City of Merritt rejects request for rainbow crosswalk

By Greg Fry
March 1, 2018 - 1:46pm Updated: March 2, 2018 - 7:11pm

MERRITT —School Board Chair Gordon Comeau with the Nicola-Similkameen School District is expressing disappointment following Merritt City Council's decision to reject a rainbow crosswalk at its meeting Tuesday.

He says the presentation in favour of the crosswalk was made by both a pride group and an Aboriginal group from Merritt Secondary School with hopes of having it installed at the corner of Chapman Street. Comeau says the board expressed its support for the idea at a meeting earlier this year.

"It is a disappointment because some of the arguments I found to be very weak arguments, saying that you know, then the expectation would be from other service clubs like the Merritt Centennials, that they might want their colours down by the arena, or maybe Rotary would want their colours," he says."But we know from seeing these sidewalks all over the province, you don't get a flood of service clubs asking to have their colours put on crosswalks across a city."

Comeau adds the whole idea was to help raise awareness around LGBTQ issues just as Pink Shirt Day raises awareness around bullying.

"And really that's all these rainbow sidewalks do, they bring awareness to the community that there are different groups of people and they're not all of the same persuasion and that we need to have tolerance and acceptance of not just individuals, but groups of individuals."

He adds the issue isn't dead noting the board will now look to adopt an alternate plan to perhaps install a rainbow crosswalk somewhere on school district property.

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