Photo cred - infrastructure.gc.ca
This morning, LaPresse reported that the new Champlain bridge will be named after famous Canadian ice hockey player Maurice Richard also know as the "Rocket". Inevitably, there's debate on how relevant hockey is to the bridge.
- Federal Minister of Infrastructure, Denis Lebel, has insisted on using the hockey legend's name because a majority agree that he is a worthy and symbolic representative of Quebec.
- Although the prime minister Stephen Harper and the Minister of Infrastructure are remaining evasive on the subject, Ottawa wants to announce the new name on December 9th which was also the player's number.
- The controversy here is that Richard's name will be replacing Champlain's who is also known as "The Father of New France".
- Henri Dorion, the Commission de toponymie du Québec (responsible for managing Québec place names of natural geographical features and constructed ones), was not consulted for this and said that "it is like saying that Maurice Richard is as important as Champlain. Do not mix things up."
- One of the alternative options were to name the bridge after Jeanne Mance who played a major role in founding Montreal and established the city's first hospital.
- Dorion is also suggesting that there's no need to change the bridge's name.
- The family of Maurice Richard also stated that don't want their father's name to be part of controversy.