On the 50th anniversary of his passing, Ensemble Montréal proposes to add Martin Luther King Jr.'s name to Montréal's toponymy

The Leader of the Official Opposition at Montréal City Hall, Mr. Lionel Perez, accompanied by Councillors Mary Deros, spokesperson for diversity, and Frantz Benjamin, spokesperson for democracy and citizen participation, today presented a motion to add the name of Martin Luther King Jr. to the toponymy of Montréal.

"No one can deny the essential role played by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement and the fight against racial discrimination, or the immense legacy he left to the generations who succeeded him. His reputation and his message of peace, non-violence and tolerance spread far beyond all borders. In a metropolis as diverse as Montréal, it would be a highly symbolic and inclusive gesture to name a street or public place in honour of this great man," said Mr. Perez.

In 2005, the City of Montréal also recognized Reverend King's contribution by declaring the third Monday of January "Martin Luther King Jr. Day."

"Montréal has no place that commemorates the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Even today, Martin Luther King Jr.'smessage inspires all those who thirst for freedom. His memory should be perpetuated, especially here in Montréal, the capital of Living Together," added Ms. Deros.

"In less than a month, on April 4, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. We feel this is an excellent opportunity to make a motion to place him in the toponymy of the metropolis. His work remains as relevant today as it was 50 years ago, and that's why we consider it essential that it be celebrated in the streets of Montréal," concluded Mr. Benjamin.

Ensemble Montréal's motion will be tabled at the Municipal Council meeting on March 26.

Motion by the Official Opposition 65.03
Municipal Council Meeting of March 26, 2018 

Motion to Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. in Montréal's Toponymy

Whereas the City of Montréal is a member of the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and the Intercultural Cities Programme, thereby making fundamental commitments to cultural integration, the fight against racism and respect between cultures;

Whereas Montréal recognizes the 2015-2024 International Decade for People of African Descent, the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and Black History Month;

Whereas Montréal has committed to combating all forms of discrimination, in particular by adopting the Montréal Declaration Against Racial Discrimination (1989), the Montréal Declaration for Cultural Diversity and Inclusion (2004) and the Montréal Declaration on Living Together (2015);

Whereas the Montréal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities enacts that the City undertakes to: "Combat discrimination, racial profiling, social profiling, xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia, ageism, poverty and social exclusion, all of which serve to erode the foundations of a free and democratic society";

Whereas 10 per cent of the population of Montreal, approximately two hundred twenty thousand residents, are members of the Black community and that it is important to honour the contributions of Black people to the Montréal landscape;

Whereas Martin Luther King Jr. did greatly contribute to the defence of civil rights and the equality of Black people and to the fight against racial discrimination in the United States, and his work has had major implications for the defence of the rights of minorities in the United States, but also in Canada and across the world;

Whereas on April 4, 2018, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.;

Whereas the City of Montréal can honorarily designate a place or a street with the name of a person who has distinguished him- or herself at the international level;

Whereas Montréal would be one of the first cities in Canada to formally recognize the contribution of Martin Luther King Jr. in the pursuit of an egalitarian society, free of systemic discrimination based on race;

 

It is proposed by

Ms. Mary Deros, City Councillor for the district of Parc-Extension;

   

And seconded by

Mr. Frantz Benjamin, City Councillor for the district of Saint-Michel and 
Mr. Lionel Perez, leader of the Official Opposition and City Councillor for the district of Darlington:

That the City of Montréal assign the name "Martin Luther King Jr." to a Montréal place or street;

That the City of Montréal consult with the Black community and agencies that represent it on the choice of the place or the street which will bear the name "Martin Luther King Jr.".

SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Opposition officielle à l'Hôtel de Ville de Montréal

For further information: Romain Bédard, Communications Director, Office of the Official Opposition, 514-296-5356

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