New west city council voted in a 6 – 1 vote to dismantle the Royal City and its connection connection from the New Westminster branding.
Queen Victoria gave New Westminster its name in 1859, and ever since, it has been referred to as the “Royal City.”
The motion to change the city’s name—originally known as Queensborough when it was founded in 1858—was made by New West Mayor Jonathan Cote.
The removal of the Royal City moniker was discussed some years ago, but Cote, who is not running for reelection this year, said it was abandoned due to “quite a bit of community pushback.”
The proposal was passed by the council on Monday with almost universal support, with the exception of Coun. Chuck Puchmayr, who says he’s open to the idea but criticized the timing.
As many citizens continue to take pride in the city’s royal link, he says there ought to have been extensive community consultation.
New West historian Archie Miller says we can understand can’t just dump a name from our history and call it a day because rebranding is complicated
“I can understand why they’re thinking of making the change,” said Miller. “You can understand the importance of that to the Indigenous people, what it meant, the things that happened at that time.” Miller is quoted by Post Media
“But (being called the Royal City) is a major part of our history. You can’t just dump it and say we’re not going to deal with that anymore and never use the term again. You can’t see that happening.”
New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté expressed his white guilt to CBC’s Early Edition and saying he found it “offensive” when sending Royal City letter head to Indigenous Nations.
“There’s something that never sat well with me sending official letters to Indigenous Nations that have a giant colonial crown right on the front there,” said Coté, who is soon departing as mayor.
“I think we do need to recognize the central branding for the city, which has to represent the entire city, shouldn’t probably be focused on one single aspect of the city’s history.
While Mayor Jonathan Coté says the thinks the New Westminster Royal City branding needs to represent the entire city there was no hints if the name will be changed to a Indigenous name or something else that actually represents the diverse community that is not solely focused on Indigenous branding.
Mayor Jonathan Coté claims the Royal City brand is not “inclusive” enough for the current diverse nature of New Westminster and needs to be changed to make good on “reconciliation”.
Many people see this move for the name change as a sign of virtue signaling.
Deane Gurney of the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society was surprised and feels no one in the community was consulted on this because the Heritage Preservation Society was not consulted on the matter.
No one has a clue where the virtue signaling in the name “reconciliation” will stop and how the future of our province will look with these radical changes.
Gurney said “Changing the name to whatever. … Does that mean we have to take British out of British Columbia? How far are we going to go on this?” reported Post Media
Much like Premier John Horgan and the BC NDP the process will be backwards, the change will take place then the community engagement and consultation will follow. The motion, according to Coté, solely directs the city’s branding. The New Westminster Royals hockey team, Royal City Taxi Ltd., Royal City Centre, and other entities that utilize the name will not be impacted, he claimed.
The city will start to phase out the royal city branding and the crown logo, according to Cote. He does note that involvement and the rebranding will probably take a few years.