Nelson residents may have a right to life, but they don’t have a right to the city’s banner.
City council has decided to rescind the Community Flag and Street Banner policy, which effectively ends years of outrage over controversial uses of the sign that hangs over Baker Street.
The policy had previously allowed local non-profit groups to use banner and flag poles at City Hall to promote community events.
But council sought legal opinion on the use of the banner after councillor Brittny Anderson asked during a meeting in March whether a right-to-life banner hung annually downtown violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Council already limited the policy to event promotion in 2017 after a pro-life group sparked outrage by using the banner to state “Respect human life from conception to a natural death.”
Mayor John Dooley said council’s solution was to rid themselves of the problem altogether.
“At the end of the day, it’s my opinion and the opinion of council that that’s municipal property and if we’re going to use it for anything, we should use it for our own events,” he said.
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