PEI Elected Officials Call on Ottawa to Rename the Confederation Bridge

The motion was tabled by Premier Dennis King on Friday morning in the presence of Lennox Island Chief Darlene Bernard and Senator Brian Francis.

It notes that in the early 1990s, a committee was tasked with submitting three proposed names to the federal government for the bridge connecting New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

After deliberation, the committee recommended naming the new bridge Abegweitkreuzung. The Confederation Bridge and Northumberland Strait Bridge had also been proposed.

In 1996, Ottawa endorsed the choice of the Confederation Bridge, a mistake according to Prime Minister Dennis King.

Prime Minister Dennis King is asking Ottawa to change the name of the Confederation Bridge.

Photo: Radio Canada

The federal government opposed the committee’s recommendationsDennis King points out in his application.

He urged MPs to vote for it what should have been done many years ago.

For the leader of the official opposition, Peter Bevan Baker, this decision is important for the process of reconciliation with the indigenous communities.

The names change according to the movements of society. Our Province is proud to have hosted the 1867 Charlottetown Conference that led to the founding of Canada […] But I also know the deep wounds that colonialism has inflicted on the indigenous communities here.he explained.

For his part, Liberal MP Sonny Gallant stressed the importance of the relationship between the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq.

It is our job to ensure progress is madehe said.

Epekwitk or Abegweit?

The name Epekwitk is the original name given to the region of the island by the Mi’kmaq communities. The name Abegweit is more common, but, as the Prime Minister emphasizes in his application, is considered a colonial term.

It is of paramount importance that indigenous languages ​​are respected and recognized, especially as the year 2022 marks the start of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, which draws attention to the devastating loss of indigenous languages ​​due to colonialism and other factorsemphasizes Mr King in his request.

In his opinion, this approach is essential for the reconciliation process with the indigenous communities. He believes the name change would allow the federal government to demonstrate its commitment to protecting First Nations rights.

Dennis King says he is in talks with Secretary of State for Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc to move the file forward.

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