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No name change for Stanley Park: Stockwell Day

The federal government has no intention of changing the name of Vancouver's iconic Stanley Park, cabinet minister Stockwell Day told reporters Monday.

"Stanley Park is a park that's rich in history, and rich in heritage," said Mr. Day, adding that the park was known and loved to people from B.C. and around the world.

"It was designated as a park well over a hundred years ago by the governor-general of the day, Lord Stanley. And it is our intention to maintain the name as Stanley Park, respecting and reflecting on a wonderful heritage going back for hundreds and hundreds of years - our aboriginal peoples and those immigrants who settled here later and have continued to enjoy the park."

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At the opening of an aboriginal-themed village site in Stanley Park last month, a native elder suggested renaming the park Xwayxway - pronounced kwhy-kway - which was the name of a native village at the current site of Lumberman's Arch in the northeastern part of the park.

The concept garnered some support, with some politicians suggesting the park could be known by both names. Ian Campbell, a hereditary chief and councillor with the Squamish First Nation, said he would pursue a formal proposal. And tourism groups said it would be possible to build marketing plans around the new name.

The idea also gained support as a way of acknowledging aboriginal culture and history. In B.C., residents could look to the example of Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. And the Salish Sea is now used as a name of waters also known as the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound and the Juan de Fuca Strait.

But Mr. Day said the park, a 400-hectare site on the edge of downtown Vancouver, is known internationally by its current name and that the name would stand. The federal government owns the park, but the city has a 99-year federal lease that was rolled over two years ago.

"We will continue to appreciate the beauty and all it has to offer - it will continue to be one of Canada's jewels, as far as national historic park designations go," he said.

The site where Mr. Day spoke to reporters, near a statue of Lord Stanley, whom the park is named after, is a short walk from the recently opened Klahowya Village, which features aboriginal-themed entertainment and attractions and will run until September.

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About the Author
National correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Wendy Stueck has covered technology and business and now reports on British Columbia issues including natural resources, aboriginal issues and urban affairs. More

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