The Paper Trail

The Paper Trail by Chad Skelton

Why the province said No to Metro Vancouver's name change



A year ago, with much fanfare, the Greater Vancouver Regional District announced that it would be changing its name to the snazzier "Metro Vancouver". The district, which handles things like sewer and water for several municipalities in the Lower Mainland, said it would be applying to the government to make the name change official -- something that seemed like a formality.

However, several months later then-Community Services Minister Ida Chong nixed the idea,. However, Chong said the GVRD could continue using "Metro Vancouver" as its brand (much as the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority is known as TransLink).

Through a Freedom of Information request, The Sun obtained some of the internal correspondence in the ministry about the name-change request. The documents show that the province was concerned that renaming the GVRD could cause confusion as the term "regional district" is used throughout the province and people might think "Metro Vancouver" was a standalone municipality. And while the GVRD adopted the "Metro" term in part because they thought it was instantly recognizable worldwide, a briefing note to Chong notes that: "In Canada, there are no municipalities which use the term 'metro' in its official name."

You can read the documents for yourself by clicking here.

- Chad Skelton


Published Wednesday, July 23, 2008 4:17 PM by Chad Skelton

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