Canadian News Aug 6, 2020 2:29 PM EST

Petition in Whitehorse calls for new crosswalk to represent racial identities

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis has agreed to expand on the existing rainbow sidewalks in the city to support racial identities and the LGBTQ community.

Petition in Whitehorse calls for new crosswalk to represent racial identities
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta
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Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis has agreed to expand on the existing rainbow sidewalks in the city to support racial identities and the LGBTQ community, reports CBC News.

This follows a petition for the crosswalk that has gained 482 signatures so far. The petition calls for the crosswalk to be painted on the Main and Front Street intersection.

"I am proposing painting the crosswalks on Main Street and Front Street in downtown Whitehorse in support and to bringing awareness to 'Black Lives Matter', 'Black Indigenous People of Colour' and 'Queer Trans Black Indigenous People of Colour'. The crosswalks would reflect the BIPOC and QTBIPOC flags," the petition reads."

Mayor Curtis agreed to the idea immediately at this week's council meeting.

"I don't need a petition to know this is a great idea," he said at the meeting.

The online campaign was started by Whitehorse resident Mellisa Murray who presented a written statement to council with letters of support from businesses close to the crosswalk.

"The urgency of this project is crucial. Systemic racism is not something that exists only outside the bubble of our city, but rather something present within our community," she wrote.

"I started the petition to get people talking. I felt like after the murder of George Floyd in the U.S. there wasn't much happening in Whitehorse," she said.

Mayor Curtis noted that gathering the resources to paint the sidewalk may take some time as it has been hard for the city to find paint that is able to resist traffic, snow clearing and vandalism.

Mayor Curtis promised that the crosswalks would stay in place for 1,000 years.

"I want to get it done right, I want to get it done so we'll have it there for a millennium," Curtis said.

The current transgender and rainbow crosswalks in the city’s downtown reportedly cost roughly $7,000 to paint.

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