SASKATOON -- Saskatoon's John A Macdonald Road is one step closer to having a new name.

Ward 3 Coun. David Kirton presented a motion at Monday's Governance and Priorities Committee meeting that would start the process of having the road renamed.

The motion says it's a way to acknowledge the ongoing harm the community experienced because of residential schools and the role Canada's first prime minister played in the residential school system.

The motion passed at committee unanimously and will go before City Council for further approval.

Kirton says he’ll be working with different levels of government to help ensure there are no costs to residents for changing over the street name.

“We're going to demand of them, in the spirit of reconciliation that any costs that are associated with the change of those addresses be eaten up by the organizer,” said Kirton

He gave the example for the cost of changing people’s street address through Canada Post.

“I would be extremely surprised if we were turned down on a request such as this,” Kirton told CTV News.


Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand has suggested Reconciliation Road as an alternative but Kirton says much still needs to be decided.

“We need to take the time to engage with the residents of Confederation Park neighbourhood in general, but also with elders and with survivors,” said Kirton.

- but not everyone living on the road is on board with the move just yet.

Some residents have voiced concern over the fees and other factors associated with changing the street name.

“All your banking or your pet veterinarian tags, they all have to be changed,” resident Dan Norton said.

“It all comes down to the John A residents, not people that are two blocks over this way, or two blocks over there. They're willing to say yes, because they have no work involved to make this change happen.”

Charlene Gunn has been living on John A Macdonald Road since 2008.  Gunn said her husband is a residential school survivor and that she understands and respects the motion, but wants to ensure the potential costs of handling mailing issues are addressed.

“It’s going to be a hassle, an inconvenience. It’s our mailing address and also with our animals, we have them register with the city,” said Gunn.