From: Jennifer Hanson, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
NORTH BAY — Following the success of a completely volunteer funded effort to paint two Main St. crosswalks, an impressed City Council announced Monday evening that they would be funding the further “rainbowfication” of North Bay to the tune of $1.2 million dollars.
“I see these crosswalks downtown and I think they’re amazing!” said Councillor Vic Tikus Monday evening. “If a small group of volunteers has the incredible courage and determination to not only fund themselves, but to also assemble a team to gain permits and support, then what can we, City Council, do?”
“What that group did was selfless, brave, and inspiring. And I want to continue what they started by using our entire road maintenance budget to paint even more rainbows everywhere.”
“I’m guess that group raised about $300 to paint those two crosswalks. That money might have filled one pothole, so just imagine what we’ll be able to paint with the entire road maintenance budget!”
Still, Tikus did to point out that the entire road maintenance budget was “only $800 000,” but Councillor Grey Terrence was quick to offer up an additional $300 000 to help out.
“I had it earmarked to help Indigenous women and our veterans, but this is much, much more important.”
“I know there’s some people out there who will ask why we can’t do both,” said Terrence. “Why can’t they be mutually exclusive things? Why can’t we help Indigenous women, the LGBTQ community, and our veterans? And my answer is ‘we can’t.’ It’s literally one thing or the other. If we help our vets we can’t help the women, and if we help the women we can’t help anyone LGBTQ.”
“That’s just the way it is.”
North Bayites can expect to see almost all of Main St., much of McIntyre, and parts of Worthington in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet within the next month.
But the outpouring of LGBTQI2+ support has ruffled some feathers. A new group called “Heterosexual Pride! (No Gay Stuff)” has popped up on Facebook. The group calls for the removal of the rainbow crosswalks, the organisation of a “Straight Pride Parade,” and the immediate acknowledgement of the “burden of being straight,” along with the horror of never being persecuted in any society, ever.
Spearheading the group are “proud straights” Erin Deplante and Bob Sanders.
The group currently stands at two members.