Rainbow crosswalk rejected for Chilliwack’s downtown

Several councillors said the project was dividing rather than unifying the community

City councillors in Chilliwack have denied a motion to install a rainbow crosswalk in support of the LGBTQ+ community in the downtown area.

Mayor Ken Popove had previously indicated his personal support by signing a petition, but he said Tuesday in council chambers that as mayor, he felt he “had to stand back.”

Many councillors who voted against the idea pointed to council’s 2017 policy not to permit crosswalk decoration that supports political or religious movements or commercial entities.

Coun. Sue Knott said councillors are elected by all citizens, and that a painted crosswalk was not an appropriate use of taxpayers’ dollars.

“When it comes to painting a rainbow on a crosswalk, or baby feet, crosses, anti-immigration or anything else, it becomes a political statement,” Knott said. “It also becomes a target for vandalism and a canvas for intolerance and hate. You cannot change attitudes by painting crosswalks.”

Coun. Harv Westeringh agreed, adding the 2017 policy was about safety.

The only to vote in favour of the idea was Coun. Jason Lum, who said he was disheartened after receiving multiple emails “bordering on hate and intolerance” on the issue.

He suggested supporters might present the project as public art instead, and that he would revise the crosswalk decoration policy if he had the backing.

Some supporters, led by downtown business owner Amber Price, have been advocating for a rainbow crosswalk in Chilliwack for most of the summer. They sat in council chambers, dressed in vibrant rainbow colours, to watch their request be voted down.

READ MORE: Signatures collected for rainbow crosswalk

READ MORE: Building support for rainbow crosswalk

“Of course I am disappointed, but that does not mean that I am not still hopeful that there will be change in the future,” said Price.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

Rude awakening: 1.6-magnitude earthquake rouses residents from their sleep

The quake was detected 3 km east-northeast of Agassiz

Chilliwack Visual Artists Assocation calling for artists to display

Works will be on display at O’Connor Group Art Gallery

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read