Name of the new Champlain Bridge: Samuel De Champlain Bridge
Thank you to everyone who submitted their feedback. The consultative period has now ended.
Samuel De Champlain is an important historical figure in Canada, Quebec and the Montréal region, whose exploration and mapping pursuits were critical in shaping our great country.
While continuing to recognize Champlain's many contributions, Infrastructure Canada is seeking to ensure Montreal's new bridge aligns with naming conventions for infrastructure that favour the use of the full name of a historical figure.
This change would ensure the new bridge is in keeping with other Montreal landmarks including the Jacques Cartier Bridge and Honoré Mercier Bridge, also named in honour of important Canadian historical figures.
Infrastructure Canada has consulted with the following experts and stakeholders to gauge support for naming the new bridge Samuel De Champlain Bridge:
- Geographical Names Board of Canada and Quebec's Commission de toponymie
- Ministère des transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports (Quebec department of transport, sustainable mobility and transport electrification)
- City of Montréal; City of Brossard; City of Longueuil
- Héritage Montréal
- Fédération Histoire Québec
- Signature on the Saint Lawrence
There is unanimous support from these organizations for the Department's proposed initiative.
Canadians were also asked to provide their views on the initiative to formally name the new bridge Samuel De Champlain Bridge. Comments were accepted by email and mail between September 7 and 21, 2018.
What We Heard – Naming The New Champlain Bridge
Following requests received from stakeholders and residents in the Greater Montreal area, the Government of Canada began a consultative process to gauge support for modifying the name of the new bridge.
The question put to stakeholders and the public was whether to retain the name Champlain Bridge for the new bridge or rename it Samuel De Champlain Bridge.
Infrastructure Canada received 347 responses from the public, of which 83.3% (289) were in favour of Samuel De Champlain Bridge and 9.2% (32) were in favour of Champlain Bridge.
The main reasons cited by those in favour of Samuel De Champlain Bridge were that it better honours an important figure in Quebec and Canadian history and it is consistent with other structures that span the Saint Lawrence River.
"Champlain has an exemplary reputation… it is appropriate that a work of strategic importance to Montreal be named in honour of Samuel de Champlain."
(Heritage Montreal and Fédération Histoire Québec)
"Samuel de Champlain's full name should be used out of respect for our history and especially for the contribution that this man has made to the development of Quebec and Canada."
The main reasons cited by those in favour of Champlain Bridge were that it was simpler and it would not incur further costs.
"Keep it simple: CHAMPLAIN is fine."
Some respondents (7.5%) proposed an alternative name for the bridge to commemorate other notable Canadians. Infrastructure Canada will retain these for consideration for future projects.
Based on these results, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne issued a formal request to Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough to amend the name of the new structure. This request was approved and on December 19, 2018, Minister Champagne announced the decision.
Infrastructure Canada would like to thank stakeholders and Canadians for providing their insights.
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