Fort Frances – Statement from Councillor Douglas W. Judson
Tonight council had a thoughtful initial discussion on whether to rename Colonization Road.
I am proud of the wide support in the community my proposal has received in the past 2 weeks. It is evident that since the previous council considered this issue in 2017, our community has grown and now better understands how degrading this term is for Indigenous people. Colonization Road is out of step with our modern, inclusive vision for Fort Frances.
Obviously, there are a number of opinions on this topic and many people have practical questions. That’s why I decided to defer a vote on my proposed resolution in order to give councillors more time to confer with their constituents and conduct their own independent research.
Council has directed that the discussion item from tonight’s meeting be referred to two executive committees of council for further input and information. This is a positive development, but it does not preclude me or any other council member from bringing a resolution forward to our next meeting, on December 14.
I am confident that the executive committees can develop a proper timeline and process related to the request to rename Colonization Road. It may be helpful to have council set out that process on December 14, through a resolution like the one I originally proposed.
While one member of council suggested during tonight’s meeting that this item ought to be deferred indefinitely – or even past this term of council – I intend to see progress on it in the near future.