The work done by Dr. Charles Best Secondary School teacher Megan Leslie and her Grade 9 Social Studies class in shedding light on the origins of Dewdney Trunk Road seems like a great beginning to a full review of Coquitlam’s street names.
The city employs full-time archivists whose skills and backgrounds are well suited to the task.
While some may say it would be an arduous and expensive task, we should bear in mind that Coun. Teri Towner recently ran every street in the city in a matter of a few months.
Information professionals could review the names of Coquitlam streets in a matter of hours and identify ones for further research.
From my experience, it would not take an excessive amount of time to learn the stories behind the names.
When the renaming of Dewdney Trunk Road was first proposed, I spent under an hour and consulted several sources to learn that Edgar Dewdney was not someone I would choose to honour with a street name.
People trained to do this kind of work and who likely already have much of this information close at hand would make short work of the task.
If you believe renaming this street would rob us of our history ask yourself, "Did I know who Edgar Dewdney was and did I know what he did in his career before this challenge to the street name?"
Then ask yourself, "Would I be proud to honour that life and career?"
The process of changing street names will not rob us of our history. It will help us learn our history.
Maybe even confront our history where we should.
- Carl Trepanier, Coquitlam