NORTH HURON – The Township of North Huron will fly the Pride flag this year to honour the local LGBTQIA community for the entire month of June.
This will be the first time this flag is raised at the town hall; council revised its flag policy late last year after some controversy regarding their decision not to fly it.
The Plus club at F.E. Madill Secondary School sent a letter to North Huron council requesting the flag be raised from June 1 – 30. The student LGBTQIA inclusivity club will provide the flag.
Coun. Chris Palmer again voiced his reluctance to fly the flag, using the same argument he did last year.
“I think it would be despicable to take down our municipal flag in lieu of anything else,” said Palmer. “I do not agree with flying any social minded or political type flag. There’s a black flag with letters on it down the road, that’s a social flag, a political flag. Are we going to fly it if he asks?”
Palmer was referring to an anti-Justin Trudeau flag that flies prominently on the main street of Wingham in front of one of the local restaurants.
Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip spoke up in favour of the request and put forth a motion to approve the request.
Palmer spoke up again, asking, “What about folks out there that don’t agree and are upset by it?”
Reeve Bernie Bailey said, “My personal point of view, they can get rid of me at the next election then. I will be standing solid and voting for this.”
Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip weighed in on the question, “The decision, at the time of changing the flag policy, last year, was the time for public input and discussion at that time.”
Added Seip, “We did not hear any public input as to the fact that we were looking to change it. Actually, to the contrary we heard more issues a year ago when we didn’t fly it.”
The motion carried 3 – 2 (councillors Anita Van Hittersum and Ric McBurney were absent), with Palmer and Coun. Paul Heffer voting against the motion.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times