A group of LGBTQ advocates in the Alberni Valley gathered under the dark of night Sunday to paint a rainbow crosswalk on Fourth Avenue connecting Port Alberni City Hall with the Capitol Theatre on Argyle Street.
The message for the crosswalk included the word “Pulse”, and a small poster attached to a lamppost commemorating the first anniversary of the shooting in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Fla., where 49 people were killed simply because they were in a popular gay nightclub.
Advocates asked last year if city council would support a rainbow crosswalk, but the idea was turned down. Coun. Denis Sauve worried about safety with a different-looking crosswalk.
Since that time, communities such as Nanaimo, Campbell River, and last week Parksville have painted permanent rainbow crosswalks in their cities. Tofino has crosswalks that look like migrating fish.
The idea about safety simply doesn’t wash anymore.
We’re not saying the city should have to pay for a rainbow crosswalk: but the time has come for council to at least support the idea, since people in the community are asking for it.
In the meantime, advocates for new crosswalks should be willing to meet the city halfway, and help find a funding source for the paint.
— Alberni Valley News