A group in Prince Albert, Sask. is calling on city council to vote against flying an anti-abortion flag in front of city hall.
So far the group has garnered 300 signatures on a petition to "not allow the flying of an anti-abortion flag." The decision on whether to fly the flag will be brought up at the next city council meeting.
The flag is intended to be flown in May for Celebrate Life Week, which has previously been organized by the Prince Albert office of the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association and the Jubilation Program.
'I'm in favour of all the flags we fly': Mayor
This is not the first time the flying of the flag has caused public backlash, but Mayor Greg Dionne said he believes the flag has been flown outside city hall temporarily for more than a decade.
'It's promoting that women shouldn't be able to do what they feel is necessary with their bodies.' - Petition organizer Jenni Rose
"I'm in favour of all the flags we fly. I believe we live in a free country and I believe everyone has the right to be heard," said Dionne. For him, this is an issue of rights.
In fact, according to Dionne, only one request to fly a flag outside city hall has been denied in the past 15 years, and that was a flag for an outlaw motorcycle gang.
"That was the only one I've ever denied," said Dionne. "I had the right to deny that because they are a criminal organization."
According to the City of Prince Albert, the "courtesy flag pole" — which any member of the community can apply to use — "cannot be used for commercial, political or religious events without the approval of council."
Flag looks like promotion, says petition organizer
Jenni Rose, who started the petition, is calling on council to reject the flag. In her petition she said "City hall must not appear to promote the causes of groups working against women and gender diverse people's fundamental human rights."
"Basically his solution is, if you don't like it just don't look at it, but for us that's not really appropriate. Like, it's extremely controversial and it just doesn't have a place at city hall," said Rose.
She said flying the flag in front of city hall seems as though the city is promoting an anti-abortion stance.
"It's promoting that women shouldn't be able to do what they feel is necessary with their bodies," said Rose.