LETTERS: Colourful crosswalks could boost town spirit

By on March 5, 2018
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I listened to the news report about Merritt city council not approving the school district’s request to paint a rainbow crosswalk in front of the high school. What flimsy arguments were given for the refusal! The message of a rainbow crosswalk is one of acceptance and inclusion for all people and shouldn’t this be a message we are promoting? Frankly I think they should paint all off the school crosswalks in rainbow colours so that our upcoming generations learn the message of inclusion from an early age. Obviously they are our hope because the majority of this council showed they are too staid and set in their ways.

And frankly, if other groups wanted to paint a crosswalk to bring attention I say go for it. Colourful crosswalks would be more attention getting and would certainly show some town spirit!

Ruth Tolerton
Nicola Valley


First off I would like to say that, I applaud the students of MSS!

The rejection of a rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Chapman Street and Coldwater Avenue, the very entrance to our Merritt Secondary School, was a big surprise.

I want to believe as Merritonians, we would want to embrace all the diversity that makes all of us up as a community, as a group of individuals wanting to be united, not divided no matter what our beliefs or non-beliefs are. I want to believe that we will, as a community and support each other without judgement in what makes us unique. I want to believe that our city council wouldn’t hide a rainbow crosswalk “somewhere on the school district property” in denial that Merritt has a LGBTQ+ community and has had for many years now just like any other town or city does, so let’s embrace this fact.

And, why not have an expectation that other service clubs that are the pride of our community, may want to show their marked crosswalk of colours as well?

Can you imagine, a Merritt Centennial crosswalk at the entrance between Subway and the Baillie House?  We are very proud of our Cents and we should show it! We are proud of our rotary club with its programs and services. We should show that “wheel of pride” on one of the side hills somewhere along one of the many entrances to Merritt, maybe flowers could be planted that bloom in the spring and summer to showcase our proud rotary wheel. Think of any crosswalk in town, and now imagine what service club logo would look great there!

These are just a few of my ideas. These ideas possibly could put us on the map again, as kind of a “niche in the market” if you will. This could be something great to say to our many home-comers, to our visitors and tourists who come to our little city every year, all year round…Hey look how diverse and unique we are, and we support our LGBTQ+ community. Can you imagine?

Jo Street


As a parent of one of the students interviewed on the Merritt Secondary School rainbow crosswalk proposal, I am extremely proud of all three students who demonstrated leadership and composure as they shared their strong voices provincially. This school year, the RCMP have attended a substantial number of calls at MSS, for issues including uttering threats and physical violence between students. As a parent, I am concerned for the safety and well being of my children. Violence is an issue. 

For a section of our community who historically have been criminalized, pathologized, and stigmatized for their identity, a lack of inclusion maintains structural violence. Inclusion is an attitude, expressed through our conversations, treatment of others, and physical environment. The opportunity to shape the landscape of Merritt in order to express our attitudes is powerful, in that it can facilitate the ways we relate to one another as community members.

The student’s rainbow crosswalk proposal reflects the attitudes of pro-kindness, pro-support, pro-belonging, and pro-community, initiated in hopes of a more tolerant and safer school environment. As a family, we are looking forward to city council’s reconsideration and support for this proposal.

Karen Lara


  1. Aiden

    March 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    The crosswalk idea is not inclusive. A truely inclusive crosswalk would include white, heterosexual and all other races. This isn’t just a religious battle either. I am an atheist who disapproves of the government’s involvement in these issues.

    • RF

      March 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      Aiden…if you would do some research you would find that the rainbow colours are not those that belong exclusively to the LGBTS community. In Europe, the rainbow symbolizes total inclusivity and represent the colour of peace. You say “This isn’t just a religious battle either. I am an atheist who disapproves of the government’s involvement in these issues.” What issues are you referencing then ? I suspect there may be just a touch of homophobia underlying your comments. Think about it.

      • Bob W

        March 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm

        Thhere is no such person as a homosexual.They are heterosexuals who commit homosexual acts.

      • Othmar

        March 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm

        “I suspect there may be just a touch of homophobia underlying your comments.” “Homophobia” the usual putdown weapon used my people who do not accept any other opinion other than the one matching the bandwagon agenda.

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