Skip to content

Westlock bans Pride flags, rainbow crosswalks after plebiscite


A town north of Edmonton has voted in favour of a bylaw that bans Pride flags and rainbow crosswalks on municipal property.

A slim majority of Westlock residents who took part in a plebiscite Thursday voted in favour of the town flying only government flags and painting crosswalks in a white striped pattern.

There were 1,302 votes cast, with 663 people in favour and 639 opposed.

Westlock Mayor Jon Kramer said councillors didn’t support the move as they felt it was against their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Kramer said in a statement the town of 4,800 will continue to find ways to embrace marginalized groups, including those in the LGBTQ community.

“This plebiscite is binding and, as such, the bylaw does restrict how we are able to show this commitment,” he said.

Last year, a group brought a petition to council demanding neutrality in public spaces after a local gay-straight alliance painted the town’s first Pride crosswalk.

The petition came before council, and councillors were given the choice to pass the bylaw or refer it to a plebiscite. They decided residents should vote on it.