Original Published 07:25 Jun 10, 2022

By Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

NORTH HURON – A resident of Wingham stood up to speak at the beginning of North Huron’s council meeting on Monday evening with some points he considered valid regarding the recent raising of the Pride flag at town hall in Wingham.

Jake Kikkert penned a letter to councillors published in the Wingham Advance Times on May 24, expressing his disappointment in their decision to replace the municipal flag with a tribute to the local LGBTQIA community.

Kikkert appeared before council to follow up on the statements he made in that letter, bringing forward his belief that raising the flag in this manner is against his rights.

“It’s my belief the Pride flag goes against the Charter of Rights,” said Kikkert. “It does not honour God or the municipality.”

“As I said in my letter, culture doesn’t dictate truth, God’s word dictates truth. The Pride flag does not have respect for moral and spiritual values, and the rule of law. Therefore, it goes against the Charter of Rights and God’s word.”

Kikkert requested that council take down the flag “as soon as possible,” asking why they took down a flag that represents the entire community to raise one for “a group.”

He accused the council of favouring the Plus Club at F.E. Madill Secondary School. 

“What is the next group going to come up with?” asked Kikkert.

During the consent agenda, Coun. Chris Palmer pulled the letter from Kikkert and the issue of the Pride flag seemed up for discussion again. 

“It takes guts to get out there and say something and be known, that’s very difficult,” Palmer said. “For me, well I agree with Mr. Kikkert and his views.”

Both Reeve Bernie Bailey and Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip later spoke about their continued support for the flag and the LGBTQIA community in North Huron.

Seip said it was likely that this matter would arise every year to each council; therefore, future councillors would probably revisit it, and decisions would be up to whichever council members were in place.

Both Bailey and Seip thanked Kikkert for his letter and his viewpoint.

The Rainbow flag, also known as the Pride flag, will continue to fly in North Huron for the rest of June.

This item reprinted with permission from Advance Times, Wingham, Ontario