, 06.01.2021 12:53 PM

Would you name a street after a Nazi symbol?

Read this story. Sign our petition. We need your help.

Guzar and some of his neighbours approached Warren Kinsella, a former journalist, Toronto lawyer and former Liberal Party strategist who founded the anti-hate group Standing Against Misogyny and Prejudice (STAMP).

Kinsella and his consulting firm The Daisy Group, who agreed to work pro-bono for the cause, said the petition is an effort to move public opinion on the name change, not only in Puslinch, but for the northern Ontario town Swastika as well.

“People power works,” he said in a phone interview with CambridgeToday. “We’re trying to harness that.”

In addition to support at the federal level, Kinsella said they’re working with senator Linda Frum, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and lobbying with representatives at Queen’s Park to add momentum to the cause.

He said he believes the township has a number of tools at its disposal to change the name of the road, most of which aren’t going to “cost them a nickel.”

Expropriation would be a last resort, but even then Kinsella said he’s amazed it’s taken as long as it has to do what’s right.

“It’s the literal symbol of Naziism,” Kinsella said. “It’s literally the symbol of murder.”

“To me this is a no-brainer. It’s not ‘woke’ culture, it’s just being awake and being sentient.”

The issue has become of particular concern in recent weeks with the rise of anti-semitism around the world, triggered by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said.

“It’s still there. The beast is still awake.”

At its May 26 council meeting, Puslinch councillors went in-camera to hear information provided by the township’s solicitor on Swastika Trail.

Guzar and Kinsella said they don’t know why the township consulted its lawyer about the road.

4 Comments

  1. Mr jingles. says:

    What year was the street named?

  2. Phil in London says:

    I don’t have a really big problem with name change. Kitchener (once Berlin) and Maryhill (once New Germany) are both examples of name changes to reflect at least to some degree association with an opposing German force (one during each world war). These two nearby to Puslinch have had no problem preserving their Germanic heritage while maybe even going overboard to appease opposition to a name.

    Swastika has a problem, even if only a minority it is a strong minority that wish to disperse of the name of the trail. History shows the Swastika Beach it leads to could be changed so why the hell not? On top of that there is a clear association with 99.999999% of conscious humans in Canada that a Swastika symbolizes Nazi tyranny. Scrap it and be done with it. It is pathetic that there need be multiple attempts on this one.

    My only caveat, be sure you have the support and that you are equally willing to succumb to the demands of another vocal minority.

    Many of Ontario’s towns are named after conquering heroes of the British Empire and politicians who played a role in slavery of blacks and the holocaust of our indigenous friends and neighbours.

    I guess I am saying I am torn with the erasure of history vs the offense it may cause to others. I think only that the offense need be recognized and not summarily dismissed. This doesn’t mean every request for a name change has to be approved but Swastika?? That one has to go.

    How do you pick a name today that won’t offend in 30 years? I think you have to call it Phil’s trail. I am sure I will be no more offensive to people in 30 years than I am today.

  3. Robert White says:

    Where is the petition so that I can sign it, Warren?

    No link to the petition so I’mm assuming this must be it.
    Count me in.

    Robert G. White

    RW

  4. Dave says:

    Warren, whatever you do DO NOT look at a map of Ontario at a small town just outside Kirkland Lake. Trust me, you won’t be impressed….

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