Mississauga may reconsider naming street after prominent Sikh community leader
Published September 8, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Mississauga may reconsider its decision to add the name of a prominent member of the Sikh community to its approved street name list after learning he was not a founding member of a major place of worship after all.
Earlier this summer, City of Mississauga Council approved the addition of three names to the City’s inventory of approved street names. Those are names that can be used going forward when new streets are built in the city.
Two of the approved names were Jasjit and Jasjit Singh, in honour of the late Jasjit Singh Bhullar. He was identified at the time as having been a prominent community leader and founding member of Mississauga’s Ontario Khalsa Darbar, one of the largest Sikh gurdwaras in the world outside of India.
Bhullar died this past February.
However, a report from the City’s Transportation and Works Commissioner Geoff Wright tabled earlier today at Mississauga’s meeting of General Committee sought to correct information contained in an earlier report to councillors that Bhullar was one of the founders.
“The City was contacted by several members of the Ontario Khalsa Darbar advising that Mr. Bhullar was not a founding member and requesting that the Council record be corrected. This report addresses this request,” the report stated.
The amended report will go before City Council for approval next Wednesday (Sept. 15).
In his report, Wright said staff followed the City’s Street Names Policy in bringing its earlier report to Council.
“The submission that was received regarding Mr. Bhullar’s contribution within his community included a significant list of contributions and accomplishments. The Corporate Report that was prepared did not include all of his accomplishments, but did make reference to Mr. Bhullar being a founding member of the Ontario Khalsa Darbar,” it read.
Wright said in response to the concerns raised, staff conducted an independent review and verified that Bhullar was not a founding member of the Mississauga gurdwara.
Wright added the intent of the report is not to take away from any of Bhullar’s other many accomplishments, but only to set the record straight regarding the founding of the Ontario Khalsa Darbar and concerns that were raised.
Mississauga Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish spoke to the matter at today’s meeting, calling the situation “a screwup.”
“The whole (street-naming) process needs to be reviewed,” said Parrish, adding the City cannot simply name streets for people whose names are put forward because they are liked.
“It puts staff in a tough position,” she added. “We have to tighten this up.”
Bhullar’s name was submitted for consideration under the City’s Street Names Policy by a Mississauga resident, through the Mayor’s office.
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