Rainbow crosswalk rejected for Chilliwack’s downtown

Several councillors said the project was dividing rather than unifying the community

City councillors in Chilliwack have denied a motion to install a rainbow crosswalk in support of the LGBTQ+ community in the downtown area.

Mayor Ken Popove had previously indicated his personal support by signing a petition, but he said Tuesday in council chambers that as mayor, he felt he “had to stand back.”

Many councillors who voted against the idea pointed to council’s 2017 policy not to permit crosswalk decoration that supports political or religious movements or commercial entities.

Coun. Sue Knott said councillors are elected by all citizens, and that a painted crosswalk was not an appropriate use of taxpayers’ dollars.

“When it comes to painting a rainbow on a crosswalk, or baby feet, crosses, anti-immigration or anything else, it becomes a political statement,” Knott said. “It also becomes a target for vandalism and a canvas for intolerance and hate. You cannot change attitudes by painting crosswalks.”

Coun. Harv Westeringh agreed, adding the 2017 policy was about safety.

The only to vote in favour of the idea was Coun. Jason Lum, who said he was disheartened after receiving multiple emails “bordering on hate and intolerance” on the issue.

He suggested supporters might present the project as public art instead, and that he would revise the crosswalk decoration policy if he had the backing.

Some supporters, led by downtown business owner Amber Price, have been advocating for a rainbow crosswalk in Chilliwack for most of the summer. They sat in council chambers, dressed in vibrant rainbow colours, to watch their request be voted down.

READ MORE: Signatures collected for rainbow crosswalk

READ MORE: Building support for rainbow crosswalk

“Of course I am disappointed, but that does not mean that I am not still hopeful that there will be change in the future,” said Price.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: Daily update on pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

Provincial Health Officer officially bans overnight kids’ camps this summer

Uptown White Rock lunch program off to a good start

Rotary club joins city in hot meal initiative

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Safe Surrey under fire for ‘sickening’ social media posts accusing RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

The minimum wage jumps by 75 cents to $14.60 an hour on Monday

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read

l -->