Promise kept – MP Brenda Shanahan launched her initiative to change the name of constituency of Châteauguay–Lacolle to Châteauguay–Les Jardins-de-Napierville. She has introduced and debated her Bill, received support from the government and some regional elected officials, and put forward a petition addressed to the House of Commons.
In 2015, Ms. Shanahan made a commitment to change the name of the constituency because it is misleading. The municipality of Lacolle is located in the neighbouring constituency of Saint-Jean, whereas it is in fact the municipality of St-Bernard-de-Lacolle that is within the territory. To correct this mistake, Ms. Shanahan introduced Private Member’s Bill C-377 in the House of Commons in October 2017 to change the name to Châteauguay–Les Jardins-de-Napierville on behalf of her constituents.
“Even before I took office, the residents of St-Bernard-de-Lacolle told me their concerns about the name and I made a commitment to take the necessary steps to fix the problem,” she says. “Since then, we have noted on multiple occasions that the name Châteauguay–Lacolle is confusing for the people in the two constituencies and that it creates misunderstandings among some stakeholders.”
A Fitting Name
After a number of discussions with citizens and stakeholders in the region, the name Châteauguay–Les Jardins-de-Napierville emerged as a logical and significant choice for a many reasons. Firstly, “des Jardins-de-Napierville” is the name of an MRC region that includes 9 of the 15 municipalities of the constituency of Châteauguay-Lacolle;
Secondly, all the constituents of the constituency could recognize themselves in the name “Châteauguay–Les Jardins-de-Napierville”, the municipality of Châteauguay being located at the Northwest end of the constituency and being the most populous municipality, des Jardins-de-Napierville MRC regrouping the 9 municipalities that are located further South and East of the constituency; and most of the residents in the remaining six municipalities can identify with the Greater Châteauguay area;
Thirdly, des Jardins-de-Napierville MRC is the most important region in the Province of Québec for the vegetable production, which gives it a certain notoriety; and
Finally, the name Châteauguay–Les Jardins-de-Napierville well represents the half-urban, half-rural nature of the constituency.
“One person in particular made a significant contribution to selecting the name Châteauguay–Les Jardins-de-Napierville. It is the former Mayor of Napierville, Jacques Délisle. If memory serves, he was the first person to suggest the name. Mr. Délisle has left a remarkable legacy in his municipality and he may just leave his mark on the entire constituency”, says Ms. Shanahan.
“We are grateful for this initiative”, shares the Mayor of St-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Robert Duteau. “It highlights the fact that St-Bernard-de-Lacolle and Lacolle are two very different municipalities with their own institutions and their own raison d’être. I am proud to support the name change because it gives our municipality its rightful place and its true value.”
The first hour of debate on the Bill took place on December 6 and the second hour is scheduled for February 26. It would then be subject to a vote and be sent to the Committee on Procedure and House affairs. After that, the Bill would come back to the House for another vote and be sent to the Senate. If the Bill successfully passes the legislative process of Parliament, the name Chateauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville could come into effect for the 2019 election.
Photo: MP Brenda Shanahan showing an annotated map of the federal constituency of Châteauguay—Lacolle.