Petition to rename Lionel-Groulx metro station after Oscar Peterson reaches 25,000 signature goal
MONTREAL -- Despite the city's insistence that renaming Lionel-Groulx metro station after famed jazz musician Oscar Peterson isn't in the cards, a petition calling for the change has garnered over 25,000 signatures.
Naveed Hussain, the Montrealer who started the petition several months ago, tweeted on Sunday that just a few hundred signatures were needed to meet his goal. As of 10 p.m. on Sunday, the petition had 25,059 signatorees.
Hussain said that while city officials have repeatedly refused to consider renaming the station, he believes the time is right, as societal attitudes have changed since the death of American George Floyd at the hands of police and the re-invigoration of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lionel Groulx, a famed priest and historian and key figure in Quebec history has been the subject of reexamination in recent years due to his racist views.
Hussain said he believes with a greater awareness of racial bias, renaming the station after Peterson would help heal divisions and promote diversity in Montreal.
“Black Canadians and Black Quebecers and people of colour and from Indigenous backgrounds have contributed so much to our history here in Montreal,” he said. “Just to try and start recognizing one of our great legends, an artist, a jazz musician and legend who brought Montreal to the international scene of jazz, just to show some love for him would be a big step to showing us we're cared for.”
Hussain said he hopes to present the petition to City Hall once the 25,000th signature is obtained and that he hopes Mayor Valerie Plante will have a change of heart.