Kamloops to get its first rainbow crosswalk on a public road - InfoNews

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Kamloops to get its first rainbow crosswalk on a public road

Kamloops will be getting its first rainbow crosswalk on city property, similar to this one in a file photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Wikimedia commons
August 13, 2019 - 4:58 PM

KAMLOOPS - The rainbow crosswalk proposed for Kamloops has been approved by city council in a 9-0 vote.

The crosswalk will be installed at the intersection of Second Avenue and Seymour Street, between the historic St. Andrew’s on the Square and the Kamloops Museum. This will be the first rainbow crosswalk installed on public property. Other locations of rainbow crosswalks are in privately-owned areas such as the airport and Lansdowne shopping area.

Certain issues around the installation were discussed, such as different groups approaching council regarding the crosswalk in hopes of having their own. Council discussed various religious groups who may want some sort of recognition in a similar way, and who might try to use this as a focal point for their own proposals.

“Once we do this, we may be opening the door to a number of other special interest groups within the community,” said councillor Dieter Dudy. “We may be opening ourselves up to legal challenges.”

Other councillors were more on board with the idea, such as councillor Kathy Sinclair, who points out some of the other B.C. communities who have implemented a rainbow crosswalk without any issues from other special interest groups. Mayor Ken Christian points out the difference between giving the gay community recognition in comparison to religious groups that may feel they deserve similar treatment.

“I think that the difference is other religious groups have not necessarily been persecuted in the Canadian mosaic and Canadian history, but the LGBTQ2S+ community has in terms of service in the military, service in the police force and the approaches that society has taken to homosexuality in particular over the years,” Christian said.

The crosswalk will cost $6,000 to install, painted with skid-resistant methyl methacrylate paint. Kamloops Pride has offered to put in $1,500 of their funds to go towards the creation of the crosswalk. 

“I’m glad they’ve come to the table with some money to show their good intentions and it would've been even better if they came to the table with the whole amount so that other groups who come before us have the same criteria, that if we want something done to show our religion, our beliefs, our hatred, or put anybody down, we’ll pay for it if the city agrees to it,” Coun. Bill Sarai said. “This is going to put a lot of pressure on this council if more groups come forward and they use this as an example.”

Although the topic faced some discussion and scrutiny, all councillors voted in favour of having the rainbow crosswalk installed. It is not likely the crosswalk will be installed for the Kamloops pride parade on August 25.

“This is, in my opinion, a symbol of the way the city of Kamloops promotes inclusivity,” says Christian. “From that perspective, and for $4,500, I’m in.”

The location for the crosswalk is between St. Andrew's on the Square and the Kamloops Museum.
The location for the crosswalk is between St. Andrew's on the Square and the Kamloops Museum.
Image Credit: SUBMTTED - City of Kamloops

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