Trent described himself and other city councillors as being ‘extremely upset’ with the proposal, which would dissolve the current Westmount-Ville Marie riding and place Westmount, Notre Dame de Grace and Montreal West in a new riding called Wilder Penfield.
Trent called the idea of dropping Westmount’s name from the riding “an attempt to eradicate history.”
The name Wilder Penfield (after the famous Canadian neurosurgeon) “doesn’t tell anybody where the riding is,” the mayor said.
A resolution passed at Monday’s city council stated that “the proposed changes to the riding name of Wilder Penfield ignores Westmount as a community of interest and a community that is integral to the riding’s identity.”
The resolution also pointed out that since 1914, the name of Westmount had been included in the various electoral districts’ names (with a brief exception from 1924-1933). It went on to describe Westmount as an ‘iconic neighbourhood’ with historic and architectural value, and also pointed out that Doctor Penfield Avenue, which runs through downtown, is not even part of the new district.
Trent called the idea of dropping Westmount’s name from the riding “an attempt to eradicate history.” -
Mayor Trent said he would personally send the resolution to Stephen Harper.
“That’s how strongly I feel about it,” he said.
Councillor Forbes, who read and proposed the resolution, said she was “flabbergasted” when she heard of the proposal to remove Westmount’s name from the riding.
“I hope we caught it in time,” she said.
The changes to Westmount are just part of a sweeping proposal by the Harper government to redraw the electoral map, with the stated goal of revising boundaries to reflect population shifts and growth.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission will present their final report at the end of August. Public consultations will be held in the fall, and all new boundaries are expected to be in place by April 2014.