Portion of Highway 6 renamed Jack Johnson Memorial Highway

A portion of Highway 6 was dedicated as the Jack Johnson Memorial Highway at a ceremony here on Sept. 25.

The section, from south of Mount Forest to north of Guelph, was named after the former MPP who passed away six years ago.

Johnson served in the former ridings of Wellington-Dufferin-Peel and Wellington from 1975 to 1999.

Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece and Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott offered their memories of Johnson at the dedication ceremony last Friday.

“Jack Johnson may have left the legislature 25 years ago, but to this day his legacy at Queen’s Park lives on,” said Pettapiece.

“As mayor of Mount Forest he worked to bring new industry to town. As an MPP, he worked hard for all the people in his riding, showing sincere dedication toward all and favoritism towards none because Jack knew his obligation was to all his constituents, not just those who voted for him. Jack put partisanship aside.”

Earlier this year Arnott, who served as Johnson’s executive assistant, first proposed the idea of naming Highway 6 after his mentor.

He said, “Some might ask why do we honour the memory of Jack Johnson by naming the most important provincial corridor in Wellington County after him? Here is my answer: Jack was quite simply on of the finest people I’ve ever met in the Ontario Legislature.”

Warden George Bridge thanked the county and municipalities for their support during the process.

“I was so proud of Wellington County and the representatives from the local tiers as well, that when this resolution came to them, it was unanimous,” said Bridge.

“It’s great to keep [Johnson’s] name alive and repay him for all his hard work that he did on behalf of those of us that live and work in Wellington County.”

‘Would have been humbled’

Johnson’s children, Paul, Colin, and Sherry, attended the dedication.

Paul, operations manager for Wellington County, said he would be driving on the highway frequently.

“I will be driving on dad’s highway and quite frankly for the county councillors that are here, it’s a good thing it wasn’t a county road because our budget wouldn’t be big enough to maintain it to my standards,” Paul joked.

“Dad would have been very humbled by the honour bestowed on him today; he would have also been very proud of his political son Ted (Arnott),” he added.

Signs alerting drivers to the newly-dedicated highway were installed along the section of Highway 6.