Monday, November 29, 2004

A slap in the face

Basil and I think this proposal is a slap in the face to veterans, the people who live on the road, and taxpayers who have yet to understand why taxes are going up again - not to mention that city council spends their time renaming roads that already exist. Never mind that the airport in London is at the end of airport road and also servers as an exit from the 401.

If you want respect in London, it is better to be rich than heroic.

A move is afoot to honour London's war vets by renaming busy Airport Road the Veterans Memorial Parkway. But there's some doubt whether the renaming push by several city politicians will find support among area vets.

At least one prominent vet says a more fitting tribute would be to name London's new $26-million Oxford Street bridge in honour of veterans.

Coun. Roger Caranci, chairperson of city council's environment and transportation committee, said renaming Airport Road, especially if it's part of a ring road, would be a "prominent, daily reminder" of the sacrifices of veterans.

"This is a way to honour all of our veterans, dead and alive, on a daily basis," Caranci said yesterday. His proposal goes to his own committee today.

"It's probably a long time in coming to do something like this for those who sacrificed so much for our freedom."

Caranci is backed by Controller Bud Polhill and councillors Fred Tranquilli, Cheryl Miller and Bernie MacDonald.
[. . . . .]
Not all vets embrace the idea, either. "My personal reaction is if somebody wants to show respect for veterans, that's fine with me," said Bob Walsh, the Royal Canadian Legion's commander for the London region.

"But I'd rather see some new construction -- a new park or bridge -- to honour our veterans and war dead, rather than see something renamed and upset part of the community who'd have their address changed to satisfy another part of the community," Walsh said.

Walsh was referring to recent suggestions to name the Oxford Street extension bridge in honour of veterans.
[. . . . .]
Two weeks ago, city council balked at a board of control recommendation to name it after the late Harry Sifton, a pioneering city developer.

Instead, names of people such as scientists Sir Frederick Banting and David Suzuki, both with London ties, were suggested.

Council has deferred the issue and given councillors time to submit more names. Those suggestions will go to board of control Wednesday.

Coun. Joni Baechler, chairperson of council's planning committee, suggested Caranci and others are trying to divert attention from the bridge to ensure the Sifton name sticks.

"I think that's a big part of it," Baechler said.

Caranci dismissed the suggestion.

"Absolutely not," he said. "I just think (Airport Road) is a larger project and its prominence is much greater in the city."


Ian Scott said...

What exactly is a "fitting" honour? It's all in the mind of the beholder. Is an honour ever really and totally fitting, except for that which we hold in our own minds?

Bridges, roads, airports.. is it all in the name? I still call what is now Lester B. Pearson airport as "Malton Airport" as that is how I always knew it. I don't even think about the name.

I honour those I think worty of my honour in my own mind, and don't really care if they are given a public name for some tax paid place.

What's in a name? Does the Malton Airport, now renamed to Lester B Pearson, make me think more highly of Pearson? No. I hardly think of Pearson at all. I just think about which freaking terminal I have to find in the maze, and where I can get parking.

Mike said...

As much of an authoritarian busybody as David Suzuki is, I'd still like to see tons of cars spewing out greenhouse gases and transfatty acids or whatever on a big road named after the guy.