After a lengthy meeting, Richmond city council voted in favour of installing a rainbow crosswalk on a prominent street on Monday night.
The vote passed almost unanimously, with only Coun. Chak Au against the project.
“I think it’s important that we engage the public in making a decision like this,” he said during the council meeting.
However, before Au spoke and the vote was taken, around 30 members of the public shared their thoughts with council. Most of them were against the crosswalk.
“Can someone paint a big Buddha on the crosswalk? Can someone paint a big cross? Can a Muslim paint Allah on the crosswalk? So if every group comes and ask you, would you entertain them,” asked one Richmond resident early in the meeting who said she has been a part of the community for 40 years.
“I am asking you to stay neutral in this matter. Otherwise there will be … chaos when all the interest groups come to council.”
Her comments were quickly met by applause from members of the public. This prompted swift criticism from Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie who reminded those attending that “this is a city council meeting” and “there will be no applause.”
The discussion then continued with most speakers opposed to the crosswalk, with many saying they did not feel there was adequate consultation.
However a handful of speakers expressed their support. …
The crosswalk, which will cost $15,000, is planned for a busy intersection on Minoru Boulevard near the Richmond Public Library and city hall.