MORRISBURG – A Pride Flag is now flying at the South Dundas Justice Building in Morrisburg.
Council granted special permission to the SDG OPP who made the request at the June 1st council meeting.
SDG OPP Staff Sergeant Simon Hardy sent a letter to council explaining that the Pride Flag will fly at each of the detachments across SDG and the province in recognition of June being recognized as Pride Month.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many pride events across the province are postponed or cancelled. To celebrate Pride Month during these unprecedented times and to demonstrate the OPP’s support to the community, all headquarters and detachments shall fly the Pride flag from June 1 to June 30, 2020 inclusive,” reads the letter.
South Dundas director of corporate services and clerk Brenda Brunt pointed out to council that South Dundas’ current flag policy does not allow for the flying of flags other than the federal, provincial and municipal flags.
She added that the policy also doesn’t include provisions for flying flags at half staff.
“I’m good with the Pride thing, but I think we should stick with our policy,” said South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells.
South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan suggested that they should make a one time exception to allow the Pride Flag to fly at the Morrisburg detachment this year because of this year’s circumstances which have kept pride events from taking place.
“We have a flag policy for a reason and I think we should stay with our policy,” said South Dundas councillor Donald Lewis.
South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner said that council should agree to this request from the OPP.
“The youth in our community need to see that we are accepting and I think 100 per cent that the Pride flag should be allowed to fly at the police station.
“I agree with deputy mayor Gardner. I think that we should be as inclusive as we can,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds.
Byvelds also suggested that the South Dundas flag flying policy needs to be updated to allow flags to fly at half staff for events of international, national or local significance.
Council agreed so staff will draft appropriate wording to update the policy.
While South Dundas has about eight locations where flags are flown on municipal land, the policy for flags being lowered to half staff will only apply to South Dundas’ main flag poles located at the South Dundas municipal centre.