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Council decides to not rainbow sidewalk for pride, approves flying pride flag instead

Reading Time: 2 minutes
(Last Updated On: May 10, 2017)

by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent

Council has decided not to move ahead with an option to paint a Morinville intersection rainbow to celebrate Pride during June, instead opting to raise the Pride flag in addition to releasing an official proclamation from the Mayor recognizing the occasion.

Pride is an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ folks internationally, recognizing historical political oppression faced by members of the community, and celebrating LGBTQ+ freedom publicly, usually accompanying parades or festivals, typically in June.

Council was unanimously in favour of commemorating the occasion but was lukewarm on painting a crosswalk rainbow, citing primarily safety concerns. A previous report from Claude Valcourt, Director of Public Works, indicated the crosswalk would cost $280 in supplies, as well as some likely overtime pay for staff directed to complete that project.

Councillor Nicole Boutestein was the first to speak during the debate, and the remainder of Council was largely in support of her comments.

“As much as I think this is a good idea, and I do support the intent of having, I guess, gay pride week be recognized, I’m not sure a crosswalk is the way to go,” Boutestein said. “We’ve been talking about safety, especially for pedestrians, and I find even when I’m driving in St. Albert over their coloured crosswalks, I find I’m more focused on the colours than what’s coming across the street… I personally would love to see rainbow flowerpots or the Pride flag instead.”

The motion to raise the flag (made by Councillor Brennan FitzGerald) and make a proclamation passed unanimously (with Councillor Ladouceur absent) after limited discussion. It is uncertain for which days in June the pride flag will be up, as towards the end of the month the Town also typically raises the Treaty 6 flag in recognition of National Aboriginal Day.

These considerations were directed from Council to be worked out by Administration.

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35 thoughts on “Council decides to not rainbow sidewalk for pride, approves flying pride flag instead

  1. Just because once councillor found them distracting in St.Albert. I think that says more about her driving skills than anything. Let’s fly a flag hardly anyone will notice. A crosswalk would’ve been a bigger statement of support to LGBTQ members in our community.

    1. I think that’s a pretty awesome idea. I would 100% support decorating the sidewalk. I still want to see a rainbow cross walk as well but I think a community sidewalk chalk art project would be an amazing way to celebrate Pride.

    2. The town could also have a friendly competition with home owners to decorate their sidewalks and the councillors could vote on their favorite or have people take pictures of their chalk art and post on the town FB page to be voted on by everyone

  2. Have you looked at all the painted crosswalks in St. Albert? What a colossal waste of cash and once the paint starts wearing off it looks like ****. Good call.

  3. And I suppose all you fine folks have sent emails and / or letters to Council in support of the “Paint Plan”? Or, as usual, you’ll make your comment here or on ‘Rant and Rave’ on Facebook and call it a day. Get serious – if this really means something to you, then REALLY get involved!

    A flag (probably provided by some group free of charge) does NOT cost the taxpayer ONE THIN DIME – and that my friends, is a GOOD thing…

    Mr. Hoffman, I fully support your comment

    Have a nice day…

  4. In addition to flying the flag, there was talk to have a public event in front of town hall to mark the occasion with a proclamation.

    Lots of opportunities with that in terms of engagement, whether it be doing some artwork in front of Town Hall or something else.

    All ideas are great, so keep them coming!

    The more important point on the safety aspect wasn’t that it could be a distraction (something I’m not sure of anyway…) but rather the safety concern of getting people out to paint a crosswalk on a busy intersection. Regardless, there is more than one way to celebrate!

  5. Don’t paint the sidewalks Look at St. Albert down by the river on St. Albert trail. It looked for for 6 months and now it looks like crap and remains to look like crap

    1. Many other communities do this. I see no issue in painting it once per year. Not one of those communities worried about how it would look – they wanted to send a message. That’s what this is about.

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