Council goes to bat for the Safe Spaces Society

By David F. Rooney
City Council has reversed a bureaucratic decision that denied a Safe Spaces Society request that the City accept rainbow stickers on municipal property.
The stickers, which appear on the doors to many businesses in town, signify that the organizations in question are gay-friendly. That’s simple enough, however, a request from the society earlier this summer that it be allowed to slap a few decals on City doors was denied by civil servants who said they viewed it as being “equivalent to a proclamation. Please be aware that the City adopted a policy on June 22, 1998, discontinuing the practice of issuing proclamations.”
It should be noted here that the request to stick decals on municipal property was never seen by Council.
City Councils across the country are regularly inundated by requests to proclaim all kinds of things. Adopting a policy of not making proclamations keeps all of those requests at bay but the Safe Spaces Committee believes that the bureaucracy misunderstood the meaning of the decals.
Our local bureaucrats may have misunderstood what this was all about but Council — once it was brought to its attention by Safe Spaces President Martin Ralph — certainly “got it.”
“Me personally, I don’t see what the big deal is,” said Mayor Mark McKee when Council discussed the issue during its Tuesday afternoon, August 11, meeting. “I know that we have this thing about proclamations… I think this is a local group asking for a request no different than Neighbourhood Watch asking City Hall to show that it’s a safe space. I’d rather we just participated and let it happen rather than going back and forth and spending more staff time (debating the merits of the decal idea). I think everybody around the table supports the idea.”
And, in fact, they did, voting unanimously to approve the placing of rainbow flag decals on the doors to City-owned buildings.
Ralph called the decision “great news.”
Please click here to read the original report to Council about this issue.
Please activate the YouTube player below to watch Council’s handling of this issue at the 30:51-minute mark of its meeting.