Williams Lake City Council approves pride crosswalk

By Greg Fry
June 13, 2018 - 12:23pm

WILLIAMS LAKE — Pride supporters are rejoicing in Williams Lake after the city's council unanimously threw its support behind the installation of a pride crosswalk.

Mayor Walt Cobb says council made the decision last night.

"I guess the major concern was what the cost was going to be and should the taxpayers be paying for it, but no, they're (Williams Lake's Pride Committee) prepared to raise all the money and do the work," he says. "Logistics need to be developed on where it can go safely. They'll work with our Public Works department on that."

Ultimately, Cobb says council decided it was time to open its doors to everyone.

"When you look at racism and the rest of the issues, it's just that as a community we decided we would welcome everyone to our community regardless."

The decision was music to the ears of Willa Julius, president and founder of the Williams Lake Pride Committee.

"I feel it's important because it provides visibility for LGBTQ2+ members of our community that may still be closeted or may not be outward-forward with their sexuality or gender identity," she says. "And also I feel it provides a bit of symbolism for tourists that do come to Williams Lake. It shows we're an accepting and welcoming town."

Julius notes she was pleasantly surprised that the town — best known for its annual stampede — made the move, though she says there's been plenty of support behind the scenes since the Pride Committee was assembled last November.

"We've been approached by many businesses and private sponsors. We've raised half of our goal of $2,225 and council only approved the crosswalk last night."

Ideally, she'd like the crosswalk to be installed near City Hall and the Cariboo Arts Society where a pride flag is already flying during the month of June.

The goal is to have the crosswalk installed by 2019.

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