Hyphenated trail name sets off heated debate

Langley Township councillors argue over the name of a Fort Langley trail.

A debate over the name of a proposed Fort Langley trail saw Township Councillors Bob Long and Charlie Fox clash over a proposal to use a double name instead of picking from three choices suggested by the council heritage advisory committee.

Long, the co-chair of the committee, said the name ought be either McBride Trail, Station Trail or Mavis Trail, as recommended by the advisory body.

Fox said the route would “most appropriately” be named “McBride – Station Trail” which combines two of the three names suggested by the committee.

Long said that was a poor choice because the trail runs near the historic CNR train station.

“There is no McBride [railway] station,” Long said.

“This is just going to confuse the public and dilute our history.”

Other councillors disagreed.

“With the hyphen in there, you’re separating the two [names],” Bev Dornan said.

“With the hyphen, I think it’s fine.”

Councillor Grant Ward suggested sending the double-barreled name back to the heritage committee for more input, but couldn’t muster enough support from the rest of council.

Long said council should simply follow the committee recommendations it asked for.

“They gave us three suggestions,” Long said.

“This [hyphenated name] is not one of them.”

Long complained council is too willing to override its own committee.

“This is not the first time we’ve poked them in the eye.”

Councillor Michelle Sparrow said the committee’s role is to advise council, “but it is up to council to decide to accept the advice.”

When the proposal came to a vote, the majority approved the name with councillors Ward, Kim Richter and David Davis voting no.

Long refused to participate in the vote.

The trail will run near a new townhouse development along McBride Street and what used to be Station Road.

When the townhouse project was discussed at a May 6 public hearing, Jasmine Marjanovic, president of the neighbouring McBride Street Townhouses,  suggested the new pathway should be named “Station Trail.”

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