THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – Inclusion matters. Thunder Bay is a city where bringing together all the cultures that have helped bring our city and region together should be very important. This includes but is not limited to the Ojibway people, the Finnish people, the Italians, the French, the Scots, the Polish, and Ukrainian people, and many others.
There is a proposal coming forward from Thunder Pride to paint a crosswalk in the colours of the rainbow. This is a fantastic idea, but it is an idea that just doesn’t go far enough to really reflect the importance of inclusion in our city.
The cost of painting this crosswalk has been estimated by the City Administration at $35,000. However, there are other cities like Kamloops, British Columbia, where this has been done for only $10,000.
Here is an idea for our City Council and City Administration to consider:
Instead of only doing one crosswalk for one group. This should be opened up to have many crosswalks painted representing the many cultures of amazing people who make up our Thunder Bay.
Thunder Bay could be sending a message to the world that we are a city of inclusion.
A crosswalk painted in the four colours of the Indigenous medewin, a crosswalk in the colours of the Finnish flag, the Italian flag, the Scottish flag… you get the idea.
This can be a project that the various groups can get together and fundraise to cover some of the costs. Thunder Pride has already, according to some reports, offered up $17,000. This generous offer should be accepted and put toward not only their crosswalk but any remain funds a donation toward the entire project.
Thunder Bay is a city in major transition. We are becoming increasingly an international city, with growing numbers of international students arriving in the community and studying at Lakehead University and Confederation College. We have a real responsibility for fostering the growing inclusion of everyone in our city.
The painting of crosswalks might only be a small step forward, but if City Council and City Administration wants to help send a message on the importance of inclusion, that opportunity is here starting on Monday night in Council Chambers.