The City of Delta welcomed Pride Month with the raising of the signature rainbow flag at city hall Tuesday morning to recognize the global initiative.
The special ceremony was attended by Mayor George Harvie, City Manager Sean McGill, Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord, Delta Fire Chief Guy McKintuck and Delta Pride Society member Christa Horita Kadach.
“For me personally, as mayor and our council, and staff, it’s just so important that we show the Pride community that we are behind them and respect everybody who has the right to who they want to be,” said Harvie. “That’s what we are celebrating today and that the community knows this is so important.”
The Delta Pride Society says the city support is much appreciated in what has been a trying 14 months for everyone dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is so important right now. It has been such a hard year for so many people. We just want to live in our LGBTQ community and our diverse and amazing community here in Delta,” said Kadach. “We are now seeing the hope coming out (of the pandemic) and Delta Pride Society just wants to say we are here and we will stay here.”
The launch of Pride Month is an opportunity for the city’s emergency officials to publically express the importance of inclusion, diversity and acceptance within their departments and beyond.
“It means so much to for us in relation to our diversity, equity and inclusion plans,” said Dubord. “For us to be able to recognize this publically is so important for the Delta Police Department and the City of Delta. It’s an important time that we need to be inclusive of everyone in our community.”
"I was honoured to join Christa Horita Kadach, Mayor Harvie, Sean McGill and Chief Constable Dubord in the raising the Pride Flag at City Hall today in recognition of Pride Month 2021,” added McKintuck. “It is important to stand together to support and celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ+ community this month, and every month. I am proud to work for a city that values inclusion, diversity, and equity.”
The ceremony also included a moment of silence to honour the 215 First Nations children whose buried remains were discovered last week on the site of the former Kamloops residential school, located on the lands of Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. Just steps away was a building memorial tribute, which includes 215 pair of shoes, each representing one of the victims.
The Delta School District was scheduled to raise its Pride Flag on Tuesday morning, but made the decision to postpone until later in the month out of respect to the victims of the former Kamloops residential school.
“The Canadian flag at the school board office has been lowered to half-mast until further notice. We plan to raise the Pride flag for at least one week in June, but the date of the flag raising is yet to be confirmed,” said school district spokesperson Cathryn Tucker.