MPPs are set to vote on making a poet laureate in memory of late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie

The Poet Laureate of Ontario Act is anticipated to pass on Thursday

MPPs are set to vote on The Poet Laureate of Ontario Act this Thursday, which would be created in memory of the late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.

The act, which is expected to pass during the final sitting day of the legislative session for the year, would create Ontario’s first poet laureate position. The bill by Percy Hatfield, NDP MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh, was first introduced back in 2017, just two months after Downie died of brain cancer at age 53.
 


“His legend lives on, if you will,” Hatfield explains to CBC News. “I just think there’s no more fitting tribute that we could pay to Gord Downie other than to name the poet laureate position in his memory. I mean, he read poetry, poets read him and followed him.”

The new role would involve acting as an ambassador for Ontario poetry and literature, promoting art and literacy in Ontario, and raising the profile of poets in the province.