Over the last month, many conversations have sparked worldwide around systemic racism and the ongoing effects of colonialism — Canada is no exception. Like many places around the world, Montrealers are pushing for key figures in BIPOC history to be honoured in buildings and institutions around the city. And now, an online petition directed toward The City of Montreal, Mayor Valérie Plante and the STM seeks to change the name of Lionel-Groulx station.

The petition is asking that the station honour the late Oscar Peterson, an international jazz pianist who was born and raised in Montreal in the Little Burgundy neighbourhood.

The petition was started by Naveed Hussain on June 16. At the time of writing this article, it had 6,230 signatures.

With a career over six decades, Peterson helped put Canada on the map in the jazz and music scenes, winning numerous awards, such as the UNESCO International Music Price and eight Grammy's, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Not only would it be an honour to have a station named after you, but the one in question is the corresponding station between the Green and Orange Lines, the two busiest lines in the STM system. 

The petition's name, translated from French, is "Petition for the Lionel-Groulx metro station to be renamed Oscar Peterson Station."

According to the petition, "This allows Montréal to celebrate the legacy of a man who has proudly represented our city on the international stage and allows our city to celebrate the beautiful cultural diversity and representation that black Montrealers bring to our city."

This, of course, would mean changing the current name of the station. 

Many believe that it is the perfect time to make this monumental change. 

"Oscar Peterson deserves this recognition from Montreal city hall, and it would be a good draw for visitors as well! Station names and maps will be revised due to the REM so now is the right time," one commenter wrote.

Regardless of the outcome, conversations like these continue to highlight the achievements of those in the Black community and bring awareness to the shift in conversation to continue to create a more inclusive city.

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