Part I – Initial Report to the House of Commons (December 10, 2012) – Alberta – Name Changes and Reasons Following the Public Hearings

Electoral District Name Changes

At the public hearings, several presenters suggested name changes. The Geographical Names Board of Canada provides guidelines for names of federal electoral districts. Those guidelines suggest that a name should provide an immediate sense of the province and, if possible, the region or part of the province in which the district is located. Names of places and features should be given priority, and names of persons should generally be avoided unless they have a long-established and generally accepted association with an area.

The Commission's search for a unique physical or historical feature that readily identified an electoral district was not always successful. Sometimes the name of a community within the electoral district that was well known, historical or descriptive seemed the best choice.

A few presenters urged retention of directional names for electoral districts in large cities. In particular, many presenters requested that the name of Edmonton Centre be retained in place of the proposed Edmonton McDougall. The Commission moved away from quadrant and directional descriptors, viewing them as less effective as city growth continues. Nonetheless, having regard to the strong desire expressed for the name Edmonton Centre, its central location, and the retention of the name Calgary Centre, the Commission grants that request.

Other comments in Edmonton related to the proposed names of Edmonton Callingwood, Edmonton Manning and Edmonton Griesbach. The name Edmonton Callingwood is retained as Callingwood is a central community in the electoral district and contains a prominent recreation centre with its name. The Commission considered Edmonton Manning an appropriate identifier because of the prominence of Manning Drive as a major road in that electoral district. Similarly, Griesbach was a well-known military base once situated in the electoral district, and the name continues to identify that area of the city. The Commission did not consider any suggested alternative names for those three electoral districts to be preferable.

In Calgary, some presenters objected to the name Calgary Spy Hill because of its association with a correctional institute and a landfill. Others objected to Calgary McCall, noting that confusion arises where federal and provincial electoral districts with the same name are not coterminous. The opposition to the names Calgary Spy Hill and Calgary McCall are accepted and new names set forth below. The Commission found the suggested names of Crowchild, Deerfoot, Country Hills and Stony Trail inappropriate because of their association with multiple electoral districts.

The Commission continues to view Signal Hill and Nose Hill as excellent geographic features identifying the associated electoral districts. Similarly, because Forest Lawn and Midnapore were once the names of small towns in the area, those names maintain an historical connection and serve as excellent identifiers of the associated electoral districts. The Commission also retains the name Calgary Shepard, which provides a link to the district's past. Shepard was a Canadian Pacific Railway station in 1884 and a hamlet prior to annexation. The former Shepard Racetrack also ties the name to the district.

Requests were also made to retain the name Crowfoot in the renamed electoral district of Battle River. Although Crowfoot and Crowfoot Creek lie outside of the geographic area of Battle River, the Commission recognizes the historical connection of many parts of the electoral district with the name Crowfoot and changes the name to Battle River—Crowfoot.

Following reconfiguration of the northern electoral district, the name Fort McMurray—Athabasca is no longer appropriate; it is changed to Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.

In summary, the following changes to the proposed names are adopted by the Commission:

  1. Fort McMurray—Athabasca becomes Fort McMurray—Cold Lake
  2. Edmonton McDougall becomes Edmonton Centre
  3. Calgary Spy Hill becomes Calgary Rocky Ridge
  4. Calgary McCall becomes Calgary Skyview
  5. Battle River becomes Battle River—Crowfoot

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