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.

Just Posted

Middle school consultations begin Sept. 18 for Langley’s eastern schools

The public has opportunities for input at public meetings, with an online survey or via email.

VIDEO: a jump in turnout for Mayor’s Charitable Gala fundraiser in Langley

New venue for the second year of the joint event with the firefighters charity

Giants trade Jadon Joseph

Forward leaves Langley-based team for Moose Jaw

VIDEO: Provincial slow-pitch championships underway in Langley

More than 600 players and 58 teams from all across B.C. are playing

Artist’s landscapes and botanical oil paintings come to Fort Langley

Ray Ophoff’s Exhibition of New Works will be on display at Fort Gallery, Sept. 25 to 29

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

Most Read