The rainbow flag will be flown during the month of June, which is Pride Month, every year at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre from now on, North Cowichan’s council decided on May 19.
The municipality has authorized the flying of the rainbow flag, which is also called the pride flag, at the CAC in previous years as a celebration of diversity and inclusion, but council’s decision will ensure the flag is flown every year so that the issue will not have to repeatedly go back to the municipality for consideration each spring.
Coun. Rosalie Sawrie, who introduced the motion, said raising the rainbow flag at the CAC is a symbol to the community that demonstrates to municipal staff, youth, businesses and residents alike of North Cowichan’s commitment to supporting inclusion and diversity.
“The flag flying at the CAC clearly signifies that our municipality is an LGBTQ+ safe and friendly community, and it aligns nicely with our respectful spaces bylaw,” she said.
“Instead of putting a motion forward every year, it makes sense to add it to the [municipal] flag protocol policy as an annual recurring guest flag. I also have a pride flag that I will donate to the municipality to use each year as needed.”
Count. Kate Marsh thanked Sawrie for her initiative to make the raising of the rainbow flag at the CAC each June an annual and permanent event.
“[Sawrie] has broken through barriers that I’m not sure she’s even aware of in her short time in office,” Marsh said.
“During the last term of council when some youths from the high school wanted to have pride colours painted on a sidewalk, there were people on council who were against it. I’m proud to support this and I think what it’s going to say to a still very marginalized group of people in some areas is that we see you, we value you, you’re important and we’re never going to let you forget it.”