White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen, and longtime residents Ruth Allard and Louise McKnight stand at the Five Corners crosswalks that are to be repainted in rainbow colours, thanks to their appeal to council. Alex Browne photo

White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen, and longtime residents Ruth Allard and Louise McKnight stand at the Five Corners crosswalks that are to be repainted in rainbow colours, thanks to their appeal to council. Alex Browne photo

‘Inclusive’ crossings backed by White Rock council

Rainbow crosswalks to be located at Five Corners

A delegation to request permission to fundraise for a rainbow crosswalk at Five Corners in White Rock was surprised when council offered to foot the bill on the city’s dime.

White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen, real estate agent Louise McKnight and her mother-in-law, 60-year city resident Ruth Allard, told Peace Arch News they thought they might have to raise some $4,000 to paint a crosswalk at Five Corners in rainbow colours.

Klassen told council it’s well-known the rainbow has historically been the symbol for the LGBT community.

“Lately, though, it represents inclusiveness and diversity,” he noted.

After hearing their presentation, Mayor Wayne Baldwin suggested council support and fund rainbow painting at all three Five Corners crosswalks.

“I really appreciate you coming forward and volunteering to raise money for it, but I think this is something the city should be doing,” the mayor said.

A motion from Coun. Lynne Sinclair to have the crosswalk painted immediately was unanimously endorsed.

“I’m glad to see this stands not just for the traditional rainbow signature, but it also stands for inclusiveness of everything,” Baldwin commented. “We’ve heard earlier about First Nations, so First Nations are included, everybody is included and that’s what it’s all about.”

Klassen, McKnight and Allard told PAN they have been advised the painting of the crosswalks will be complete well in time for the annual July 28 rainbow flag-raising at city hall and a new pride event, hosted by South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg, to be held at the White Rock Elk’s Club on July 28.

Council’s vote will allow them to devote fundraising to PFLAG Canada, the national organization of parents and friends of lesbians and gays, and also to growing White Rock’s annual pride events, they said.

Allard and McKnight said Wednesday they had been inspired to help spearhead the project because McKnight’s son Jesse is gay, and had experienced bullying and ostracization at school in the past.

“His friends were awesome when he came out,” McKnight said. “It was when it got out into the bigger world.”

“I have a grandson who is gay,” Allard had told council Monday evening.

“I remember us going back and forth to school and him saying ‘Grandma, this happened’ and (I’d say), ‘Why didn’t you do something’ and he’d say, ‘well they’ll just take me out behind the school’ – bullying sort of thing.

“It went on and he found his own niche, his friends and what-have-you, and they feel comfortable with niches… but we would like to open it up by having events, and have it totally accepted by the city of White Rock, embracing it.”

“White Rock being the amazing community it is and very diverse, it’s (not only) the emotional support but also the visual support that people can recognize,” McKnight told council.

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

Just Posted

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Pixabay image
Surrey council moves to update city’s telecommunication antennas policy

But councillor says health and safety protocols are nearly 40 years old

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
National Police Federation members slam Surrey police transition to Surrey Board of Trade

During virtual meeting, bargaining unit representatives say municipal force ‘not a done deal’

Boosh Food founder Connie Marples (right) delivers some Boosh Food items to Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services, in December, 2020. Boosh Food has just moved their operations to Cloverdale. (Photo: Moonraker PR)
Boosh Food moves to Cloverdale

‘Plant-based comfort food’ company moving to 65A Avenue

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Court makes public ‘abbreviated’ reasons for judgment in Surrey Six slaying appeals

Six men were murdered in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read