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.