William Shatner wants his legacy to be peace, receives key to Montreal

William Shatner received the key to Montreal and said he would like to leave a "legacy of peace" for his fans. He is appearing as the guest of honour at Montreal Comiccon.

Star Trek's on-screen multiculturalism went where no show had gone before

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      Intergalactic space traveller, veteran police sergeant and high-priced attorney William Shatner returned home briefly on Saturday to say he wants to leave a "legacy of peace" for his fans. 

      The actor is in town for Montreal Comiccon, where he is the guest of honour. But he went to City Hall first to meet Mayor Denis Coderre and sign the city's Golden Book. He also received a key to the city. 

      Legacy of progress

      Shatner's acting career has spanned more than sixty years, and included runs in  T. J. Hooker and Boston Legal, but he is most commonly identified with Captain Kirk of the original Star Trek series. 

      He is still proud of his work with the show. 

      The original Star Trek may have missed what the future would look like fashion-wise — Beatle boots and beehive hair didn't survive into the 21st century never mind the 23rd — but in its casting the show got multiculturalism right.

      "[Star Trek] merged all kinds of people, professions and races," Shatner said.

      Civil rights icon Martin Luther King once said the show's multiculturalism made it the only one he let his children watch.

      The Star Trek character Uhura is considered the first character of African descent to be cast in more than a subservient role on television. 

      Montreal for gaming

      Coderre took the chance to appeal to the sci-fi crowd by drawing attention to Montreal's spot as the third largest city for video game industries in the world.

      "Montreal is an environment to dream,"Coderre said. "Today I'm like a kid in a candy store."

      Mayor Denis Coderre said, 'When we have great people passing through City Hall we make them sign the Golden Book." (Elysha Enos/CBC)
       Shatner, 85, grew up in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough before attending McGill University, then moving to Toronto and later the U.S.

      The city has changed so much since he left, Shatner said, he now barely recognizes it. 

      "It's been a long time since I grew up in Montreal," he told a crush of reporters at City Hall. 

      "But that doesn't matter because every time I come back to Montreal things are changing. I was downtown this morning and there was more construction going than there is to go to the moon." 

      Shatner was joined by other Comiccon attendees in signing the Golden Book and getting the key to the city: Peter Cullen, John Barrowman, Elias Toufexis, Darryl 'DMC' McDaniels, Manu Bennett, Michael Ironside and Brent Spiner.