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Thursday, October 6, 2022
Letter: What is majority’s opinion on a rainbow crosswalk?

Dear editor:

In order for your readers to appreciate your published survey in its full context, (“Residents split on idea of rainbow crosswalk, Lake Report survey finds,” Jan. 6), I think that a couple of issues need to be addressed.

a) The current population of NOTL is about 18,000. Using your own numbers of 175 and 146 pro and con respondents, this translates into 0.0097 per cent of the population in favour and 0.0081 per cent of the population against the idea.

Either way, this represents less than one per cent of the entire population, which is an insignificant number and is too small to be extrapolated. This result is not unlike the failed survey carried out by the town inclusivity committee and is, again, not very helpful.

Even though considered of fundamental importance by many, the majority opinion has still not been evaluated and it appears council has budgeted $15,000 for a rainbow crosswalk anyway.

And judging from your report, only the location of the crosswalk is still to be determined.

If this is the case, it shows that majority input and opinion is not as important as a minority agenda in council making a decision, and can be conveniently ignored.

This follows the recommendation of the town's unelected inclusivity committee.

b) The survey asks for confirmation of residency. It does not ask whether the respondent is a permanent tax-paying resident or simply a short-term renter.

Both are considered the same for the purpose of this survey even though in this case the distinction obviously means a huge difference, with the former having a valid and strong interest in how public property in the historic Old Town is used and for what purpose, particularly if it is to be considered permanent.

In my opinion, there is a basic dishonesty in this issue when it appears that both council and a minority group with a specific agenda are making an effort to ignore majority public input and are not interested in the fact that without it and without public approval and endorsement it amounts to nothing more than a false statement of support and inclusivity.

Derek Collins

Editor’s note: Mr. Collins again presents an argument that the “majority” of residents may not be in favour of a Pride crosswalk. This is despite two surveys showing there is a majority of support (though, admittedly by narrow margins). While we appreciate the fact that 400 survey respondents is a small percentage of the town’s population, we also remind readers that Mr. Collins’ viewpoint is not supported by any data and is also not an opinion shared by this newspaper.