Merritt council rejects students’ rainbow crosswalk idea, lawyers offer space

Merritt council rejects students’ rainbow crosswalk idea, lawyers offer space

Thompson-area city not the first to reject a rainbow crosswalk in a B.C. community

Although the Merritt city council rejected a group of school students proposal for a rainbow crosswalk, the students are instead getting the green light for an entire rainbow parking lot, owned by a Vancouver lawyer.

In a city council decision on the crosswalk, Merritt Mayor Neil Menard said he rejected the proposal because it could “open kind of a Pandora’s box,” for other groups – including the local Legion – to request a crosswalk of their own.

School District 58 backed the students’ proposal, intended to support its LGBTQ youth, and were set to handle the costs for the rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Chapman Street and Coldwater Avenue.

In the end, Merritt council voted 4-3 against the proposal.

Coun. Diana Norgaard commended the students for stepping forward “bravely,” and said she voted in favour for the crosswalk even if the city had to pay for it.

Other councillors voiced concern over the extra maintenance required for maintaining the coloured paint in a city hit with drive-through traffic and inclement weather.

Vancouver lawyers offer their own parking lots

Since the city’s decision, two Vancouver lawyers have stepped up to offer the students a portion of privately-owned property in Merritt.

Acumen Law’s Kyla Lee and Paul Doroshenko took to social media, saying that they each own a parking lot in Merritt’s downtown core – side-by-side – and are more-than happy to let the students use the space.

“I’ll even donate to the cost of paint,” Lee said.

Merritt not first city to reject inclusive crosswalk concept

Rainbow crosswalks have been welcomed by dozens of municipalities across B.C., but others have not been as accepting of the idea.

Port Alberni’s council voted no until a community member mounted a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the crosswalk.

The City of Chilliwack created a bylaw to nix “decorated crosswalks” of any kind, after receiving separate requests within the same week for a rainbow crosswalk to be installed downtown and a pro-life crosswalk depicting “painted crosses or infant feet.”

In Fort Langley, it took a year-long campaign by a group of local artists to fund a crosswalk, only to be damaged with black tire marks within a week of being installed.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Kelowna school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say they are self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read