Rainbow crosswalk rejected for Chilliwack’s downtown

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

High winds Friday made perfect conditions for kite-surfers near the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Kite-surfers take flight near White Rock Pier

Aerial performance put on near iconic waterfront attraction

B.C. researchers are asking for the public’s help in monitoring the bat population. (Cathy Koot photo)
Semiahmoo Peninsula residents asked to monitor bat activity

Researchers keeping eye on spread of white-nose syndrome

White Rock City Hall (Peace Arch News photo)
City of White Rock seeking input on draft financial plan

Plan includes tax rate increase of 4.28 per cent

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Most Read