New Ottawa school named after Julie Payette


An Ottawa school named after former Governor General Julie Payette is being renamed.

École élémentaire publique Julie-Payet in Kanata has been renamed école élémentaire publique Grande-ourse, Ottawa’s French public school board announced Monday.

“The name is in line with the continuation of our school’s mission, which will continue to give special importance to science, technology, sports and the arts,” the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario said in a news release in French.

The change will be effective as of the next school year.

Pyatt resigned as governor general in January 2021 after an independent workplace review found she presided over a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall.

That summer, the school board voted to rename the school because the allegations against him could have a negative effect on the school’s reputation.

Two-thirds of parents and staff surveyed at the time were in favor of renaming the school.

The board then hit up a working group to come up with a name, which included a survey of the school community earlier this year.

The board said that Grande—our name, which translates to Big Dipper—fits the school well.

According to some indigenous peoples, the position of the Big Dipper in the sky marks the beginning of autumn. That too around the start time of the school year, the board said.

The school is also on unrecognized land of the Anishinaabe people, who are represented by the bear.

The school’s new logo will be unveiled in the coming months.

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