The rainbow flag will not be raised outside Surrey City Hall for the city’s pride festival next week.
City Councillor Linda Hepner says council decided to leave the policy unchanged, with the flagpoles reserved for Surrey, BC and Canadian flags.
“The request to fly the flag was exercised in that yes, do whatever you like within city hall, we’d love it, we’d welcome it, but we don’t have another flag pole at the moment.”
Staff say the current flags also represent inclusiveness and diversity.
Martin Rooney is the co-founder of Surrey Pride Week and he says Council’s decision has left him with a heavy heart.
He says, “We were shocked. It’s 2014. To have set new policy that totally excludes a very … universally recognized symbol of diversity and inclusivity stuns me — that they would go out of their way to ensure that that could not fly.”
He says he’s stunned, especially since the city displayed a non-government flag not that long ago, “In 2010, the Olympic flag was raised under the Surrey flag.”
He says neighbouring cities like Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Vancouver and even Duncan on Vancouver Island have flown the Pride flag.