Work is well underway around Montreal on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). A 67 km (42 mile) rapid light rail system that will link several suburbs with Downtown Montreal via Central Station. It involves the conversion of the existing Deux-Montagnes commuter rail line to rapid transit standards. A station at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport will serve as the terminus of one of the four branches.
Recently Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante suggested naming the REM station in the Griffintown area for former Quebec premier Bernard Landry.
Griffintown is the name given to the southwestern downtown part of Montreal, Quebec, which mainly existed from the 1820s until the 1960s, and was mainly populated by Irish immigrants and their descendants.
In response members of the city’s Irish community are asking Mayor Valérie Plante to withdraw her proposal. Calling for a more area-appropriate suggestion.
On November 21st George Springate passed away at the age of 81. Born in Montreal, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Sir George Williams University. He also received a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1968 and a Bachelor of Common Law degree in 1969 from McGill University. From 1958 to 1969, he was a police officer with the Montreal Police. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of the McGill Redmen football team.
In 1970, he played 11 games with and was part of the Grey Cup winning Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. In total he played 17 games with the them over 3 seasons.
Also in 1970, he was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec as a Liberal for the riding of Sainte-Anne (Griffintown). He was re-elected in 1973. In 1974 he was removed from the Liberal Caucus for voting against the French-only language bill along with John Ciaccia. During the Bill 22 crisis, he compared Québec to both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
After leaving the Liberal Party he was elected as an independent candidate in 1976 for the riding of Westmount. He did not run in 1981, and thereafter being completely disillusioned by the Liberal Party’s direction threw his support behind Brian Mulroney to lead the Conservative Party and as the future PM. In 1989, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
He was a teacher in criminal and civil law at John Abbott College. He was one of the founding members of the “Police Technology” program at John Abbott College ; he retired from teaching in 2008. He was also a columnist for The Chronicle, a local Montreal newspaper.
In 2000 and again in 2006, he was appointed a Citizenship Judge. In 2008 he was appointed Canada’s Senior Citizenship Judge for a five-year term.
It is my opinion that upon completion the Griffintown REM station be named for George Springate. To that end here is a link to a Change.Org petition in support of the notion.
(Factual data in the above post is from Wikipedia)