A petition to rename Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport has gathered nearly 25,000 signatures, with petitioners alleging that "[the] father of the current Prime Minister of Canada is unworthy of this honour."
The petitioners argue that naming an airport after someone is "one of the greatest privileges" which can be endowed upon them, but Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau does not deserve to be honoured by Quebec in such a way.
They claim that the name was not chosen by Quebeckers seeking to honour the former Prime Minister, but rather, the airport was named as "the result of a unilateral decision taken by Ottawa 20 years ago."
The petition boasts a number of high-profile signators, including Parti Quebecois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, among others.
The petition first discusses the invocation of the War Measures Act by Trudeau, which they describe as a "serious, flagrant, systematic and massive violations of several individual rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration human rights." The act was invoked when members of the FLQ, an extremist Quebecois separatist group, kidnapped and murdered the Deputy Premier of Quebec and kidnapped, but did not kill, a British diplomat.
The authors of the petition continue by arguing that Trudeau intentionally sabotaged the economy of Quebec in order to strike a blow to the independence movement. Such allegations stem from an American State Department document, which claimed that the Trudeau government was attempting to encourage businesses to pull out of Quebec and sought to arbitrarily raise the unemployment rate to as high as 20 percent.
The petition also mentions the adoption of the Constitution Act in 1982, which the Quebec government never supported.
"Out of respect for the people of Quebec, we therefore demand that the name of the Pierre – Elliott – Trudeau international airport be changed without delay," the petition finishes. "Rather, we propose to rename it in honor of the great René Lévesque who, for his part, enjoys a real aura among Quebeckers."
Lévesque was the founder of the Parti Quebecois and served as Premier of the province for two terms.