(Alan Levine/flickr.com photo)

(Alan Levine/flickr.com photo)

Rainbow benches coming to four Delta rec centres

Benches are among several initiatives aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion in Delta

Delta will be getting four rainbow park benches as part of the city’s efforts to “promote diversity and inclusion.”

On Monday night, council endorsed several recommendations aimed at proactively promoting diversity and inclusion “both corporately and within the community,” according to a report by city staff.

One of those is for the city to install four rainbow benches at “key community facilities,” namely Winskill Aquatic and Fitness Centre, Ladner Leisure Centre, Sungod Recreation Centre and the new North Delta Arts Centre/North Delta Recreation Centre.

Staff recommended installing rainbow benches over painting one or more rainbow crosswalks as it would save the city “significant costs” — approximately $12,000 for the four benches as apposed to about $6,500 per 12 metres for crosswalks. Furthermore, the cost of the benches would be covered by the parks, recreation and culture department’s current maintenance budget.

“Rainbow benches have been proven to be less expensive than alternatives like crosswalks, meaning the city is able to do more with less sooner,” Coun. Dylan Kruger, who chairs the city’s community liveability advisor committee, said at council on July 29. “The city would be buying them anyway, and having them in community gathering places like recreation centres will allow everyone in our community to make use of them.”

Staff also anticipate lower maintenance costs for the benches versus crosswalks, reasoning that since they will be located at major municipal facilities, it’s less likely the benches will be vandalized.

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk, covered in what appears to be white paint. (Photo: Twitter@MumofThreeBC)

More than 43 cities in the province have rainbow crosswalks and many have been the targets of vandalism, such as having paint thrown across them or cars intentionally leaving tire marks.

READ MORE: Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk defaced 10 days after installation

RELATED: White Rock’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk vandalized

Staff also recommended raising awareness by acknowledging community inclusion events and celebrations, reviewing and updating Delta’s corporate policies and forms, and offering sensitivity and language training to city employees.

The city’s community liveability advisory committee recommended the city provide up to $15,000 in annual funding to support initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in Delta, and on Monday night council voted to consider the funding as part of the city’s 2020 business plan workshop.

“I’ve said from the beginning of this process that token gestures like rainbow benches would be meaningless unless they were backed up by concrete action to support inclusivity in our community. The recommendations to review and update Delta’s corporate policies on inclusion as well as to provide ongoing funding for diversity and inclusivity in Delta are substantive steps for our city to take,” Kruger said.

“As a man of faith, I believe there’s a moral imperative for us to help correct historical injustices perpetuated against the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone is welcome in Delta, everyone should feel safe here and everyone should feel loved here.”

Council’s decision comes on the heels of several instances of Pride flags being vandalized across the city. On June 3, Ladner United Church had the flag hanging outside its front door defaced with black paint. The church replaced the flag a few days later, only to have it defaced in the same manner again on June 15.

After the first incident at Ladner United Church, the City of Delta and Delta School District raised Pride flags outside city hall, district headquarters and Delta Manor Education Centre in solidarity. It was the first time that the Pride flag had been flown by either.

More recently, on July 21, North Delta’s Crossroads United Church had the Pride and Trans flags hanging in its front of its front walkway vandalized.

In response, the sign outside the church was changed to read, “LGBTQ flags: $240. Solidarity against hate: Priceless. Welcome.”

“At Crossroads United Church, we trust that love is stronger than fear, and that we are stronger when we turn toward one another, in all our diversity, with curiosity, courage and respect,” Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes said in letter to the North Delta Reporter. “We celebrate that there are others in the community of North Delta who stand with us as we stand with the LGBTQ community.”

READ MORE: LETTER: Pride flag vandalism won’t deter solidarity



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

The Da Vinci Experience is scheduled to open at Tsawwassen Mills (5000 Canoe Pass Way) in June, with early bird tickets for shows July 15 to Aug. 15 on sale now. (Submitted photo)
‘Immersive art experience’ in Tsawwassen to showcase work of Leonardo Da Vinci

The Da Vinci Experience to open at Tsawwassen Mills in June, early-bird tickets on sale now

Artist Jim Adams pictured in 2017 in the “cockpit” of his home studio in White Rock. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Vancouver Special’ show a home for art by one Surrey Civic Treasure starting May 22

White Rock’s Jim Adams welcomes the ‘major exposure’ at Vancouver Art Gallery

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

Man gunned down Wednesday morning outside of Langley Sportsplex at 91a Ave and 200 Street. (Shane MacKicha/Special to The Star)
VIDEO: IHIT investigating fatal shooting near Langley Sportsplex

91A Avenue at 200th Street is closed to the public as investigation continues

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

Most Read