That question was raised by one CTV Web site reader in response to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell’s announcement that the B.C. government should consider changing the name of the Strait of Georgia to the Salish Sea.
In response to that CTV story, Paolo wrote:
Hmmmm. My Conspiracy Theory:
Gordon Campbell and the Provincial Liberals have been after the Georgia Straight Newspaper for years because the Straight has been critical of the Liberals for years. By changing the name of the actual”¦[Strait of Georgia] to Salish Sea, they put the Newspaper between a rock and a hard place. No name change and the newspaper is in a right wing denial of aboriginal rights zone, a name change to Salish Sea and they are in a copyright infringement zone, a name change to something totally different reduces brand recognition and people will confuse them with metro and 24 hours. Wow, talk about the provincial liberals playing the game!
Here at the Straight, we haven’t taken the news quite so seriously. But it wouldn’t be the first time that the provincial government has taken a swing at us.
In October 2003, the B.C. Liberals attempted to strip theStraight of its status as a newspaper and assessed fines and penalties that totaled more than one million dollars. It took a groundswell of public support to force the Liberals’ witch-hunt to an end.
History knows the paper has survived a few other run-ins with the law since it’s founding in 1967.
Getting back to this Salish Sea business: granted, it would be a nice gesture if the B.C. Liberal government took the Chemainus First Nations’—the group that raised the idea of a name change—request seriously.
But it is highly unlikely that Campbell’s government will spend what will surely amount to millions of dollars to update thousands of maps, textbooks, and records that a geographic name change requires.
The B.C. Liberal government’s track record on dealing with B.C.’s Native communities is far from spectacular. One only has to look to recent stories in the Straight such as “Native deaths in custody come under scrutiny” or “Let’s build a better world for Native youth” for evidence of that.
So what are the odds that the Georgia Straight will soon appear on newsstands as the Salish See?
According to the Straight’s publisher, Dan McLeod, the idea doesn't hold water.