Critics have quickly pounced on a proposal put forward by Montreal's Outremont borough council to rename Vimy Park after former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau.

The borough received permission from the City of Montreal's executive committee Wednesday to change the park's name in honour of former Quebec premier Jacques Parizeau, who died last year.

He lived on a street adjoining the small park for years.

Parc de Vimy

The park at the centre of the controversy consists of a small patch of land in Montreal's Outremont borough. (Justin Hayward/CBC)

Montreal city is expected to vote on the name change at its meeting on Monday.

The proposal was widely rebuked on social media, with people calling it "outrageous" and "blasphemy," among other criticisms.

Former Liberal MP Bob Rae tweeted Thursday that the proposed name change was an "insult pure and simple."

Columnist Andrew Coyne, a regular contributor to CBC The National's At Issue panel, chimed in on the discussion, tweeting "Holy freakin' hell" in response to CBC's coverage of the proposal.

Commentators on CBC Montreal's Facebook page were unanimous in their opposition to the move, using terms like "idiotic" to "disrespectful" to describe the proposal.

One, Michael DiCiero, asked "Have they lost their frikken marbles?"

facebook post


Many took exception to the idea of renaming a park named after a battle in which more than 3,600 Canadians died and another 5,000 were wounded for a politician who led Quebec to the brink of independence in the 1995 referendum on sovereignty.

Parizeau, a respected economist before entering politics, gained infamy for blaming "money and the ethnic vote" in the wake of the No side's victory in the referendum.

"Canadians of all types came together to win at Vimy. All Parizeau did was try to tear us apart," wrote Facebook user John Yarymowich.

"This guy tried breaking Canada up, how about you pick a street or something else, Vimy Ridge was a very important piece of history that should not be changed for a person who wanted to divide and break up the country," wrote Jason Allen.


  • A previous version of this story stated that Outremont borough council would vote on June 20 on renaming the park. In fact, Montreal city council will be voting.
    Jun 17, 2016 1:23 PM ET