To the editor:
Dear Thunder Bay,
It’s become evident that some clarification is needed as to why, Thunder Pride Association has asked for approval to install two rainbow and one transgender crosswalks within our city.
Initially the assumption of the project would have had four legs of the intersection of four total roadway lanes across with an estimated cost of approx. $35,000. Thunder Pride Association Board of Directors met, discussed the project, costs involved and what we, Thunder Pride Association would like to see out of this project. We decided that we would like to reduce the costs of the project, while still allowing for future expansion. It was decided that, Thunder Pride Association would request only two legs of the intersection on Algoma Street at Bay Street and request a third leg on Donald Street at May Street at city hall.
There has been a lot made of the price tag. The comments have been hurtful, discriminatory and outright disgusting. The attacks on our organization and the city have been disheartening. We as an organization exist because of discrimination like we’ve seen on the Crosswalk Project. On the costs associated with the new plan, we estimate the per crosswalk cost at $8,000, times that by three (number of crosswalks planned) you get $24,000 total for three legs and then it will be divided by two which gives you a total cost to each party of $12,000 (approximately). This is not the initial cost projection of $35,000 to be funded wholly by the city.
Thunder Pride Association has decided to do things differently. We feel it’s appropriate that our organization have “Skin in the Game” and come to the table with a costing plan that is responsible and respects our tax dollars. Thunder Pride sees this as a partnership opportunity with our city and with our community. The LGBTIQ2S+ community deserves to have an ownership stake in this project. We operate on fact based arguments; the amount of misinformation out there is misguided and truly hurtful to the LGBTIQ2S+ community in Thunder Bay.
Thunder Pride Association will continue to be the voice for those who are struggling with their sexual or gender identity and we will be a leader in our community to support all people of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario to achieve their full potential. We will strive to grow an inclusive and diverse community. We owe it to our entire city and our queer and trans community to do better, to advocate for a more inclusive and welcoming city. This is not about paint on a road, this is about the fact that the LGBTIQ2S community has been discriminated against, murdered, bullied and demeaned just because of who they or who they love.
We are a city known for its giant heart, let’s all do better in ensuring we have a city free of hate, bigotry, discrimination and racism. Thank you to those in our city and around the country who have supported the LGBTIQ2S+ crosswalk fund to help fund this project and make it a reality in June 2020. If you would like to support the fund, please go to: www.gofundme.com/f/thunderpride-crosswalk-fund and donate what you can. To date we have raised 50 per cent of the funds needed for this project. Thank you, Thunder Bay for standing up for inclusion and respect for all.
Love is Love!
Chair – Thunder Pride Association