Nipawin refuses to give permission for rainbow sidewalk, citing safety concerns

NIPAWIN — The L.P. Miller Gay-Straight Alliance is planning to go ahead with an alternative after Nipawin council refused to let them paint the sidewalk outside L.P. Miller rainbow colours, citing safety concerns.

Last year, permission was granted by council allowing the school group to paint the sidewalk.

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The recommendation to refuse it this year came from the town’s Community Development Standing Committee.

The committee stated that painting sidewalks is a safety issue and a number of people complained to the town, some of which alleged to have fallen due to walking on a painted surface. Another concern was the difficulty with removing it.

“The paint itself is a safety issue, a number of people falling because of what was used and that was not something that council was wanting to subject itself to again,” said Rennie Harper, Nipawin’s mayor. “There are perhaps other options that we can offer.”

Barry Elliott, the town’s administrator, recommended painting the sidewalk on school property.

“They have sidewalks on their property, so it could just be off town property and on their own.”

Previously, a water-based paint was used. In this year’s request the L.P. Miller GSA stated they would use a different oil-based paint.

Cindy Miller, the GSA’s teacher co-liaison, said that the water-based paint was only used at the town’s request, and they’ll look into alternative solutions.

“There’s so little that students can do to say what they’re proud of, and this is just one of the ways in which our students can be proud,” Miller said.

“We’ll definitely be talking with our school administrator to see if it would be possible to paint the rainbow on the sidewalk leading up to L.P. Miller as opposed to on the town property. Hopefully we’ll have a better response.”

Despite the change of paint, Harper stated that “there is no evidence that a different kind of paint would result in less slippage at that point.”

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