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How do you feel about renaming a metro station in honour of Oscar Peterson

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As far back as 2008, a group of people in Montreal wanted to have the Lionel-Groulx metro station renamed in honour of the late, great Oscar Peterson, who died in December of 2007. Under the administration of Mayor Gerald Tremblay at that time, a committee was set up to study several options that would pay tribute to Peterson – and it included the renaming of the station. Unfortunately, it never transpired. Then in 2016, under the Coderre administration, some residents who grew up in the area of the Metro station, also called for the station to be renamed after Oscar Peterson – and again it never happened.

Oscar was a brilliant man and considered one of the greatest jazz pianists and composers, as well as a much-loved humanitarian. In stark contrast to Peterson, Lionel-Groulx, a Roman Catholic priest and historian, created much controversy due to to his well-known and well-documented anti-Semitic actions and beliefs, as well as his racist attitudes.

Given the horrific killing of George Floyd, a black man, who was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25th, sparking the Black Lives Matter movement and unprecedented global protests – reviving the call to rename the Lionel-Groulx station is more than timely. A group of people have been involved in setting up a recent online petition, ‘Change Lionel Groulx Metro Station and rename it Oscar Peterson Metro Station’, with hopes the change will finally be made. On the site it reads, “I believe our city should honour the incredible accomplishments that Oscar Peterson achieved by renaming Lionel Groulx metro station as Oscar Peterson metro station. This allows Montreal to celebrate the legacy of a man who has proudly represented our city on the international stage and allows our city to celebrate the beautiful cultural diversity and representation that black Montrealers bring to our city. Thank you.” At the writing of this article, 1389 people have already signed the petition and will probably surpass their goal of 1500 signatures. To add your name to the petition, go to .

By: Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

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