MONTREAL – thousands of people have been demanding that the metro station Lionel-Groulx, located in the south-west of Montreal, was renamed in honor of the musician Oscar Peterson.
Since its launch a week ago, a petition has received the support of 12 000 signatories requesting the change of name of the metro station of the district of Saint-Henri.
The debate is not new: since the early 1990s, some sociologists and historians are questioning the relevance of the choice of the priest and historian Lionel Groulx to represent this metro station, which connects the lines to green and orange. Some describe him as a man closed, reactionary and anti-semitic.
According to the text of the petition, the main purpose of the name change, however, would be to recognise the fair value of the contribution of the pianist and composer montreal jazz Oscar Peterson, who died in 2008.
The latter “embodies the image of the city vibrant, multicultural and open to the world that the city wants to project,” says the text of the petition.
“This would allow Montreal to celebrate the legacy of a man who has proudly represented our city on the international stage and allows our city to celebrate the rich cultural diversity and the representation that the Montreal black bring to our city,” wrote also the instigator of the petition Naveed Hussain.
Removal of monuments
Let us recall that in the last few weeks, two other petitions in connection with figures controversial celebrated in Montreal have been launched. These require the removal of a monument in honour of the former prime minister of Canada, John A. Macdonald, and of the monument representing the founder of McGill University, James McGill. The latter are regarded by some as symbols of the past “racist” and “colonial” Canada.