Students and teachers from Rossland Summit School celebrate the opening of Rossland’s rainbow crosswalk last September. Merritt town council recently rejected having a similar crosswalk in that community. Clearwater junior council has asked that one be installed near Clearwater Secondary School.                                 Photo by Chelsea Novak – Rossland News

Students and teachers from Rossland Summit School celebrate the opening of Rossland’s rainbow crosswalk last September. Merritt town council recently rejected having a similar crosswalk in that community. Clearwater junior council has asked that one be installed near Clearwater Secondary School. Photo by Chelsea Novak – Rossland News

Junior council suggests rainbow crosswalk

Clearwater town council also asked to improve situation with girls’ changing rooms at Sportsplex

By Keith McNeill

The girls’ dressing rooms at the Sportsplex are not being used for their original purpose, two representatives from Clearwater’s junior council told town council during its regular meeting on March 6.

The junior council representatives, Emily Giesbrecht and Savannah Dee, also asked town council to consider installing a rainbow crosswalk near Clearwater Secondary School.

The proposals grew out of a presentation that several junior council members went to last year about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, said Giesbrecht.

Junior council has chosen to focus on four of the 17 goals: gender equality, reduced inequalities, sustainable communities, and climate action.

“Our proposals to council were about gender equality and reduced inequalities,” she said.

Four of the new dressing rooms at the Sportsplex were built specifically for the use of girls and girls’ hockey teams.

“They were built after the female hockey players, myself included, petitioned for them because the one girls’ change room that we had at the time was tiny and could not fit an entire team in it,” Giesbrecht said.

“After we petitioned, we went and helped break ground on the new dressing rooms, which were then installed.”

READ MORE: Construction begins on NT Sportsplex changing rooms (Mar. 26, 2013)

However, during the recent Midget House tournament at the Sportsplex, each boys’ team was given its own dressing room to use for the duration of the tournament, where they could keep their equipment overnight and that they could use to get ready for games.

“This arrangement would have been fine had it been a strictly boys tournament but on each team there was at least one girl,” Giesbrecht said. “On the Clearwater team there were seven girls and 11 boys.

Each game the boys would get their own dressing room, and the girls would take the last one that was left over and they would share it with girls on the opposing team.

For example, if Clearwater played Merritt, the Clearwater boys would have one dressing room, the Merritt boys would have another, and the Clearwater and Merritt girls would share a third.”

“This may seem like a small issue, but the main problem that we had with it was that we have dressing rooms that were petitioned for by girls and then built with the intention of being used by girls,” she said.

Rainbow crosswalk

The second idea Giesbrecht and Dee brought to town council was about reducing inequalities, particularly in the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning and others) community.

READ MORE: Rejected rainbow crosswalk in Merritt (Mar. 7, 2018)

“We want to raise awareness about this group not only in our school, but in our community as well,” she said. “So one idea that we discussed with councillor (Shelley) Sim was to install a rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Park Drive and Murtle Crescent.”

Giesbrecht pointed out that this is a place that many people see every day with the school, the doctor’s office, the library, the Sportsplex, and the shopping center being nearby.

“We believe that a crosswalk such as this will raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community and will make members of said community feel more welcome and accepted in the community of Clearwater,” she felt.

The junior council representative said the town councillors were all positive about the ideas but that they said they would need to discuss the proposals later.



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Emily Giesbrecht.

Emily Giesbrecht.

Savannah Dee.

Savannah Dee.