Antigonish Town Council passed a motion, during its regular monthly public meeting Jan. 24, which paves the way for flags, other than the Canadian, provincial or municipal, to be flown on the pole by town hall.
The issue came up as the committee, who works on African Heritage Month activities in the community, requested to have their flag flown during the recognized month which is February.
“And then immediately after, I signed the proclamation recognizing February as African Heritage Month,” Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher told reporters, recounting what had just taken place during the meeting.
“The citizens of Antigonish, our neighbours and visitors, will soon see the African Heritage Flag flying from our flag pole … I think it’s a good step forward.”
Boucher was asked by reporters if council could envision other requests for flags to be flown, temporarily.
“We now have the ability to fly other flags,” she said. “Staying in the regulations and respecting the Canadian flag, for sure … it’s exciting.”
Boucher noted a requested flag couldn’t be bigger than the Canadian one being flown now and the group making the request is responsible for providing the flag and hardware.
Council agreed to support Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton’s request to the province to add the ‘Welcome to Cape Breton’ message in the Mi’kmaw language, along with the English version which already captures people’s eyes as they cross the Canso Causeway.
“Mayor Chisholm-Beaton sent a letter out around the region asking for support,” Boucher said.
“She feels it’s welcoming and it is recognizing the Indigenous people in our area, so council did vote to support that as well. We’ll send a letter of support, on behalf of council, to the province.”
Boucher took the opportunity of talking to reporter to remind Antigonish residents, and anyone else with an interest, to attend and participate in the Engage Antigonish event, coming up Jan. 31, at St. Ninian Place, starting at 6:30 p.m.
“You saw today in council chamber, we had a lot of residents come out in support of the new bylaw and it shows people are already engaged,” she said, referring to the large gallery interested in an amendment to the town’s land-use bylaw.
“When it is something they are passionate about and believe in, they will come out and participate and it was really nice to see.
“That being said; we want to do partnerships and there is no bigger partner than our citizens. We want everyone to come out and hear people’s ideas. The things they like about Antigonish which we can keep doing, the things we can improve on, also where people want to see the town and community go over the next three or four years. So come out, share your ideas and thoughts … we would love to have you.”