Quebec's Eastern Townships will retain Estrie name after months of debate

·1 min read
The Eastern Townships region consists of nine regional municipalities, including the city of Sherbrooke, but historically it was much larger, covering parts of the Montérégie and Mauricie. (Alexis Tremblay/Radio-Canada - image credit)
The Eastern Townships region consists of nine regional municipalities, including the city of Sherbrooke, but historically it was much larger, covering parts of the Montérégie and Mauricie. (Alexis Tremblay/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The Quebec government has decided to keep the name Estrie for the Eastern Townships region after much debate and public consultation on the matter.

The region is also sometimes called the Cantons-de-l'Est, which was the region's official French name until 1981.

Cantons-de-l'Est is still commonly used for tourism and regional promotion, while administrative and governmental resources and documents generally refer to Estrie.

"This decision is notably based on the lack of consensus within the population regarding the proposed changes," said Quebec's Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a statement on Tuesday.

More than 500 people and organizations voiced their opinions during the public consultations, according to the ministry.

The region's name became the centre of debates last summer when the Table des MRC de l'Estrie, a council of representatives from each regional county, asked for a rebrand of the region, and again in January when a local organization called Vision Attractivité released a study that suggested the name change would draw more newcomers.

Other parties, such as the city of Sherbrooke, were firmly opposed to the change.

The Société nationale de l'Estrie, an organization that promotes Quebec culture and sovereignty in the region, said it was happy with the decision.

"The SNE welcomes the government's decision," the organization's president, Étienne-Alexis Boucher, told Radio-Canada. "Our beautiful and attractive region will always be known by this name adopted more than 40 years ago."

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