Portage la Prairie Must Chop Down Trees To Keep Its Name

Portage la Prairie Must Chop Down Trees To Keep Its Name

Portage la Prairie, MB – The axe is about to fall on a big decision at City Hall.  The City of Portage la Prairie must choose between chopping down trees or having to drop the reference to “prairie” in its name.

The Canadian Council For The Enforcement Of Accurate Place Names, a fresh initiative of the government, has informed city council they are out of compliance and must take immediate action on the problem.  Failure to comply could result in stiff penalties including fines, removal from maps and being assigned a more accurate and boring place-name.

In the good old days a prairie was a prairie.

“By definition, a prairie is a flat, treeless area,” said Wendy Bottom, Vice President of Enforcement for the CCEAP.  “We have a clear mandate to make sure place names are not misleading.  There are far too many trees here to be considered a prairie.”

While the CCEAP has no issue with the reference to Portage, it does take a hard-line on the city masquerading as a prairie.

“We understand and acknowledge people have been burdened and carrying stuff here for decades.  But it’s clear by the number of mature trees, this isn’t, and never has been a prairie,” explained Bottom.  “It’s bad enough to portray yourselves as a French town, but your improper anglicized pronunciation will leave no doubt you are not sophisticated enough to be French.”

City Hall will now have to choose between deforestation and a costly name change.  The best option seems to be to start cutting.

“We feel the city should start logging immediately and continue to approve developments that involve mass removal of trees.  That way, they can achieve compliance quicker,” offered Bottom.

Portagers seem split on the issue.  “I think we have to cut the trees down.  I don’t want to be called a Portager,” said Alex Walters.

“This is ridiculous,” said Mary Hendrix.  “Screw the prairie, I don’t want to lose the trees.  Who the hell wants to live on a prairie?”

“We have no preference other than compliance,” said Bottom.  “Place names must be accurate.  We are currently conducting an investigation in Gladstone to see if the rocks are happy or not.  Oakville will have to meet a quota of oak trees.  High Bluff will have to maintain a minimum height on it’s trees and Edwin will have to have at least two Edwins residing there if they hope to keep their name.”

The timing of the ruling compounds growing civic headaches for City Council as they also must struggle with what to do with the separatist enclave, KoKo Platz  The City of Portage la Prairie seems destined to be changed forever.  Sources claim optional names being considered include Portage, Farmville, Crescent Lake City, Terrier Town, The Brown Lagoon, Spudsville, Forage la Forest and Frymakingplace.

Photo Credit – City of Detroit

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Man Finally Confesses To Not Knowing Nephew’s Name

Portage la Prairie, MB – 

For 12 years, Art Bergen has faked his way through his relationship with his nephew and no one has been the wiser.

“My brother and his wife thought they were being the hip, cool parents when they named him,” Art Bergen said.  “If they would have picked a normal name I could have remembered it.”

Bergen sees his nephew 3 to 4 times a month and makes a point of getting out to his hockey and ball games, but refrains from using the child’s actual name when addressing him.

“I used to call him Jason but they kept correcting me so I know that isn’t right,” Bergen said trying to speculate on the boy’s name.

“If he scores a goal, I just say “atta boy”.  I don’t think he’s caught on yet.”

While it would seem difficult to avoid calling someone by their name for over a decade, Bergen maintains it is quite simple.

“We have this thing going.  I always call him my favorite nephew and he calls me his favorite uncle.  We never need to use real names,” Bergen explained.  “I also gave him the nickname Scooter.”

Bergen’s brother and sister-in-law don’t like the fact their son’s name seems to elude Art’s memory but are getting used to it.

“His name is Grayson but Art doesn’t think that is a real name,” Ben Bergen offered.  “I think he forgets Grayson’s name as a passive aggressive protest.”

“I doubt Grayson has caught on yet,” Ben Bergen said.  “We don’t point it out.  We’ll let him figure it out on his own.”

Family get-togethers are peppered with “Hey you,” “Big guy,” “Buddie,” “Fella,” and “What’s his name” but the Bergens seem to get by.

“Art is a bit of an arse sometimes but he’s my only brother.  So we’re kind of stuck with him,” Ben Bergen said.  “We’ll just wait until he has kids.  We have a plan to mispronounce his kid’s name right from the beginning.”

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Photo: geraldbrazell – https://www.flickr.com/photos/geraldbrazell/

Indians Want to Take Name Back From First Nations

Portage la Prairie, MB – 

Indians are starting a movement to get their name and image back.  Canadians who have family roots in India are fed up with the term “Indian” being used to describe First Nations People.

“It’s frustrating to have Indian food associated with bannock, wild game, wiener water soup and something called Indian tacos,” Indians for Indians leader, Arjun Kumar said.

The group is launching court challenges, lobbying efforts and protests to end the use of the term Indian to describe anything but those people and things from India.

“We want to correct an insulting error that Christopher Columbus started ,” Kumar explained.  “With typical European arrogance he assumed he reached India and started calling North American Indigenous People, Indians.”

Indians for Indians is hoping to have sports teams and brands that use the term Indian make changes to reflect the group’s wishes.

“We have contacted the Indian Motorcycle Company about a change to their logo,” Kumar said.  “We are recommending using the image of a Sikh man wearing the traditional Dastaar headwear.”

“The Cleveland Indians have been notified that we would like them to replace the logo with a caricature of Russel Peters.”

While some First Nations People have embraced and still use the term, Indians for Indians want to end what they believe, is the incorrect use of the term.  Current immigration trends and higher birth rates among Canadians of Indian decent are making the need for change more urgent.

“A Swede would not appreciate being called a Fin and a Dutch person is not a German,” Kumar rationalized.  “We should be called Indians and First Nations should be identified by their original Nation.”

Kumar recommends that people replace the term Indian when describing Indigenous North Americans with more accurate terms like Cree, Mohawk, Dakotah and Ojibwe.

“We don’t generally call people from Europe, Europeans.  We refer to the actual country they are from, so we can certainly do that in Canada,” Kumar said.

The lobby group points out their cultures are quite different from each other but the First Nations and Indian people share a history of dealing with British Empire.

“We have a common frenemy in the Crown,” Kumar said.  “We stand with all First Nations People in their fight for treaty and human rights but we just want our name back.”

Protests are scheduled across the country starting Monday in all major Canadian cities including Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg.

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Photo:  Raj Mahajan – https://www.flickr.com/photos/140522942@N02/