Fort St. John Council Debates Registering An Official Coat Of Arms

Photo credit: Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Last Monday afternoon’s city council saw a lengthy debate over whether to officially register a coat of arms.

A motion was tabled by staff asking Council to request a ‘Grant of Arms’ for the City of Fort St. John from the Canadian Heraldic Authority, Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, so that a proper coat of arms could be created and registered. City staff would draft up an application including a description of the community and its history, which would be followed by an official artist’s draft. The estimated cost of the draft artwork and registry was approximately $2,400.

The city has unofficially had a Coat of Arms since the 1970’s, a copy of which is mounted on the wall above the Mayor’s chair in the council chambers. According to city staff after questions regarding the ownership of the arms were asked, the city does not own either the trademark or copyright over the symbol. Since the arms are also not registered with the Governor General’s office, they are currently not protected.

After a lengthy debate over whether it would be worth spending $2,400 dollars for an official coat of arms, Councillors Dan Davies and Gord Klassen voted against the motion, saying that the city’s current logo is adequate. The fate of the city’s current unofficial coat of arms mounted to the council chamber wall is currently unknown, although several ideas were floated including auctioning off the copy to recoup the cost of registry, or donating it to a museum.