Westlock is for Everyone!

Westlock made history last summer by painting its first rainbow crosswalk. Ironically, Westlock could make history again by passing the Crosswalk and Flagpole bylaw and the crosswalk removed, a first in Alberta. Help ensure Westlock remains for everyone and vote NO! on February 22, 2024.

Vote NO on February 22

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When and Where Can I Vote?

The Crosswalk and Flagpole bylaw municipal plebiscite will take place on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at Westlock & District Community Hall, Legion Room, 10711 – 104 Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All Westlock citizens 18 and older are encouraged to attend and voice your concerns.

Who is Eligible to Vote?

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be a Canadian citizen and
  • You must reside within the Town of Westlock on the day of the vote.

Map to Plebiscite Location

What is the Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw?

A petition was submitted to the Town in September 2023, advocating for the implementation of a ‘Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw.’ The bylaw was introduced to the Council on November 27, 2023, and Council was required to either proceed with the second and third readings of the bylaw or take the decision to a municipal vote.

What is the Ballot Question?

Do you agree that:

  • Only Federal, Provincial, and Municipal flags may be flown on flagpoles on Town of Westlock municipal property.
  • All crosswalks in the Town of Westlock must be the standard white striped pattern between two parallel white lines.
  • The existing rainbow coloured crosswalk in the Town of Westlock be removed.

What is the Immediate Impact of the Crosswalk Flagpole Bylaw?

The immediate impact of the Crosswalk Flagpole Bylaw is the removal of the rainbow crosswalk. Westlock could make history as the first rainbow crosswalk removal in Alberta, potentially sending an exclusionary message to residents, visitors, and businesses in Westlock.

About our GoFundMe Campaign

We are running an active Vote NO campaign in the community to encourage Westlock residents to stand for inclusion on February 22nd. Many of our friends and neighbours need to know what is at stake in this vote.

Any funds donated will go towards driving the information campaign through mailers, social media messaging and signage throughout the community.

All remaining funds from this campaign will be donated directly to building Westlock’s first Inclusive playground – situated in Eastglen – forecast to be built Summer 2024 – Spring 2025.

The Thunder Alliance GSA will be managing funds and expenses in coordination with Derrick, the GoFundMe Organizer.

Westlock Town Council is encouraging our residents to Vote NO on February 22nd - rejecting the proposed “Crosswalk and Flag Bylaw” that stands in opposition to inclusive initiatives within our community. Aside from the negative message that this bylaw sends to residents and groups on the margins, there are also deep economic implications in having a bylaw like this on the books. It will most certainly have a negative impact on our ability to attract investment and key professionals to our community. Every level of Canadian government uses its public infrastructure to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Plain and simple, it’s common practice and good governance. If we want this community of ours to flourish - to feel safe and welcoming for everyone - to attract investment and development - to retain physicians and skilled professionals - then a proactive approach to inclusion is the only way forward. Vote NO on February 22nd and Stand for Inclusion: A Westlock for All.

"This petition carries a lot of considerations. It means we would not be able to fly flags of the Canadian military or of our schools, of the poppy for Remembrance Day or flags marking the Christmas season, as well as the Treaty 6, Metis, and pride flags....I'm not convinced this petition accurately represents the majority of our community's desires." - Former Mayor Ralph Leriger.

"Removing this crosswalk would be a first in this province, and likely sends the message that we aren't an inclusive community - something I know to be untrue. Our community is going to have an opportunity to look inward as this question is placed on the ballot, and I have full faith that our residents will choose kindness and inclusivity over the false premise of neutrality." - Acting Mayor Murtaza Jamaly

"Community is found where you feel valued, accepted, and safe to contribute to the society that sustains you. Belonging is a fundamental human need. The positive personal and economic benefits cannot be overstated.” - Councillor Laura Morie

"To me, inclusion is not about just one person, group or issue. It is about all of these things. I have lived in Westlock for the past 30 years, served on Town council for 10 years and I am confident that Westlock as a whole is welcoming and inclusive. By voting NO to the Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw, we will keep Westlock a community that is inclusive now and in the future.” - Councillor Curtis Snell

“Westlock is a welcoming place with a growing, diverse population. Our town will continue to fight to break down barriers and show love and tolerance to those that dwell here. I believe that the majority of our town stands for love and acceptance, and I’m asking our residents to show up and vote NO on February 22nd.” - Councillor Abby Keyes

“ We all have a responsibility to ensure that the inequities in our society are eliminated. Promoting diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, it is good for our society.” - Councillor Randy Wold

"Our pharmacy is striving to be a safe, positive, accepting, friendly, inclusive space for everyone and it is important to Vote NO on February 22 to show that our community is doing the same." Rilayna Pidsadowski, Owner

Newsroom

Town of Westlock Plebiscite Press Release

News Release
For Immediate Release

Monday, November 27, 2023

Council Sets Municipal Plebiscite Date for Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw

Westlock, AB – On Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, Westlock Town Council set a date for a municipal plebiscite to decide how best to move forward with the proposed Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw, put before Council as a result of a petition.

The decision for a plebiscite follows the Oct. 30th verification of a petition submitted to the Town of Westlock, which calls for a bylaw that restricts the Town to flying flags representative of only the municipal, provincial, or federal governments. The same petition demands that crosswalks be painted only in a ‘traditional’ white laddered pattern.

Per the Municipal Government Act, Council was required to give first reading to the proposed Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw on Nov. 27th, before either voting in favour of second and third reading, or moving to a plebiscite.

“This is the next step in the process that we are legislated to follow,” said Acting Mayor Murtaza Jamaly. “At this point, we feel like our community needs to weigh in on the Crosswalk and Flagpole Bylaw at a plebiscite. On February 22, 2024, our community will need to make a hard choice. They will need to choose if removing our community’s rainbow crosswalk sends the right message about who we are.

“Removing this crosswalk would be a first in this province, and likely sends the message that we aren’t an inclusive community – something I know to be untrue. Our community is going to have an opportunity to look inward as this question is placed on the ballot, and I have full faith that our residents will choose kindness and inclusivity over the false premise of neutrality.”

The plebiscite has been scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2024.

“We are following the legislation set out in the Municipal Government Act, holding the plebiscite within the required amount of time following the Nov. 27th meeting, while still allowing enough time for the Town to coordinate the vote and advertise the details to the community,” said CAO Simone Wiley.

Additional information on the plebiscite is available at www.westlock.ca, where further info will also be posted as the plebiscite approaches.

Media contact:
Simone Wiley, Chief Administrative Officer
780-350-2100

Murtaza Jamaly, Acting Mayor
780-716-6878

"Residents to vote on bylaw that would force Alberta town to remove its Pride crosswalk" from CBC
Norwich, Ont., changes its stand on ban of Pride and other flags on township property

Your Vote Matters!

Your vote is your voice. Choosing to Vote No on February 22 will speak volumes. Stand up for inclusivity and acceptance, a key component to our town’s growth. Show that Westlock is rooted as “A Community with Spirit” and one that welcomes everyone through its doors. Support Westlock remaining a welcoming place to citizens, visitors, business, and for everyone.

Westlock is a Community with Spirit

As “A Community with Spirit,” we encourage residents to consider this proposed bylaw seriously and think about what voting yes means for our town’s future.

What kind of message does removing the crosswalk send?

What are the repercussions for businesses and business owners?

What impact will this have on our youth and members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community?

How will this impact visitors and attracting future businesses?

Westlock is for Everyone. Let's Keep it That Way. Vote NO on February 22.

How to Vote

February 22, 2024 10am-8pm

Westlock & District Community Hall, Legion Room, 10711 – 104 Avenue

Media Inquiries

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