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Katz hopes to rename stretch of Kenaston after Reg Alcock

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Mayor Sam Katz is planning to honour the memory of Reg Alcock with an honourary designation for a portion of Kenaston Boulevard after the former Liberal MP.

A dedication ceremony is planned for Friday afternoon at the southwest corner of Taylor Avenue and Kenaston Boulevard.

Alcock’s widow, Karen Taraska-Alcock, said she was "thrilled" with the street re-naming.

"I’m thrilled they’re doing it because it’s important the city recognizes the contributions that Reg made, particularly with regards the infrastructure in the city."

The portion of Kenaston between Taylor and Sterling Lyon Parkway will be designated Honourary Reg Alcock Way.

Taraska-Alcock said Reg Alcock, as a backbencher and later a member of cabinet, was instrumental in securing federal funding for several major projects including: the Kenaston underpass, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the U of M SmartPark, and the floodway expansion.

"He was quite an instrumental figure (in those projects) and I’m thrilled they’ve chosen to honour him in that way."

The honourary designation did not go through the committee process but a spokesman for Katz said the mayor is using the authority given to his position in a 2011 bylaw, which allows the mayor to apply an honourary designation to any street, if certain criteria are met.

A plaque with the honourary designation will be placed atop the street signs.

Area councillor Paula Havixbeck said the honour for Alcock is warranted.

"Reg was a wonderful man who encouraged me to run for council," Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) said. "We were both at the University of Manitoba teaching at the time. He made a great impact on the lives of the young people there."

Havixbeck said she hadn’t been invited to the dedication ceremony, even though the portion of Kenaston being renamed is in her ward.

However, after Havixbeck made her statement, the mayor’s office issued an invitation to her and to others for the dedication ceremony.

Alcock was the Liberal MLA for Osborne from 1988-1993 and then jumped to federal politics, holding Winnipeg South from 1993 -2006. He was a backbencher in the Chretien government but in 2003 was appointed president of the Treasury Board in the Paul Martin government.

Alcock was defeated in the 2006 election and later was appointed to the faculty at the University of Manitoba. He died Oct. 14, 2011.

The city’s policy is to avoid permanent street name changes, to avoid confusion for emergency services and forcing unnecessary costs onto businesses and residents. Designations are honourary only, with a name plate attached to the street pole but the street name doesn’t change.

There are exceptions, the most recent being the renaming of a portion of Waterfront Drive, in front of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, to Israel Asper Way.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

History

Updated on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM CDT: Writethru.

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