Since Vancouver installed Canada’s first LGBT–inclusive rainbow crosswalks in 2013, dozens of communities across British Columbia have also joined the rainbow connection from Port Alberni, Ladysmith, and Nanaimo to Castelgar, Masset, Lytton, and Dawson Creek.
The most recent additions in Metro Vancouver have been Richmond and North Vancouver, which followed cities such as New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, White Rock, and Port Moody.
Despite the increasingly large number of communities doing so, one municipality in the Lower Mainland just voted against following suit.
On August 9, Chilliwack Citizens For Change had previously presented Mayor Ken Popove with a petition with 750 signatories asking for a rainbow crosswalk.
At a Chilliwack city council meeting on September 3, attended by a contingent of citizens draping rainbow flags over themselves, all but one councilor expressed their opposition to colourful crosswalks.
“When it comes to painting rainbows, a rainbow on a crosswalk, or baby feet, crosses, anti-immigration or anything else, it becomes a political statement,” Coun. Sue Knott stated. “It also becomes a target for vandalism and a canvas for intolerance and hate.”