As residents of Colonization Road West, we are writing to express our opposition to the proposal to rename it.
While we sympathize with those who find the name offensive, there is not a clear public consensus that “colonization” is, in fact, a racist or offensive term.
If, in fact, any reference to European settlement of Canada is offensive, there are many other potential issues. For instance, our local hospital, which serves all of our community, is named for La Verendrye, the first European in the Fort Frances area.
There are many more local examples. Renaming Colonization Road might well set an undesirable precedent.
Renaming a street also has a significant impact to those who live on it. Records must be changed (i.e., billing records, driver's licences, mailing addresses of all kinds, and signage).
The town will incur significant expenditure both on changing records and for signage changes, at time when funding is so constrained that stop lights are being removed.
At the very least, this change should not be made without formal input and majority approval from impacted residents—those who reside on Colonization Road.
We thank town council for its consideration on this matter.
and Byron Stewart
1235 Colonization Rd. W.,
Fort Frances, Ont.