by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent
Morinville Council, in general, noted their support for Pride Month (June) being recognized officially by the Town following a casual discussion at their Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting on ideas for how to observe the annual month recognizing LGBTQ+ folks internationally.
The discussion at COW included a presentation from administration on the cost of painting a crosswalk rainbow (a common practice in cities across North America, including Edmonton), at a cost of a maximum of $760, including paint/equipment, labour and traffic control. Director of Public Works Claude Valcourt noted that this number is much higher than the actual likely expense, as the staff that would be completing the painting are salaried, so their time would be applied to the painting in-kind. Valcourt did add the caveat though there might be some overtime costs required if the painting takes longer than is anticipated. The cost for just supplies is $280.
Council seemed generally supportive of the idea, with only a couple of comments from Council saying that the price may be a bit high for them to approve the sidewalk plan and may support other less expensive options instead. Councillor Fitzgerald suggested putting up the pride flag outside of town hall for at least some of June, in addition to painting a sidewalk.
Councillor Boutestein also suggested getting the schools involved to have students produce pride posters in June. Mayor Holmes responded: “Do we think that initiative to support pride will be supported by both schools?”, insinuating that the Greater Saint Albert Catholic Schools (GSARCD) may not be as supportive as the public Sturgeon School Division.
Administration that evening stated that a simple direction from Council on where to proceed would be enough to approve any small-scale project, but Council opted instead to discuss the issue at a future meeting of Council.