White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen, and longtime residents Ruth Allard and Louise McKnight stand at the Five Corners crosswalks that are to be repainted in rainbow colours, thanks to their appeal to council. Alex Browne photo

‘Inclusive’ crossings backed by White Rock council

Rainbow crosswalks to be located at Five Corners

A delegation to request permission to fundraise for a rainbow crosswalk at Five Corners in White Rock was surprised when council offered to foot the bill on the city’s dime.

White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen, real estate agent Louise McKnight and her mother-in-law, 60-year city resident Ruth Allard, told Peace Arch News they thought they might have to raise some $4,000 to paint a crosswalk at Five Corners in rainbow colours.

Klassen told council it’s well-known the rainbow has historically been the symbol for the LGBT community.

“Lately, though, it represents inclusiveness and diversity,” he noted.

After hearing their presentation, Mayor Wayne Baldwin suggested council support and fund rainbow painting at all three Five Corners crosswalks.

“I really appreciate you coming forward and volunteering to raise money for it, but I think this is something the city should be doing,” the mayor said.

A motion from Coun. Lynne Sinclair to have the crosswalk painted immediately was unanimously endorsed.

“I’m glad to see this stands not just for the traditional rainbow signature, but it also stands for inclusiveness of everything,” Baldwin commented. “We’ve heard earlier about First Nations, so First Nations are included, everybody is included and that’s what it’s all about.”

Klassen, McKnight and Allard told PAN they have been advised the painting of the crosswalks will be complete well in time for the annual July 28 rainbow flag-raising at city hall and a new pride event, hosted by South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg, to be held at the White Rock Elk’s Club on July 28.

Council’s vote will allow them to devote fundraising to PFLAG Canada, the national organization of parents and friends of lesbians and gays, and also to growing White Rock’s annual pride events, they said.

Allard and McKnight said Wednesday they had been inspired to help spearhead the project because McKnight’s son Jesse is gay, and had experienced bullying and ostracization at school in the past.

“His friends were awesome when he came out,” McKnight said. “It was when it got out into the bigger world.”

“I have a grandson who is gay,” Allard had told council Monday evening.

“I remember us going back and forth to school and him saying ‘Grandma, this happened’ and (I’d say), ‘Why didn’t you do something’ and he’d say, ‘well they’ll just take me out behind the school’ – bullying sort of thing.

“It went on and he found his own niche, his friends and what-have-you, and they feel comfortable with niches… but we would like to open it up by having events, and have it totally accepted by the city of White Rock, embracing it.”

“White Rock being the amazing community it is and very diverse, it’s (not only) the emotional support but also the visual support that people can recognize,” McKnight told council.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 has exacerbated the drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Surrey, White Rock officials say isolation, CERB, contributing to crisis

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Surrey mayor says Newton needs more recreation facilities

Surrey council has approved the “Stage 2 Final Report” of the Newton Town Centre Plan

Surrey city staff hears restricting recovery homes to six clients won’t cut it

Corporate report notes there are more recovery homes in Surrey than in every other community in B.C. combined

Gravestones repaired at Surrey Centre Cemetery

Restoration now complete on seven pioneer grave markers vandalized in April

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Missing Fraser Valley man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Most Read

l -->