There was no debate Tuesday as city councilors in London, Ontario, supported a move to rename Paul Haggis Park and remove all reference to the park̵7;s current name from the city’s website.
This comes after an American jury Ordered London-born screenwriter and film director To pay at least US$7.5 million as compensation to the woman who accused him of rape.
A few days later, Haggis, 69, was ordered to pay an additional US$2.5 million in punitive damages, for a total of US$10 million, or approximately C$13.3 million.
The park at 2875 Bateman Trail, which was named after Haggis in 2011, was first brought to the attention of city councilors in 2018, a year after the allegations surfaced in the US grand jury’s decision.
After that- Ward 3 Kon. Mo Salih introduced a motion to clear the director’s name from the park, which was rejected by the full city council by a vote of 10-2, with Salih and the then Ward 4 Count. Jesse Helmer cast two votes in favor of removing Haggis’ name.
Jury verdict in 2017 rape trial prompts renaming of London’s Paul Haggis Park
Ward 12 Co. Elizabeth Peloza, who represents the area where the South London park is located, tabled a new motion to clear Haggis’ name from the park during Tuesday’s meeting of the community and safety services committee.
“The former City Council made a commitment to creating a safer London for women and girls, and this, in my opinion, certainly doesn’t seem to be delivering on that. It goes against that policy,” Peloza said.
Along with removing her name from the park, as well as all related references from the city’s website, Peloza’s proposal would also instruct staff to begin the process of renaming the park, which would include consulting neighbors on a new name.
Peloza told his colleagues that he had been assured by city staff that removing Haggis’ name for the park would not cause problems with first responders called to the area, relaying a message from staff that “the street address That’s enough.”
The committee voted 5-0 in favor of the proposal, with Mayor Josh Morgan, the committee’s sixth member, absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
The renaming process will not begin until the full City Council gives final approval during its December 13 meeting.
– Global News’ With files from Amy Simon and Matthew Trevithick.
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