Flags will fly at Surrey's Fusion Fest, Watts insists

Flags will fly at Surrey’s Fusion Fest, Watts insists

SURREY — In an effort to clarify her position on flags at Surrey’s annual Fusion Festival, Mayor Dianne Watts told the Now that she never spoke to city staff regarding the issue.

“There’s never been any indication from me or anything at all that would suggest that they cannot fly the flag,” said Watts.

Last Thursday, the Now published an article where Derek Whiteskycloud, a Métis elder, stated that he was told by a city employee that Watts had decided no flags would be flown during the grand entry parade at the festival.

Watts, who has been out of the country since May 27, could not be reached for comment before the original article was published.

Speaking with the Now on Tuesday, Watts said she didn’t know where Whiteskycloud received his information and stated that she had not made any decisions about flags.

“I have not had that conversation with staff nor have staff brought anything to me,” she said.

In the days after the article was published, Whiteskycloud received a personal email from Watts reassuring him that flags would be part of the grand entry parade during the 2014 festival. 

While happy that he will be waving the Métis flag, he stands by what he was told.

To clear the air, Watts added “at the end of the day I just want the public to have accurate information and that’s not to say that somebody else didn’t have a conversation with somebody else.”

Watts also stated that there was no altercation between countries last year, however, there was discussion between the consul generals from China and Taiwan. 

“We received something from the Chinese consul general stating that there was no official Taiwanese consul general and informing us of the facts. There was no altercation, there was no dispute. It was just advising us of protocol and that was the end of it,” said Watts.

With flags flying high, the 2014 Surrey Fusion Festival will be held July 19 to 20 at Surrey’s Holland Park at the corner of King George Boulevard and Old Yale Road.

For more information on the festival, visit www.surrey.ca/fusionfestival.

matt@mattlaw.ca