NCC hits delete on Sir John A.
ABOVE: The Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in Ottawa's west end will soon sport a new name. (Photo: James Peltzer)
Here we go again. The unelected National Capital Commission has engaged in a process to develop a framework for devising a strategy by which concerned parties, exclusive of the general public, can share their truths to inform a set of proposals from which a new name will be chosen for what only a few years ago was renamed the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway by the previous government.
That government, it seems, which also called the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, whose findings revealed that Canada’s first prime minister, and Conservative party icon, was nothing less than an evil incarnate, should never have rebranded said parkway in the first place, but such is hindsight.
Thank goodness we have the NCC to override the decision of a duly-elected government and correct one of the greatest errors in judgement in Canadian history. A reminder that this is the same brain trust that spent $35 million in the 1990s to build the Canada and the World Pavilion next to Rideau Falls, a cultural enterprise whose programming was, according to the national museums, entirely redundant. It ultimately bombed as badly as the CBC’s anaemic decision to ban “Baby, it’s cold outside” and is no longer open to the general public who paid for it.
Whatever it gets called, you’ll probably need a copy of Indigenous Pronunciations for Dummies™, or just call it the Western Parkway, same diff, and be thankful they appropriated ‘our’ Phoenician/Latin alphabet and you don’t have to learn petroglyphic. Personally, if I had a vote, and I don’t, I’d go for the "Me bad Parkway," coincidentally an Indigenous term that roughly translates as "sorry-arsed." NCC could also save a canoeful of money down the road by installing an electronic sign that can accommodate future name changes by future PMs. Pierre Polievre’s Our-Way-or-the-Highway Parkway, or Jagmeet Singh’s Prideway, because it’s bi-directional.
The NCC caving to cancel culture will no doubt be met with a hostile backlash by a reasonable public who, in all fairness, were not exactly blockading Wellington Street last winter and enjoying Poilievre’s free donuts. So brace yourselves, you ignorable, offended majority, you, whose $$ pay for this. Now all it’ll take are complaints to delete the egregious $10 bill, the Sir John A. Macdonald building, the Macdonald-Cartier bridge, airport, and highway. And speaking of Cartier, and who doesn’t, his parkway will also have to be renamed to avoid outcries of favouritism towards the French half of Canada’s two founding nations, unless the NCC lucks out and discovers the man tortured puppies.
If they are truly serious about de-triggering, then the NCC should lead the Bank of Canada, Public Works, Transport Canada, Canadian Heritage and Parliament itself to ensure that the name Sir John A. Macdonald vanishes forever. They could even turn it into a ceremonial cleansing for snowflakes during Winterlude, like when Iraqis tore down Saddam Hussein’s statue; a man who committed micro-aggressions similar to our road naming by gassing thousands of his own citizens.
But this just wouldn’t be Canada after all if we didn’t inflate our failures to be on par with the most heinous atrocities, and if you believe they are, then pour yourself an organic lavender tea, sit back in your Ethan Allen chair, and read this article. Maybe it’s just in our nature to feel shame, because, ironically for some, shame feels really good.
What a shame they don’t rename the atrocious situation in Attawapiskat while they’re at it. Nobody would be offended by that.