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Renaming Mount Logan

    Ottawa's colonial attitude towards the Territories has been a sore point since their creation. The renaming of Canada's highest peak on October 4th, 2000, supposedly to honour the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, has rekindled the anger of Yukoners and many others in a way that hasn't been seen in decades.

    I say "supposedly" to honour Trudeau because this is a blatantly political decision that has little to do with Trudeau. With a national election call due any day now, Prime Minister Chretien is simply playing on the public's love of the charismatic former PM to better his own chances for re-election. There are more appropriate subjects for renaming, and there is certainly a better way to announce the decision.

    Mount Logan was named in 1891 to honour a man whose work to expand the world's knowledge of Canada's mountains and mineral potential made him one of the best-known Canadians of his time. In this day and age, when hockey players and rock musicians are the people our kids look up to, his achievements also qualify him as the kind of person that I want my children to know about and respect. Sir William Edmond Logan was born in 1798, and was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1856 to honour those achievements.

    Comments such as those made by the Yukon's premier, Pat Duncan, don't lessen Logan's stature in history, but do show her own appalling lack of respect for our history - she was quoted in the Whitehorse Star as saying "I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a Yukoner that could tell you the first name of Mr. Logan." A more appropriate response would have been to suggest ways of ensuring that Canadians know exactly who Sir William Logan was.

    Many people, including Bradford Washburn, have suggested that the Trans-Canada Trail would be a perfect subject to put Trudeau's name to. It is a national project with a family-type focus that needs a proper name.

Related Links

Sir William Logan

Pierre Trudeau

Mount Logan

SaveMtLogan.com (site now closed)

Logan was Canadian hero - Whitehorse Star, October 5 (article no longer online)

Logan’s renaming ignites controversy - Whitehorse Star, October 5 (article no longer online)

PM aims to capitalize on Trudeau - National Post, October 5 (article no longer online)

British Columbia was going to have a Mt. Trudeau - Canadian Press, October 5 (article no longer online)

Anger mounts over renaming Yukon peak - National Post, October 6 (article no longer online)

B.C. Liberals want Chrétien to reconsider - CBC, October 11 (article no longer online)

Prime minister backs down from renaming mountain - CBC, October 16 (article no longer online)