City proposes renaming Blackburn Bypass extension after former Cumberland Mayor

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Ottawa Citizen

Written by Joanne Chianello in the Ottawa Citizen

The confusingly titled Blackburn Bypass extension may soon be renamed in honour of former Cumberland mayor and provincial cabinet minister Brian Coburn.

The road in the east end of Ottawa does not bypass Blackburn Hamlet, nor does it even come near the community — it actually runs south of Orléans bypassing, if anything, Innes Road.

In looking to fix the perplexing situation, city officials began to look at new name possibilities and it occurred to Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais that “Mr. Coburn didn’t have anything named after him and because of the confusion with this road, it made perfect sense to connect the two of them together.”

Coburn was the mayor of Cumberland in pre-amalgamation Ottawa for about a decade, including during the 1998 ice storm, before being elected as a Conservative member of provincial parliament. He became a provincial cabinet minister under former premier Mike Harris and later Ernie Eves. Coburn is currently a citizenship judge.

“He continues to serve the community,” said Blais who announced the proposal Monday. “He’s offered his life to public service and this is in some small way our recognition of this.”

The city will conduct public consultations on the proposed name change before the matter goes before council.