The Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District is one step closer to the long process of changing its name. The district was formed in 1967, but since the islands shed the colonial name of Queen Charlotte Islands in favour of Haida Gwaii in 2010, that change has yet to be reflected on the district level.
Barry Pages, chair of the regional district, reached out to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, in August of last year to inquire about the process of the proposed name change.
“Since the formalization of Haida Gwaii’s name change in 2010, there has been much discussion at the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District Board table to explore alternative name options to better align with the Regional District’s geography and desires of the electorate,” Mr. Pages said in his letter to the minister.
He noted that the Local Government Act includes provisions for a municipal name change but it was unclear on the process for a regional district.
“Unfortunately, the Local Government Act does not include provision for the process to be followed or requirements to be met for the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District to go about implementing a regional district name change.”
In a response to Mr. Pages’ letter the minister acknowledged that the Local Government Act does not prescribe a process for consideration of a regional district name change, other than a lengthy process that includes a recommendation from the minister responsible for local government to Cabinet and an issuance of an order in council to amend the regional district’s incorporating Letters of Patent.
“Should the Board decide to request that I recommend a name change to Cabinet, I would ask that you provide…as to the rational for the request and the process you have followed in developing it,” Minister Fassbender’s letter said.
The Ministry required information about how the district reached an agreement on the proposed new name and proposed timelines and public consultation.
The regional district has come forward with the proposed name of the North Coast Regional District. The level of public consultations and discussions will determine the timeline for the process.