Manitoba

Speedy naming of Toews Lake draws fire

Some Manitobans are questioning the speed with which the province named a lake after a hockey star, considering that it takes three years to do the same thing for a soldier killed in action.

Lake named promptly for hockey star, but honour for slain soldiers takes years

Some Manitobans are questioning the speed with which the province named a lake after a hockey star, considering that it takes three years to do the same thing for a soldier killed in action.

The province named a northern lake after NHL star Jonathan Toews on the weekend, when the Winnipeg native brought the Stanley Cup to the city. He is captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, this season's Stanley Cup winners.

Yet the family of Cpl. Mike Seggie, a Manitoba soldier killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 3, 2008,  is still waiting for a similar honour under the provincial program to name geographical features after members of the military killed in war service.

"How come it can happen so quickly for a superstar, and not a hero?" asked Shirley Seggie, Mike's mother.

Dwight MacAulay, the province's chief of protocol, said the two cases are not comparable.

There are two separate programs, and under the Commemorative Names Project, the naming of a geographical feature after a dead soldier is delayed three years to give the families time to grieve.

That is a national policy, he said.

Toews Lake, named after the star, is about 95 kilometres north of Flin Flon.

It was one of thousands of unnamed lakes in the province.