A Quebec historical group is adding its voice to those opposing naming a future station of the Réseau express métropolitain in Griffintown for former premier Bernard Landry.
In an open letter to Mayor Valérie Plante, the Fédération Histoire du Québec says the station should be named for Montreal’s Irish community, noting the area holds historical importance for them.
About 6,000 typhus victims died on the Montreal waterfront in 1847-48 after fleeing the Irish Potato Famine. Some of the victims are buried near the site of the future station, at the Black Rock memorial at the foot of the Victoria Bridge. The community later settled in the Griffintown neighbourhood and helped develop it.
The federation said it supports an earlier position taken by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network.
“Associating this station with the history of the Irish community would be a recognition of this community and a testimony of their proud contribution to our history,” the letter states.
The group called on the city or province to find another important infrastructure or site to name in Landry’s memory.
Plante has said naming the REM station after Landry would be an appropriate way to honour the sovereignist politician, who died over a year ago. She noted the station will be not far from the multimedia district Landry was instrumental in founding and said she had discussed the proposal with Landry’s family and admirers, as well as the developers of the REM.