Vincent Coleman and Rita Joe win Halifax ferry naming contest

David Hendsbee can retire happy.


The results are in for the second most important election in the province: The harbour ferry naming contest.

As if that classic Heritage Minute weren’t enough, Halifax hero Vincent Coleman will be memorialized by having his name painted on the next ferry. Over the course of the 10-day naming contest, 11,014 votes were tallied, with Coleman receiving 5,340 of them.

The train dispatcher’s name has been in the running for each of the previous ferry naming contests, but his votes always fell short. It’s not as if he’s alive to feel bad about that, or to be happy about having a ferry now—but councillor David Hendsbee, no doubt, will be pleased.

The name of Mi’kmaw poet and residential school survivor Rita Joe will grace the next new ferry, expected to arrive in summer 2018. She received 2,202 votes.

Other names in the running included gay rights activist Raymond Taavel, Pier 21 co-founder Ruth Goldbloom and civil rights activist Burnley “Rocky” Jones. Titles such as “Yeah Buoy!” and “My mom Joan” didn’t make the cut for poll options.

Before things are totally official, Halifax Transit will have to submit the vessel names to Transport Canada for approval.

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