Names of the Districts – Newfoundland and Labrador
A variety of principles can be applied to the naming of districts. This Commission followed three main principles.
- Names should be as simple as possible to provide for easy reference, both in the House of Commons and elsewhere.
- Names should reflect, to the greatest extent possible, the geographic features of the district. Names of towns should be avoided as the choice of one community of necessity leaves out other communities.
- Names should be faithful to the history of that part of the province.
The Commission endeavoured to streamline district nomenclature with a number of proposed changes. However, we understand that naming can be quite contentious, and indeed, historically across Canada, changes to district names are the reason for 10 percent of the objections filed by the public, and 10 percent of the objections filed by MPs, to boundary commission proposals. The Commission is open to conversations with the public about all details of the Commission's work.
Avalon will retain its current name. The district occupies a significant amount of the Avalon Peninsula. The name is clear, is easily recognizable and does not create ambiguity.
The Commission recommends that this district be renamed Terra Nova—The Peninsulas. The new name will reflect the inclusion of the towns of Carbonear, Harbour Grace and Spaniard's Bay, among others, and will better represent the district's geography and community makeup. The first part of the name, Terra Nova, is easily recognizable because of Terra Nova National Park. The revised boundary now includes three major peninsulas: the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas and most of the Bay de Verde Peninsula.
Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame
While this district's boundaries did not undergo major changes, the Commission thought that its name did not meet any of the objectives of simplicity, recognizability or history. Drawing on two geographic features in the north and south of the district, the Commission proposes that the name be changed to Notre Dame—Bay d'Espoir.
The Commission is not recommending a change in name to the district of Labrador. The name is clear and recognizable, and it reflects the district's geographic area and historical continuity.
Long Range Mountains
The Commission is not recommending a change to the name of this district. It reflects a dominant geographic feature, the mountain range that is present in almost the full north-south length of the district, and it preserves some historical continuity as this is already the name of the district.
St. John's East
Although the name St. John's East deviates from the geographic naming principle, the Commission thought that its strong historical provenance, dating from 1832 provincially and 1949 federally, as well as its reflection of the name of the capital city of the province, was sufficiently important to warrant keeping the existing name. It meets the objectives of simplicity, recognizability and history. The Commission proposes no change to the name of this district.
St. John's South—Mount Pearl
This district was formerly called St. John's West. It was changed in 2012 to reflect its correct geographic orientation of north-south, even though history and local usage, through many generations, have used east-west. Recognizing that there are several significant municipalities in the riding apart from St. John's and Mount Pearl, all of which cannot be named explicitly in the riding name, the Commission has opted to continue its emphasis on the geographic naming principle. A major geographic feature of this district is its distinction as the most easterly point in North America. Accordingly, a new name of Cape Spear is proposed. It meets the objectives of simplicity, recognizability and history.