Councillor disputes park naming decision due to lack of equal representation

Prince Albert Daily Herald photo by Jayda Noyes.

Sixteen public park spaces around Prince Albert will be named after local Veterans and elected officials in recognition of their contributions to society, but not everyone believes the choices were made with equal representation in mind.

Out of the 16 names chosen for the unnamed park spaces, only one identifies as a female-representing individual. Councilor Terra Lennox-Zepp said Prince Albert should take notes from the City of Saskatoon’s naming policy, which makes an effort to be gender-inclusive.

“It matters to people,” she said.

Lennox-Zepp said she heard from the public that changes to the naming policy need to be made to encourage diversity and gender equity, she mentioned making a notice of motion for a future City Council meeting to amend the public parks and street naming policies.

She said female-identified individuals are underrepresented in the naming of civic spaces in Prince Albert due to long-term, systematic reasons.

“I’m not detracting from anyone on this list in any manner,” Lennox-Zepp said. “The list is simply incomplete.”

In response, Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick said what was supposed to be a celebration was turned into a “downer.”

He went on to list the significant accomplishments of the individuals that the park spaces in Ward 5 are named after, which include Thomas Settee, George Sutherland, Edwin E. Laird, Glenn Martin, and the several Veterans from the Nelson families.

“If there’s people that are more competent, more qualified, that have greater accomplishments, bring their names forward,” Ogrodnick said. “I think we have done the right thing. We have brought forward the best people and named parks after them.”

In 2021, the City of Prince Albert commenced a review to identify available park spaces available for naming. The names were prioritized utilizing the City’s Street Naming list as approved by City Council and through consultation with the local Royal Canadian Legion, ANAVETS and Prince Albert Grand Council.

The park locations and assigned names are:

  • Park Space located on the North side of River Street from 13th Avenue East to the easterly end of River Street East – Eldon Lautermilch
  • Park Space located on the North side of River Street from 10th Avenue East to 13th Avenue East – Don Cody
  • Park space located on the North side of River Street approximately from 8th Avenue East to 10th Avenue East – Steven Ross
  • Park space on the North side of River Street approximately from the Diefenbaker Bridge to 8th Avenue West – Emile Highway
  • Park Space on the North side of River Street approximately from 13th Avenue West to the most westerly end of the City limits – Norman Henderson
  • Park Space adjacent to the Crescent Heights Community Club, Cook Drive & Agnew Avenue – Thomas Settee
  • Park Space adjacent to the Midtown Community Club, 6th Avenue East & 8th Street East – Lee Atkinson
  • Neighbourhood Park on Muzzy Drive – Edwin E. Laird
  • Neighbourhood Park adjacent to Barton Drive & Coombe Drive – John Hall
  • Neighbourhood Park adjacent to Southwood Drive – Myron Kowalsky
  • Neighbourhood Park on Agnew Street – George Sutherland
  • Neighbourhood Park on Davis Street – Glenn Martin
  • Neighbourhood Park on Dent Crescent – Loyd Smith
  • Neighbourhood Park on Erickson Crescent – Albert E. Gosselin
  • Neighbourhood Park on Hogeweide Drive – Amy Meadows
  • Neighbourhood Park on Longworth Place – Nelson

City Administration has also suggested an opportunity to include a background profile for each of the Veterans and Elected Officials being recognized at each park location.