CTV News Calgary Latest Videos
Rainbow disconnection? Taber council denies Pride Fest request to fly pride flag
Published Wednesday, January 31, 2018 6:21PM MST
The members of the Town of Taber Council remain steadfast in their determination of which flags may appear on town-owned flagpoles and the Taber Equality Alliance Society (T.E.A.) says it’s disappointed the pride flag remains omitted from the list.
On January 22, council reaffirmed Taber residents would only be represented by Canada’s flag, Alberta’s flag and the Town of Taber’s flag on town-owned flagpoles and denied a request by the T.E.A. to fly the pride flag on the Confederation Park flagpole during pride month.
Councillors did not provide a reason for the denial.
The designation of the Confederation Park flagpole as the community flagpole was also removed during the council meeting
Pride Fest organizers say they’re saddened by the decision and are urging council to reconsider.
“It almost feels like we’ve been thrown back to the Stone Age,” said Brianna Pulkinen, a member of the T.E.A.
In 2017, councillors voted down a motion to fly the rainbow flag in front of the town’s municipal building during pride month but permitted the T.E.A. to hoist the banner in nearby Confederation Park. Within days, the pride flag had been removed from the pole and shredded. A replacement flag was raised in the days that followed but that flag was pulled down and set ablaze.Pride supporters camped out under the third flag to deter vandals from targeting the symbol of tolerance.
While Town of Taber Council says the Confederation Park flagpole is off-limits, groups may fly their own flags atop their own temporary flagpoles when the Cornfest stage or gazebo are rented for events.
“The Town of Taber encourages any group to fly their respective flags in whatever way they see fit during their events as long as it is done with respect for Town property,” said Mayor Andrew Prokop in a statement released on January 31, 2018. “We look forward to the Taber Pride Celebration occurring in June, and wish the Taber Equality Alliance every success for their event.”
Councillors say exceptions to the list of town-approved flags will be granted to welcome visiting dignataries.
The province has offered to fly the pride flag outside the Taber Provincial building for the month of June. Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen extended the offer on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
Dear Taber, Your 1st flag was stolen, 2nd burned. It would be an honour to fly your next Pride flag from the Taber prov building. #ableg— Sandra Jansen (@SANDRAYYCNW) January 31, 2018
Members of the T.E.A. are urging anyone who values equality to write letters of support to the T.E.A. The letters will be compiled and shared with town council.
With files from CTV's Terry Vogt