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Pro-Life Society would like to fly their flag downtown

Group also requested to paint a crosswalk, similarly to the rainbow one at Second and Main
Two people hold up the Pro-Life Society’s flag to show Smithers council what they’d like painted on a crosswalk along Main St. (Marisca Bakker/ The Interior News)

The Pro-Life Society of Smithers would like to display the pro-life flag on Main St., as well as, paint their flag on a crosswalk at the corner of Main and Second Avenue.

Two of the society’s board members, Betty Bandstra and Jessica Vandergaag made a delegation to Smithers council on June 13 with their requests. The gallery was filled with support for the delegation and a few people spoke in favour of it during the public comment period.

“It is this effort to educate the public about the danger to the most valuable group of human beings in our society, that we are asking that the pro-life flag be flown and or painted on a crosswalk,” Vandergaag told council. “We understand that our views are not necessarily shared by everyone. But these views themselves are not illegal and the freedom of speech in the charter gives us the right to express this in public places.”

She went on to say they were encouraged recently to hear the mayor and council advocate for freedom of speech when there was an attempt to stop the drag queen story time in Bovill Square during scheduled Pride events at the last regular meeting of council.

The society thought the corner of Main and Second, where there is currently a rainbow crosswalk, would be a good spot for their flag to be painted, possibly opposite the other one so that the intersection could serve as a type of community announcement corner.

In 2015, council voted to paint the intersection of Main Street and Second Avenue with the iconic rainbow, which symbolizes pride and diversity in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities.

Vandergaag also noted that the town paid for the rainbow crosswalk and they would like the town to do the same for theirs.

“If council should decide not to approve the flag and/or crosswalk, then we respectfully submit that the town should cease from elevating one group above another through the motion of groups, ideologically identifying the symbol,” she concluded.

A similar request for a pro-life crosswalk was denied in 2015 when Smithers first painted the rainbow crosswalk.

It is customary for council not to respond to a delegation at the same meeting it is presented, but put the request on the next agenda for discussion.

The next regular council meeting is slated for June 26.

READ MORE: Smithers shows pride with rainbow crosswalk


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Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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