Thorold City Council took a significant step towards inclusivity on Tuesday evening as they unanimously approved the installation of a Pride flag pole in Beaverdams Park. The decision comes after months of debate and the passionate efforts of local resident Anthony Feor, who has been advocating for the flag pole since last summer.
Feor, determined to showcase the city's progress, expressed his optimism for the project, stating, "We have to show people that we are going forward." His perseverance paid off, as the proposal returned to council fully funded. During the 2023 Capital Budget Deliberations, $5,000 was allocated for the flag pole installation, with an additional $2,500 raised through community donations.
While the proposal was met with widespread support, some councillors voiced reservations about flying the Pride flag throughout the entire year. Councillor Jim Handley and Councillor Carmen DeRose, while acknowledging their support, suggested limiting the duration of the flag's display due to concerns about a potential influx of requests for other flags.
However, Councillor Tim O'Hare, a member of the city's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, painted a vision of an inclusive city where all flags could fly without restrictions. He emphasized the importance of embracing diversity and supporting initiatives like the Pride flag installation.
In the end, all councillors recognized the significance of the moment and unanimously passed the proposal. This decision couldn't have come at a better time, as the city has recently faced incidents of homophobic stickers being plastered across Thorold streets. The installation of the Pride flag pole sends a clear message that Thorold stands united against any form of hatred or discrimination.
As the flag proudly waves in Beaverdams Park, Thorold establishes itself as a place where diversity is celebrated and where every resident can feel accepted and valued.
Thorold City Council has approved the installation of a Pride flagpole in Beaverdams Park. The process leading up to this decision has been lengthy, with initial discussions two years ago about a Pride crosswalk. However, due to cost and other factors, the idea evolved into a Pride flagpole proposal. The recent approval came with full funding, and despite concerns raised by some councilors about flying the flag year-round, the decision was unanimously passed.
Community response to the Pride flagpole has been largely positive, with strong support from residents. While there were concerns about potential conflicts if other groups requested to fly their flags, no such requests have been made thus far. Councilor Tim O'Hare expressed a vision of inclusivity, hoping that the flagpole would be a symbol where all flags could be raised, representing different communities within the city.
The installation of the Pride flagpole holds significance in promoting inclusivity and combating hate, particularly in light of recent incidents involving homophobic stickers found in Thorold. The city's decision to take a stand and display the Pride flag sends a clear message that Thorold is an open, welcoming, and inclusive community, where discrimination and hatred are not tolerated. The city has also taken action by initiating a police investigation into the distribution of the stickers. Overall, the Pride flag installation represents a step forward for the city in embracing diversity and creating a safe and accepting environment for all residents.