globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail/globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

  This site      Tips

  

  The Web Google

  





  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology


Read and Win Contest


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

  Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...



Services
  Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

Trudeau still awaits memorial one year after death
By ROD MICKLEBURGH, Vancouver
Friday, September 28, 2001

Related Reading

Comment

  • Trudeau promises

    A Life in Pictures

  • The action man
  • The man of many hats
  • The family man
  • The international statesman
  • The national leader
  • Final trip to Ottawa and the State Funeral

    His Life

  • Chronology
  • Prostate cancer proved fatal
  • 'He enthralled us all'
  • Memories of our first PM with a brown belt in judo
  • Trudeau's caring side was seldom a secret to those who knew him
  • At the end, Trudeau drew on his faith in God
  • Ambulant life made him one-of-a-kind

    The Funeral

  • Funeral/State Ceremonies
  • Obituaries and Euologies

    Reaction

  • Globe Writers on Trudeau
  • Guest opinions, remembrances
  • Remembering
  • Links
  • Video
  • On Television
  • Read and enter messages in the official book of condolences
  • John Diefenbaker has his lake. Lester Pearson has an airport. Pierre Trudeau has - wait for it - a pedestrian bridge over the Humber River in Toronto.

    Or, rather, he almost had. The proposal has now been scrapped.

    One year after the death of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the 15th prime minister of Canada and the man most Canadians rank among the greatest PMs in our history, there is still no major commemoration of Mr. Trudeau on the Canadian landscape.

    It was a year ago today that Mr. Trudeau died, inspiring a massive outpouring of emotion by Canadians, many of whom lined up for hours to walk past his coffin or waited at railway stations to watch his funeral cortege pass through on its way from Ottawa to Montreal.

    But the rush by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien immediately after the funeral to rename the country's highest peak, Mount Logan, for Mr. Trudeau was stopped in its tracks by a storm of criticism over wiping the worthy name of renowned geologist Sir William Logan from the map.

    Since then, there has been almost nothing, apart from a stamp, a few schools, a park or two, and Toronto's ill-fated plan to name its award-winning pedestrian bridge after Mr. Trudeau.

    The dearth of recognition is surprising given the passionate outpouring of emotion and praise for Mr. Trudeau after his death last September at the age of 80.

    “We're not a country like the United States. We have a much shorter attention span,” bestselling historical author Pierre Berton said. “And we're not a terribly political people.”

    There is also the fact that Mr. Trudeau was not admired equally by East and West.

    “You know where you're phoning, don't you? This is Calgary,” a spokesperson for the local school board replied when asked if any schools there were named after Mr. Trudeau. “Try Edmonton.”

    Historian Jack Granatstein said it may be right to wait a bit before pronouncing an appropriate Trudeau legacy, given western hostility to Mr. Trudeau, particularly over his reviled National Energy Plan.

    “Politics is very partisan in Canada. I mean, if you name a federal building after Mr. Trudeau, does it mean that [former Alberta premier] Peter Lougheed won't go into it?”

    The federal government says it has not forgotten Mr. Trudeau.

    After pricking his finger on Mount Logan, Mr. Chrétien is moving more cautiously. He renewed his commitment to honour Mr. Trudeau with a lasting tribute during the Speech from the Throne debate earlier this year.

    “We don't want to rush into anything,” said Nancy Bergeron, media spokeswoman for the Canadian Heritage Department. “We are working very closely with the Trudeau Foundation [which represents the Trudeau family]. We want to find the best way to recognize him.”

    Foundation spokesman Michael Levine said the family is taking its time to respond to numerous proposals to commemorate Mr. Trudeau.

    “They want to evaluate what makes sense and what doesn't,” said Mr. Levine, a Toronto lawyer. “The family will deal with it in their own way. It's a timing question, really. Right now, the sons' priority is taking care of their mom and getting on with their lives.”

    One source said there could be a federal announcement within the next few months.

    At the same time, not much has gone right with other attempts to implant Mr. Trudeau's name into something solid.

    In Montreal, parents clashed over sending their children to the newly named Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School. Many wanted to keep the school's old name, Francesca Cabrini, after an Italian saint who founded a network of orphanages in the United States.

    After parents protested, the commissioners voted 9-8 to retain the Trudeau name.

    Another Pierre Elliott Trudeau elementary school, in Vaudreuil-Dorin, has had less controversy.

    “I'm happy with the name. I just find it long to say when I answer the phone,” principal Lorel Crawford said.

    In Toronto, however, there was an uproar when staff suggested the city commemorate Mr. Trudeau by naming a walkway over the Humber River for the former prime minister.

    “It's a beautiful bridge, but it's not a big one,” said councillor Norm Kennedy, who had been a Liberal caucus member during Mr. Trudeau's last term. “It's hardly central to life in the city, like Pearson International Airport. It's just not enough.”

    Councillor Brad Duguid said a small pedestrian bridge is hardly an appropriate memorial “for the person I consider Canada's greatest prime minister. There's a piece of Trudeau in almost every one of us.”

    Despite grumblings from some councillors that changing the name of anything would cost money, staff has now been instructed to propose more meaningful recognition for Mr. Trudeau.

    Mr. Kennedy would like the busy Don Valley Parkway to bear the Trudeau name. Mr. Duguid prefers naming the Toronto waterfront after Mr. Trudeau.

    “There's absolutely no desire to do nothing. There was only one Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and there is only one opportunity to honour him in Toronto. We need to make sure we do it right.”


    7-Day Site Search
        

    Breaking News



    Today's Weather


    Inside

    Michael Posner
    Ethnic laugh lines
    Jeffrey Simpson
    Health care: Do we know better than everyone else?

    Paul Knox
    The rise of anti-anti-Americanism




    space

    Editorial Cartoon




    Click here for the Editorial Cartoon






    Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
    space

    © 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page
    [an error occurred while processing this directive]