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Will renaming movement meet its Waterloo in Dundas?

Will renaming movement meet its Waterloo in Dundas?

While the city of Toronto prepares to spend $6.3 Million to change the name of Dundas Street, an online petition in Hamilton suggests the renaming trend may be brought to a halt in Hamilton’s Dundas. According to the website Change.org, a petition opposing the possibility of a name change in the valley town has attracted over 5000 signatures. The online petition was launched after a  resident of Hamilton  started a petition on the same platform asking the city of Hamilton to rename the town of Dundas. This person put together a little over 200 signatures.  The letter requesting the renaming was received as correspondence by Hamilton Council at their July 24th meeting. The petition notes, “while there was no directive for council to take any further action, there is still concern that this may only be the first of other attempts to erase our town’s name. This petition seeks to keep that from happening.”

The petition preamble continues, “most people didn’t even know who he (Henry Dundas)  was until virtue signally (sic) activists brought it up…We shouldn’t be forced to submit to their bylaw or to social activists run amok. Sign the petition. Stop the madness. Save our town name!

The move to remove the Dundas name from Canadian locations, is one of the more bizarre controversies in the entire renaming movement that has already cancelled Egerton Ryerson, because there is serious academic debate about the actual role Henry Dundas is purported to have played in the slavery trade—the reason activists want him removed from memory. The public record shows Dundas as a vocal opponent of the slave trade in his speeches in Parliament. The anti-Dundas movement claim he prolonged slavery by decades when he modified a motion calling for the end of slavery by inserting the word “gradually.” But Dundas supporters say the anti-slavery motion had no chance of passing and Dundas sought to get something on the books opposing slavery. As it turned out, even the watered-down motion was vetoed by the British House of Lords.

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