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Changes to How Government Buildings and Geographic Features Are Named

Released on March 17, 2014

Changes are being made to the naming policy for government buildings and geographic features in the province.  The changes are the result of recommendations made by Dr. Gordon Barnhart, following his review of the policy on behalf of the Ministries of Central Services and Parks, Culture and Sport.

Dr. Barnhart’s recommendations will modernize the naming system and ensure names are chosen in a consistent, transparent and fair manner.

“I want to thank Dr. Barnhart for conducting the review and presenting some very worthwhile recommendations,” Central Services Minister Nancy Heppner said.  “The new policy will ensure this tradition of honouring some of our greatest citizens is strengthened and the integrity of the practice is upheld for the future.”

One of the key recommendations is revising the policy so that living persons are eligible for consideration.  Previously, only people who had been deceased for at least five years could be honoured by having a building or geographic feature named after them.

Other recommendations in the report include:
  • Appointing a permanent naming policy committee.
  • Undertaking more publicity and education campaigns to inform the public and to solicit nominations.
  • Excluding the Legislative Building, Government House and courthouses from being named after a person.
  • Existing names for buildings and geographic features are not to be removed, unless that person is found to have committed a grievous crime or immoral act.
  • Consider naming buildings after those who have received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit or the Order of Canada, and that First Nations leaders and leaders in fields other than government be recognized.
  • Ensuring every former Premier, including North West Territories Premier, Frederick Haultain, is honoured.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is dedicated to preserving our province’s past, including the memory of those who worked to build the growing province we live in today,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said.  “Saskatchewan leaders are plentiful, and diverse.  This revitalized policy is a step forward.  It will help guarantee that exceptional citizens are recognized and celebrated.”

Dr. Barnhart was chosen to conduct the review for his expertise on governance and knowledge of Saskatchewan history, including authoring books on various aspects of the province’s history.

“It was a pleasure to be able to play a role in developing a policy that helps promote Saskatchewan’s history and pays tribute to those who have made lasting contributions to our province,” Dr. Barnhart said.  “The naming of buildings and geographic features is an important part of preserving our heritage for the next generation.”

A campaign will be undertaken in the near future to inform the public how to nominate worthy individuals for consideration under the naming policy.


For more information, contact:

Megan Wolfinger
Central Services Communications
Phone: 306-787-5069

Chelsea Coupal
Parks, Culture and Sport Communications
Phone: 306-787-5781

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