Volume 94, Issue 25

Friday, October 13, 2000


Fanshawe asks for $5 million

Mt. Trudeau re-naming draws critics

Degrees now available online

London slots mark first year

As Prime Minister Lackner, I would...

Parker brings well-rounded resume to the BOG table

Fortin for BOG and Justice for students

Planet Me

Mt. Trudeau re-naming draws critics

By Hilary Cox
Gazette Staff

Geologists from across Canada have flooded Jean Chrétien's office with letters in response to the Prime Minister's decision to re-name Canada's tallest mountain in honour of the late former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

The decision was made last Wednesday to re-name Mt. Logan, currently named after Sir William Logan, the first director general of the Geological Survey of Canada.

Christopher Barnes, director of the University of Victoria School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said Logan's work in the mapping of Canadian resources and geological structures was both incredible and pioneering. "The scale and contribution of Logan's work has been recognized by everyone involved in the field," he said.

Bruce McKnight, executive director of the British Columbia and Yukon Chamber of Mines, said he felt the decision was a genuine attempt to honour Trudeau.

Still, McKnight said he believes Chrétien should find an unnamed landmark to dedicate to the late prime minister. Among those possibilities is the recently completed Trans-Canada trail, a recreational path that allows people to walk from coast to coast and up into the Yukon, McKnight said.

"Geographic features and civic structures are named after prominent or heroic citizens as a perpetual memory of their contributions, not as temporary labels to be ripped off and replaced when the next popular hero comes along," McKnight said.

Barnes said he agreed. "I don't think we treat history correctly if we strip a person of honours just because someone else has distinguished themselves equally in a different field," he said. "Trudeau had a great love for the Canadian wilderness. I would be surprised if Trudeau would have wanted this."

Western Earth Sciences instructor Cameron Tsujita said he supported the letter campaign. "I think [the re-naming] is a sign of Canada's ignorance about how important geology is to Canada."

According to Tsujita, faculty in the department of Earth Sciences have been encouraged to write letters of disapproval.

Sarah Schlote, a third-year combined honours English and French student, said she was also concerned by the situation. "[Trudeau] really touched my childhood. It's meaningful that [Mt. Logan] should be named after Trudeau because he was Canada's greatest prime minister. He was majestic and rose above the rest, but it is disrespectful to displace one person for another," she said.

Ed Morgan, press officer at the Prime Minister's Office, said the decision was made by the entire cabinet. "[Cabinet] chose to honour a great Canadian who embodied what is best about our country," he said.

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