Montreal

5,000 sign petition against Parc Avenue name change

Residents in Montreal's Plateau Mont-Royal are not giving up their fight against the city's proposal to rename a major street after former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa, even though their efforts may be in vain.

Residents in Montreal's Plateau Mont-Royal are not giving up their fight against the city's proposal to rename a major street after former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa, even though their efforts may be in vain.

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay wants to change Parc Avenue to Robert Bourassa Avenue, to honour the two-time Liberal premier, who died 10 years ago this month.

But the plan has not garnered support among people who live and work in the area. Business owners have complained they weren't consulted, and local residents say Parc Avenue has a historical and cultural value that shouldn't be discarded.

On Tuesday night, more than 100 people gathered in a community centre on Parc Avenue todiscuss a plan to convince city officials to drop the idea. Residents have already collected more than 5,000 signatures on an online petition.

Only two city councillors attended the meeting, and neither one has much power to change the decision at City Hall, even if local residents don't like the idea, they told CBC.

"I've received hundreds of e-mails. I came here to listen. And I bring that back to city council," said Michel Labrecque, councillor for the Mile-End district. But he can't do anything about the name-change plan because thedecision was made by the executive committee, Labrecque explained.

Noteveryone in the mayor's party agrees with the name-change plan, but the public won't hear about that dissent, said Mary Deros, a city councillor for the Park-Extension district and a member of Vision Montreal, the official opposition party at City Hall.

"Even within the party there are differences of opinion, and to be able to control that, there is one message that goes out loud and clear," she said Tuesday night.

Montreal's executive council will present the name-change proposal to city council on Oct. 30.

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