Thursday, November 24, 2005

Trudeau Gets His Mountain

Remember a few years back when the government tried to re-name a B.C. mountain after Pierre Trudeau? Mount Logan was the target, and the government finally backed off after a huge outcry.

Well, it's a few years later, and guess what? There's a new Mount Trudeau:

Pierre Elliott Trudeau's name will grace a previously unnamed summit just west of the Village of Valemount, a community of 1,500 located in east-central B.C. on Highway 5 close to Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Like the politician, Mount Trudeau has its imperfections. Without park protection, the peak is provincial Crown land that has been the site of logging and heli-skiing, and may one day be developed as a ski hill.

Mount Trudeau is in the Premier Range of the Cariboo Mountains, a series of peaks more than 3,000 metres high adopted in 1927 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation.

The names of several former prime ministers are honoured in the range, including Mount (Sir Wilfrid) Laurier, Mount (John) Thompson, Mount (Lester B.) Pearson, Mount (Arthur) Meighen, Mount (Richard) Bennett and Mount (Mackenzie) King.

The Friends of Valemount, a small local group that promotes the community, first proposed Mount Trudeau in 2002. The letter officially approving the name was received from the B.C. government a week ago. The Trudeau family, through the Trudeau Foundation, has given its blessing to the naming.

Liz Bicknell, spokeswoman for the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, said a grassroots effort initiated the naming and that normal procedures were followed. Submissions for the naming of geographic landmarks are processed by the ministry's geographical names unit.

Considering that the mountain didn't have a name to begin with, I suppose that "Trudeau" will do as well as any other. And given the man's documented love of the great outdoors, I'd even allow that it was appropriate.

Now just try to imagine naming a mountain after Paul Martin. Makes the head hurt, don't it?