Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, but the losers write the history.
Ottawa. A Liberal initiative has called for the renaming of Ottawa’s Wellington Street. The British soldier and politician “played a very negative role in his time for exploited people, minorities and women and – wherever possible – poured fuel into the fire of the disputes and sowed bitter hatred”, writes Melanie Jolie, Ministress of Economic Development and Official Languages, in an internal document provided to the Globe and Nation.
In addition, his name is “a symbol of subservience to the sovereign state right into the British Empire. For the people of our time his name is not memorable.” The government document accuses Wellington of intolerance because he “refused to take loans from Jews, treated women with contempt and called Muslims ‘devils’”. He also called for disabled children to be drowned.
“This is troubling that the department of Official Languages is also responsible for naming streets. The department used to be about the use of the French and English languages, but now it is in charge of Orwellian language control,” said incoming Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’toole. This was echoed by Nationalist Party of Canada Leader Don Andrews: “Since when is the Federal Government in the business of naming streets in Ottawa? That is the job of the National Capital Commission.”
High Park is also to be renamed
Wellington Street should therefore be named after Regis Korchinski-Paquet. The woman from Toronto jumped off her balcony earlier this year while attempting to evade police. The affected street is notable for being the main street of the Parliamentary Precinct of the Parliament of Canada. The parliamentary parties allied with the Liberals on social issues, the NPD, the Greens, the Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois all expressed enthusiasm about the proposal. An anonymous source in the Prime Minister’s Office told the Globe and Nation that this proposal was something that Prime Minister Trudeau had wanted since the beginning of his first term: “It was the first item on the first agenda of the first Cabinet meeting in 2015. He was obsessed with it, apparently because of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon. His anglophobia is palpable.”
The calls for the street to be renamed are part of a series of similar debates. In August, the Edmonton City council decided to rename 69th Street to George Floyd Street. Recently there were also calls to change the name of many Toronto streets and locations, including the High Park subway station because, according to Zoey Martin of the Anti-Hate Network, “parks were built by white people for white people. They are exclusionary areas inhabited by white supremacists.”