April 14, 2006 by Joseph Krohn
Mount Mackenzie King and Mount Laurier will have a newly christened neighbour this spring when Mount Trudeau is officially named on June 10. The decision to name a mountain in British Columbia after Pierre Elliott Trudeau was made last year, but the date of the actual ceremony was not announced at that time.
A mountain in B.C. is to be named June 10 after late prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Trudeau’s former wife, Margaret, and at least one of his two surviving sons are expected to attend the naming ceremony in the village of Valemount. Jeannette Townsend, the mayor of the community of about 1,500 people, says naming the mountain will be a historic event. “Mr. Trudeau gave a great deal of his time and many years to his country,” said Townsend. Townsend admits there has been some backlash, but she says the years of lobbying to name the mountain has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a Liberal. “The naming of the mountain was not because he was a Liberal prime minister, it’s because he was a prime minister,” said Townsend. She hopes Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend the ceremony in the riding, which hasn’t elected a Liberal MP in more than two decades.
Earlier efforts to rename Yukon’s Mount Logan as Mount Trudeau failed after opponents complained it was an insult to Sir William Edmond Logan, a prominent Canadian geologist. The future Mount Trudeau is located between Prince George and Jasper. It is part of the Premier Range in British Columbia’s Cariboo Mountains. During Canada’s Diamond Jubilee in 1927, the names of the peaks in the range were reserved for prime ministers of Canada and Great Britain. Former prime ministers Arthur Meighen, Richard Bennett, John Abbott, John Thompson, Mackenzie Bowell and Lester Pearson also have mountains named after them in the range, as does former B.C. premier John Oliver. Trudeau, who died in 2000, was Canada’s 15th prime minister. He held the office from 1968 to 1979, and from 1980 to 1984. Trudeau’s youngest son Michel, 23, was killed in an avalanche while skiing in B.C.’s Kootenay Mountains in 1998.