Gaelic College 'royal' name compromise revealed in documents

Nova Scotia government documents show a recent compromise on the use of the royal designation received by Cape Breton's Gaelic College was first floated in December, shortly after a backlash over the decision to change the school's name.

Cape Breton Gaelic College documents show N.S. first suggested name compromise last year

About 1,200 people in Nova Scotia still speak Gaelic, most of them in Cape Breton. Language courses are offered at the college and the provincial government has an Office of Gaelic Affairs, set up by Rodney MacDonald when he was premier in 2006. (The Gaelic College)

Nova Scotia government documents show a recent compromise on the use of the royal designation received by Cape Breton's Gaelic College was first floated in December, shortly after a backlash over the decision to change the school's name.

Obtained by The Canadian Press under access-to-information legislation, the documents also show the province took a largely hands off approach to the brewing controversy.

A briefing note prepared for the college's board of governors by school CEO Rodney MacDonald was forwarded to a provincial official on Dec. 12.

It contains a recommendation from MacDonald to the board, although MacDonald informs the official that has not included the recommendation.

A subsequent government email speculates a compromise would see the royal designation accepted and recognized with a small plaque on site, although the name would not be used in day-to-day business.

In fact, the board didn't vote to drop the royal designation until March 2, and the compromise wasn't announced until a March 7 posting on the college's website.