Ottawa - After the controversial decision was made last week to name the new Ottawa Library and Archives building after the city's first female mayor, Charlotte Whitton, Mayor Jim Watson withdrew the proposal. After facing increasing debate over the naming issue due to Whitton's somewhat colourful and debated past, the new library and city archives, at the corner of Woodroffe Avenue and Tallwood Drive, will be named after an innocuous and very harmless civil servant, Doug Smith, who was informed of the re-naming this morning in a phone call from Mayor Watson. A neutral, quiet and inoffensive personality who works as a filing clerk at Statistics Canada, Doug Smith, 46, was surprised at the re-naming using his title, and is honoured to be a part of Ottawa's history. "When I get up at 5am to come to work on time everyday, do a good job filing, and then go home to work on my HO Scale train sets, I never really think a building could be named after me." a reserved Smith responded after being asked how he felt about the sudden honour. "Jim Watson called me up at my cubicle and said I was the most perfect, neutral, harmless person to name the new library." Smith replied as he ate his bologna on white bread sandwich at his desk.
Public outcry from the Jewish community in Ottawa over Whitton’s efforts to deny Jewish refugee children entry into Canada during the Second World War was a deciding factor for Watson to withdraw the proposal naming the library after her, and proclaimed it was creating “disunity in parts of the city, and as mayor, I felt it my obligation not to allow the matter to continue”. In a letter to councillors Watson explained, "Instead, we will name the new library after Doug Smith, a very neutral man, who is safe, inoffensive and basically the most boring, nondescript, impartial, lacklustre, bland person we could find who will offend no one in the city."
Other rejected names for the new library included the Joseph Goebbels Research Institute, Pol Pot Public Library, and the Himmler Archival Building. The new Doug Smith Library and Archives building will open next month with a special ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Mayor Watson and various city dignitaries along with Doug Smith and cost effectively sponsored by Tim Horton's.