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Letter: It's time to leave behind ‘archaic’ New West names

Do we need to find new names for New Westminster streets, parks and landmarks? This writer says yes.
A City of New Westminster sign in Queen's Park. This writer would like to see the city embark on renaming streets, parks and other landmarks.


I agree completely with the letter submitted last week by Brett Robinson on the topic of New Westminster’s history and the now very archaic and continuing use of street and park names, etc. that were put in place some 160 years ago to honour the egos of those who were colonizers on behalf of Great Britain and its royal house.

The men — the representatives of the colonizing royalty and who are honoured by the names of the new city they surveyed and planned — were simply paid colonizers and exploiters who felt very comfortable assuming ownership and subsequent rights to land and water that was already supporting the life and lifestyle of the original occupants, who had lived there for many thousands of years.

To put it in simple terms, they were simply shoved aside. To our credit, we have recently made efforts to acknowledge that reality and make some simple amends.  We need to do more and make some changes that all of us can appreciate.

The next step, I believe, is to do as Brett Robinson suggests and to keep moving forward and begin — one at a time — to find other names for some of our local landmarks.  We need to acknowledge the reality of the colonial history of our nation — and our city — and move forward; not shaming our past — it is what it is — but to no longer celebrating it either. 

Surely, we have our own individuals who have made a difference in our community. Or other ideas and concepts that we would like to honour.

Blair Harvey

📢 SOUND OFF: Is it time to rename more of New Westminster's streets and parks? If so, where should we start? If you have ideas and suggestions to share, let us know — send us a letter.

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