Nova Scotia

Dartmouth name debate still rages in Halifax after sign replacements

Although it has been 19 years since the amalgamation of Halifax Regional Municipality, the friction between Halifax and Dartmouth has flared up again over street signs.

A petition circulating accuses the municipal government of wiping out all signs of Dartmouth

Blair MacKinnon admits there is something to the argument over the name Dartmouth. (CBC)

Even though it's been 19 years since Halifax Regional Municipality was amalgamated, friction between Halifax and Dartmouth is heating up the name debate once again after the replacement of street signs.

Many Dartmouth residents are taking issue with the signs, which feature the new Halifax logo and leaves out "Regional Municipality". A new petition is circulating and accuses the municipal government of wiping out all Dartmouth signs and demands the name be restored to area landmarks.

Someone was so offended they ripped the Halifax logo from a sign at Sullivan's Pond. Dartmouth was scribbled in its place. 

Resident Blair MacKinnon says there is something to the argument.

"I think Dartmouth has a unique identity. It's very different from what we know as Halifax," he said.

"There's nothing wrong with Halifax, but I think Dartmouth is a very different, unique community, and I think we should preserve the name, preserve the identity."

So far, more than 2,000 names have been added to the petition, but Halifax councillor Waye Mason suggests they may be misguided.

In a recent blog post, Mason said anyone who thinks the city has a hidden agenda to officially erase the name Dartmouth has not done their research.

"There has been no policy change at Council or by staff to change any names. In fact, Council has a policy of maintaining community names," he wrote.

Mason went so far as to post photos of signs from years past that don't mention Dartmouth's name either. 

Resident Willie Badger says the name wars are hurting the city's ability to move forward.

"We're trying to attract international groups to come here here and see how beautiful the city is, so if we make it too confusing, Dartmouth, Halifax, HRM, this side of the bridge, the other side of the bridge, it gets too confusing," he said.

"One name is good."


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