Why a B.C. bylaw officer took down a Pride flag on private property
Published Monday, June 17, 2019 5:29PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, June 17, 2019 8:56PM PDT
It began as a gesture of unity but instead it divided an entire neighbourhood in Aldergrove, B.C.
A resident of the Township of Langley community put up a Pride flag on her property, but it was soon taken down by a bylaw official.
"I put it up because to me it represents Canada. It represents all people being equal," Ebenal said of the flag.
It was draped over a Bertrand Creek subdivision sign. She says hours later a neighbour complained and her flag was removed by Township of Langley staff.
"Acting on that complaint, they took it down from my yard on private property without contacting me or even checking to see if I was home," Ebenal added.
She and a neighbour called the Township of Langley explaining the flag and the sign were actually on her land.
The township checked and she was right.
"This was confirmed and the crew promptly returned the flag to the property owner and verbally apologized," the municipality said in an email to CTV News Vancouver.
"The Township regrets the distress our confusion may have caused to the residents and neighbours and going forward will remind crews to check property locations of signs prior to taking action."
Ebenal wonders why a complaint about a Pride flag got such a timely response.
"The fact they acted so quickly and they came to take it down makes me question the motives behind it," she said.
On Monday, dozens of her neighbours also hung Pride flags in solidarity.
However, some chose not to offer their support.
"We don't all have those beliefs," said Cheryle Restiaux.
Restiaux doesn't want the flags - especially the one on the sign - to speak for everyone.
"I just don't want it to look like her views represent all of Bertrand Creek because it doesn't," Restiaux said.
Osmel Guerra Maynes is the president of Qmunity and has been following the Bertrand Creek controversy from a far.
"This is what we need to understand that the world is changing for the good in terms of acceptance -- but at the same time we still have folks living in the past," Maynes said.