Merritt council rejects students’ rainbow crosswalk idea, lawyers offer space

Thompson-area city not the first to reject a rainbow crosswalk in a B.C. community

Although the Merritt city council rejected a group of school students proposal for a rainbow crosswalk, the students are instead getting the green light for an entire rainbow parking lot, owned by a Vancouver lawyer.

In a city council decision on the crosswalk, Merritt Mayor Neil Menard said he rejected the proposal because it could “open kind of a Pandora’s box,” for other groups – including the local Legion – to request a crosswalk of their own.

School District 58 backed the students’ proposal, intended to support its LGBTQ youth, and were set to handle the costs for the rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Chapman Street and Coldwater Avenue.

In the end, Merritt council voted 4-3 against the proposal.

Coun. Diana Norgaard commended the students for stepping forward “bravely,” and said she voted in favour for the crosswalk even if the city had to pay for it.

Other councillors voiced concern over the extra maintenance required for maintaining the coloured paint in a city hit with drive-through traffic and inclement weather.

Vancouver lawyers offer their own parking lots

Since the city’s decision, two Vancouver lawyers have stepped up to offer the students a portion of privately-owned property in Merritt.

Acumen Law’s Kyla Lee and Paul Doroshenko took to social media, saying that they each own a parking lot in Merritt’s downtown core – side-by-side – and are more-than happy to let the students use the space.

“I’ll even donate to the cost of paint,” Lee said.

Merritt not first city to reject inclusive crosswalk concept

Rainbow crosswalks have been welcomed by dozens of municipalities across B.C., but others have not been as accepting of the idea.

Port Alberni’s council voted no until a community member mounted a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the crosswalk.

The City of Chilliwack created a bylaw to nix “decorated crosswalks” of any kind, after receiving separate requests within the same week for a rainbow crosswalk to be installed downtown and a pro-life crosswalk depicting “painted crosses or infant feet.”

In Fort Langley, it took a year-long campaign by a group of local artists to fund a crosswalk, only to be damaged with black tire marks within a week of being installed.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian standout is Rotary Student of the Month for September

Ben Williams has made an impression at DCS since day one

Cowichan LMG’s Michael Fusick plows through a Nanaimo defender during last Friday’s game at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Depth a concern for Cowichan LMG

Div. 1 club expecting reinforcements soon

The City of Duncan is applying to the province for a grant that would cover most of the costs of the new Cairnsmore roundabout that is planned the intersection of Government, College and Cairnsmore streets. (File photo)
City of Duncan looking to grant to cover cost of Cairnsmore traffic circle

Federal government would cover 60%, province would pick up the other 40%.

Angie Fournier. who served as office coordinator for the Cowichan Lake Community Services, stands with the society’s community bus in this picture. (File photo)
Community Service Society vital for Lake Cowichan

Dozens of programs and other services offered

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read