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.

Just Posted

Hey kids, we want to see your letters to Santa

Families and teachers can send in kids’ letters to be included in our special holiday publication.

Aldergrove car-jacking suspect arrested

Man had ordered 70-year-old pastor’s wife to get out of their truck

Crash blocks half of 200th Street in Langley City

Police and firefighters were on scene Thursday.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Langley author pens tribute to the men and women of Canada’s military for Remembrance Day

‘A soldier, a sailor and an airman … stood before the Pearly Gates’

Metro Vancouver mayors cancel Surrey LRT in favour of SkyTrain

Surrey mayor claims he can extend Skytrain for the $1.65 billion already committed to light rail

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

Lower Mainland couple missing in Thompson-Okanagan area

Barriere RCMP received a missing persons report for two senior overdue travellers

Vancouver Warriors cancel first 2 weeks of season as labour dispute continues

The announcement means games scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 will no longer be played

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Friends describe murder victim as ‘most caring guy we knew’

Jagvir Malhi of Abbotsford was not involved in gangs or criminal activity, they say

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

Most Read