Winnipeg City Council has voted not to have a section of the former Bishop Grandin Boulevard to be renamed after former Manitoba Premier Edward Schreyer.
The motion, which was originally brought forward by Coun. Russ Wyatt, and seconded by Coun. Ross Eadie, was asking that a newly-completed section of the former Bishop Grandin Boulevard be named Edward Schreyer Parkway South, and not Abinojii Mikanah.
In March, City Council voted to change the name of Bishop Grandin Boulevard to Abinojii Mikanah, after saying they had re-evaluated the legacy of the street’s former namesake Vital-Justin Grandin, a Roman Catholic bishop who is considered one of the architects of the Canadian residential school system.
Abinojii Mikanah translates to Children’s Road in the Ojibway and Cree languages and is meant to honour the legacy of residential school survivors and their families.
But a new section of the road was recently completed east of Lagimodiere Boulevard, and Wyatt’s motion asked council to name that section Edward Schreyer Parkway South, a move Wyatt said would honour the legacy of Schreyer, who served as this province’s 16th premier from 1969 until 1977 and as Governor General of Canada from 1978 to 1984.
The motion led to outrage and condemnation, as during an Oct. 17 media conference, Manitoba First Nations leaders denounced it, and the fact it had been discussed by a city committee without First Nations consultation.
Wyatt said in council his motion was not meant to discredit or disrespect the decision to change the name to Abinojii Mikanah, but instead claimed that the section he wanted named after Schreyer was never meant to be considered a part of the former Bishop Grandin Boulevard in the first place, and that it was built as part of what he said would one day be a planned Transcona corridor.
Council, including Wyatt and Eadie, voted unanimously in opposition to the motion on Thursday.