A new flag flying at Prince Albert City Hall is causing controversy.
A pro-life flag was recently added by a local group for Celebrate Life Week.
Dorothy Kawula, president of the P.A. pro-life chapter, said the flag is raised every year for the week and is a long-standing tradition within the city.
“It’s a national week to promote life from conception to natural death through advocacy, education and support,” Kawula said, adding the group views the flag-raising as joyous and hopeful.
But a local pro-choice group sees it differently.
Prince Albert resident Lana Wilson organized a petition to have the flag removed. With 500 signatures in hand, she marched up the steps of city hall to express concern to the mayor on Thursday.
“It is an anti-choice flag that is explicitly working to shame, silence and promote discrimination against individuals who may need to seek abortion. It is a legal medical service that has been acknowledged by the United Nations,” she said.
Wilson believes the flag is in direct violation with the city’s flag policy, which states that no flag should be flown if it’s divisive, political or religious in anyway.
“We are here today to help city council comply with its own policy, which is designed to protect the rights of individuals and groups,” she said at the protest Thursday morning.
“We are requesting that it come down, we are requesting a public apology and we are requesting that it never be flown again.”
Coun. Lee Atkinson agrees the flag is in violation of the policy and said this particular flag should have gone before council to be approved before it was flown; he said that didn’t happen.
“In my opinion, this one perhaps should not be there. I wouldn’t necessarily endorse it,” Atkinson said.
“It’s divisive. It is something that it is about trying to control other people and their choices. I think people should have the right to live their lives as they should and this exceeds those limitations.”
Atkinson added a decision on the flag would be made at a later date.