On Monday night, Burnaby city council is scheduled to deliberate on councillor Dan Johnston’s motion of requesting city staff to identify four high-profile intersections in each of Burnaby’s town centres for the eventual painting of a rainbow crosswalk that celebrates the city’s LGBTQ population.
He cites a 2017 study by the Canadian Community Health Survey and BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS that estimated the LGBTQ population in the neighbouring City of Vancouver to be up to 40,000+, but this is “in an environment where not everyone is willing or able to declare.”
Johnson wants city staff to aim to paint the first of the four crosswalks prior to Burnaby’s Pride celebration in August 2019.
These new crosswalks would be in addition to the rainbow crosswalk painted in 2018 on Jubilee Avenue near Metrotown, which was vandalized with Nazi symbols just prior to the city’s first-ever Pride event. The vandalism was promptly removed by the city.
He suggests the municipal government could use its annual casino revenues from Grand Villa Casino to cover the cost of the installations.
Earlier this month, Port Moody unveiled a rainbow crosswalk that cost $13,000 to paint.
Across the province, there are now over 40 LGBTQ rainbow crosswalks installed or in the planning stages. This includes the famous rainbow crosswalk in the Davie Village in downtown Vancouver’s West End, as well as installations in Coquitlam, Surrey, and White Rock.
Delta is also currently in the process of considering a similar crosswalk installation.
Most cities and jurisdictions typically only have one rainbow crosswalk.