The National Capital Commission renamed the Ottawa River Parkway the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway on Wednesday morning.
“It is a real honour to be here for this exciting announcement, the naming of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway after Canada’s first prime minister and father of confederation,” said Minister John Baird. “The Canada we know and love today did not come together by accident. The Canada we know and love today is a result of hard work of the men and women who came before us, with both a vision of what Canada’s collective vision could be and the purpose and resolve to make it happen.”
Baird credited Macdonald’s leadership in building the Canadian Pacific Railway, the expansion of the western provinces and the Northwest Territories, the creation of the Northwest Mountain police and the first national park.
The NCC named the former Bank of Montreal building on Wellington Street after Macdonald earlier this year. Asked if the namings had to do Macdonald being a conservative, Baird said it was about “honouring the contributions of great Canadians.”
“I think every Canadian of every political stripe should be very pleased with this announcement. He made a remarkable contribution to Canada and, like Macdonald, we’re all Canadians first,” he said.
Marie Lemay, chief executive officer of the National Capital Commission, said Macdonald’s name was the only name considered.
She said the renaming had nothing to do with the issue of where the western route of the LRT system will be located, and reiterated that the NCC does not support running the line on the Parkway.