Janet Fraser (Green Party of Vancouver)

Trustee says school-naming policies should reflect B.C.’s multiculturalism

Idea stems from Vancouver’s apology for historic discrimination against people of Chinese descent

The names of schools, landmarks and even street signs are at the centre of a conversation on inclusivity and equality occuring in many cities across the province.

Earlier this month, Victoria residents urged the city to change the name of Trutch Street, named to honour colonial politician Joseph Trutch known more modernly for his discrimination against First Nations people.

Last year, University of Victoria student Lisa Schnitzler succesfully convinced the university to rename a building called Trutch Residence.

This week, a Vancouver school trustee says the school board needs to revise its school naming and renaming policies to better reflect the city’s multicultural heritage and its commitment to reconciliation.

Green party trustee Janet Fraser says a motion she’s proposed calling for the revision was inspired in part by the city’s recent recommendations and apology for historic discrimination against people of Chinese descent.

The motion due to come up for a vote on Monday says the development and implementation of new policies would be undertaken in consultation with school communities, community groups and local First Nations.

Fraser says the names of the Vancouver board’s more than 100 schools do not fully reflect the city’s diversity and it’s time to change that.