A pedestrian uses the crosswalk near the Langley School District offices and the Langley RCMP detachment. Township council approved a rainbow crosswalk for the area on Sept. 21, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Rainbow crosswalk between RCMP and school district offices approved by Township Council

Now, funding has to be found

Langley Township council has approved another rainbow crosswalk, with the understanding that it won’t cost the municipality any money.

It has been in the works since May of last year, when the Langley Board of Education voted to work with the RCMP detachment and the Township to create a rainbow crosswalk adjacent to RCMP headquarters and the school board offices, located next to the existing crosswalk at 222 Street.

In November, the idea was endorsed by the joint Township and school district liaison committee.

During the debate on Monday, Sept. 21, Councillor Blair Whitmarsh argued the matter should be delayed until the Township could develop an “equity and dignity framework” that would establish general principles for handling such requests.

Whitemarsh said he had received emails both for and against the proposal, calling it “a topic that is a challenging one for our community” and a decision that should be deferred until a framework is in place.

He stressed that he supports inclusiveness, saying “we need to be a community that treats all people with dignity and respect.”

“I am certainly not saying no to a rainbow crosswalk,” Whitmarsh told council.

A majority supported the crosswalk proceeding, with Coun. Bob Long saying he had been informed the school district wasn’t seeking funding, only approval.

Long suggested the idea should be passed with wording added to make it clear the crosswalk would be “at no cost” to the Township.

“All we’re doing is giving approval to painting the road,” Long commented.

“This is not a money issue. This is not something we have to defend to taxpayers.”

Councillor Eric Woodward, who raised the issue in the first place called the crosswalk idea a “small gesture that would mean a lot,” adding he thought the Township could, in fact, fund the crosswalk with money from its contingency fund.

“It’s a pretty small amount of money,” Woodward remarked.

Coun. Kim Richter called the proposed deferral a “stall tactic.”

“I don’t think we need to delay this crosswalk,” Richter sad.

“The framework is there. It’s the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Councillor Steve Ferguson liked the framework proposal, but not if it meant delaying the crosswalk.

“I don’t want this buried,” Ferguson said.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley’s first Pride Fest considered a sign of progress

In the end, a majority of council voted to approve the crosswalk with additional language making it clear it would be at no cost to the Township, then referred the framework proposal to an upcoming council workshop next month on deciding priorities. Couns. David Davis, Margaret Kunst and Whitmarsh were opposed to the amended motion.

Langley school board chair Megan Dykeman welcomed the decision.

“The Langley Board of Education is pleased to have support from the RCMP and the Township of Langley on this rainbow crosswalk project,” Dykeman said.

“As a board and district, we are continuing to work together with our students, staff and community partners to foster an inclusive and accepting culture.”

Dykeman said the board was ready to work with District staff to determine the next steps.

“This may include determining the viability of the project, cost, potential funding sources, timeline and other considerations.”

Trustee David Tod, whose work on the school District’s LGBTQ+ Committee led to the proposal, said he was “encouraged” by the decision.

“For all of us, the importance of seeing one’s self reflected and celebrated in society increases our sense of self-worth, societal belonging, and overall mental health,” Tod said.

He noted rainbow crosswalks are being used in communities across B.C. as “ a powerful message of inclusion.”

“As a vibrant and diverse community, Langley has the opportunity to pair a highly visible symbol of inclusion with a commitment of greater understanding and acceptance. The rainbow crosswalk is just one of many initiatives and activities to help us keep moving in a direction to ensure all members of our community feel safe.”

When a previous rainbow crosswalk was painted in Fort Langley in 2017, it created a stir, with the crossing vandalized shortly after it was installed.

READ ALSO: Langley’s rainbow crosswalk causes a storm


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langley TownshipLGBTQ

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health has added two more Langley schools to its list of COVID-19 exposures. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Two more Langley schools added to COVID-19 exposure list

Families of Langley Secondary and Dorothy Peacock Elementary were notified, district says

John Horgan meets with candidates Pam Alexis and Preet Rai and local citizens in Abbotsford on Wednesday afternoon. (Submitted)
NDP Leader John Horgan campaigns in Abbotsford with local candidates

Horgan meets with hopefuls Pam Alexis and Preet Rai on Wednesday afternoon

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
COVID case confirmed at Fort Langley Seniors Community

One of five new cases reported by Fraser health Authority

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Abbotsford South Green Party candidate Aird Flavelle. (Aird Flavelle/Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Aird Flavelle only Abbotsford South candidate to answer climate change questions

TWU Environment Club and Climate Crisis Langley Action Partners hosted zoom meeting last week

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Most Read