The District of Kitimat council has given the green light to the painting of a new rainbow crosswalk in the Save on Foods parking lot next to the RCMP detachment.
As council hopes to remove barriers for community members who identify as LGBT+ within the community, the installation of the crosswalk will be in an effort to help support the inclusion for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or any other sexual orientation.
“I think any little thing we can do to help with awareness is a really great step for us. […] and I agree to move on this is great,” councillor Terry Marleau said speaking in favour of the installation at the June 7 council meeting.
Save on Foods will cover the painting cost by fundraising and as part of their annual parking lot painting, will pay any additional fees for upkeeping and maintenance which usually costs the district roughly $400 a year, according to councillor Edwin Empinado.
With the district quoting $3,750 to complete the project, Save-On-Foods floor manager, Michael Vatcher, said that until July 15, they are looking to fundraise around $3,000 to get the rainbow crosswalk up and running.
“It’s about the awareness and the message; Kitimat is a place where people are accepted and welcomed,” Vatcher said.
According to a 2014 Stats Canada report, 1.7 per cent of Canadians ages 18 to 59 consider themselves homosexual or lesbian with 1.3 percent of Canadian ages 18 to 59 consider themselves to be bisexual. However, a poll taken in 2019 from Research Co., which was conducted among 1,000 adult Canadians, opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, while 15 per cent of the 1,000 adult Canadians said they should be allowed to have civil unions but not marry.