Victoria councillors voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with efforts to rename Trutch Street.
Council has directed staff to report back in the fall on the implications of renaming the street to Truth Street for the approximately 60 households that would be affected by an address change. They will also seek input from the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, the City Family advisory group, Trutch Street residents and the Fairfield Gonzales Community Centre on the proposed change.
Trutch Street is named for Joseph Trutch, B.C.’s first lieutenant-governor. The chief commissioner of lands and works in the 1850s, Trutch’s contempt for Indigenous people showed in his racist speech and policies that reduced the size of reserves.
“It’s clear that even by the standards of his own time, he was extremely racist and harmful. So I see this as, yes, a symbolic action, but an important symbol, and one that is a small step forward,” said Coun. Jeremy Loveday.
Residents would likely have to change their addresses for various accounts and documents, such as electricity, internet and phone bills, car insurance, financial documents, driver’s licences, and employment and educational documents.
A motion from councillors Ben Isitt, Sarah Potts, Loveday and Mayor Lisa Helps asks staff to explore options to provide assistance to affected residents to offset costs related to an address change.