalism helped shape the city.

Story continues after slideshow

What Is Pierre Trudeau Doing?

Trudeau represented the Quebec riding of Mount Royal for nearly 20 years. Montreal's international airport was named in his honour in 2004.

The discussion comes just weeks after the city renamed the Toronto island ferry terminal in honour of former NDP leader Jack Layton, who died in 2011 after a battle with cancer.

A bronze statue showing Layton on the back seat of a tandem bicycle was also provided by the Ontario Federation of Labour.

layton statue

But Layton represented the federal riding of Toronto-Danforth, was a prominent city councillor for years and ran for mayor in 1991. His state funeral was held in Roy Thomson Hall.

An official Trudeau tribute in Toronto could also raise flags now this son has become federal Liberal leader.

The idea of drumming up nostalgia for the Trudeau legacy may not sit well with Mayor Rob Ford, an avowed Stephen Harper fan.

So, what do you think? Is it strange for the city of Toronto to honour Pierre Trudeau? Tell us in the comments.