North Grenville council has passed a resolution to purchase and install two angle flag poles on the Municipal Centre to ensure both the provincial and municipal flags are flown at the centre at all times.
This decision was made to address concerns expressed by residents and several council members when both the provincial and municipal flags were lowered to make room for flying the Pride and trans flag at the Municipal Centre for the month of June.
While council was unanimous in their decision to support the LGBTQ2 community in North Grenville, and fly the flags during pride month, both Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman and Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan were uncomfortable with lowering the provincial/municipal flags, which represent the entire community, to make room for the two temporary courtesy flags. “I’ve had a lot of discussions and email conversations with a number of residents of North Grenville, and I wanted to consider all the feedback I have received, as well as my own feelings about this,” Councillor O’Sullivan said at Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, July 9. “I am feeling very strongly that the municipal flag and the provincial flag, as well as the Canadian flag, should always be on display.”
Her suggestions were to go ahead with purchasing the angle flag poles and that they be used to fly courtesy flags, when requested. The tripod flag poles at the Municipal Centre entrance would be reserved for the Canadian, provincial and municipal flags. “The municipal flag represents all of the people of North Grenville, and any special interest groups would be honoured by having their flags flown on the angled flag poles on the building,” she said.
While Councillor John Barclay agreed with the idea of flying the flags that represent all municipal residents at all times, he was concerned about Councillor O’Sullivan’s suggestion for their placement. “I think for special groups who want to raise the courtesy flag, that part of the ceremony involves actually running it up the flagpole,” he said. Councillor Kristin Strackerjan echoed Councillor Barclay’s concern, and spoke in favour of the original proposal from staff to fly the provincial and municipal flag from the angled flag poles when necessary.
Council decided to put the discussion about which flags would fly where on hold, and simply move ahead with purchasing and installing two angled flag poles for the Municipal Centre. Based on a recommendation from staff, one will be installed near the main entrance and the other at the north arena entrance. The cost of the new angle flag poles is estimated at $359.90, including shipping, with a cost of $320 for flag replacement per year.
The resolution to purchase and install the new flag poles was passed at the Council meeting of July 16. The discussion around flag placement will continue at the next Committee of the Whole meeting on August 6.