Following council decision, Islanders think of ways to show LGBT inclusion in Alberton

Islanders are showing support for the LGBT community in Alberton, after the town refused to fly the Pride flag.

Alberton town council voted not to fly a Pride flag

Alberton town council voted unanimously against raising the Pride flag. In response, some Islanders are thinking of other ways to have the rainbow flag on display in the town. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

Islanders are showing support for the LGBT community in Alberton, after the town refused to fly the Pride flag.

The council voted unanimously against flying the rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia which takes place Friday, May 17. 

There are a few campaigns trying to ensure the flag is flown in Alberton in some way. 

Raising money for another flagpole

One of the reasons the town gave for not raising the flag was that there are only three flagpoles that already fly the town, provincial and national flags. 

But Ryan Pineau found a solution to that — he decided to raise money online for a fourth flagpole.

"It's got to be easy enough if they say that the problem is we can't take down the provincial, national or town flag, let's just put up a fourth flagpole," he said. 

"If you need to fly a flag for a particular event you'll be able to have that excess capacity available to throw one up there."

Ryan Pineau is raising money for a fourth flagpole, so that the town of Alberton can fly the Pride flag without taking down any of the other three. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Alberton Mayor David Gordon said council would discuss a fourth pole, but wouldn't make any promises. 

Pineau grew up in West Prince and said he is disappointed in the town council's decision. 

"Regardless of whether there's room to take down a flag or not, you're making one subset of the population feel pretty negative. And I just don't think we're in a day and age where we need to do that."

'We accept you'

Michelle Arsenault is also saddened by the decision. She has worked with LGBT youth in the Alberton area and said she sees how they have struggled. 

"Raising that Pride flag is a way to just, to show people that they are welcome and they're accepted in the community even if it's just for a day," she said. 

"We all will wear purple to say that we're against family violence or against violence against women, wear pink to show that we're against bullying, and flying that Pride flag for one day as a way for the community to say we accept you."

Michelle Arsenault is trying to acquire as many Pride flags as possible, and is encouraging people to fly rainbow flags throughout Alberton. (Submitted by Michelle Arsenault)

Arsenault is on a mission to see the streets of Alberton filled with rainbows on Friday. She is trying to collect as many Pride flags as possible and is encouraging anyone who can, to fly the flag on their own. 

"One flag at the town hall would show one thing but if everybody else in the community who says they support it flew their own flag … they put it in their window or they put it on their car or you know on the front porch or something that's going to show welcoming too."

There is also a campaign from several local gender and sexual diversity organizations encouraging all Islanders to fly the flag Friday. 

More P.E.I. news


Natalia Goodwin

Video Journalist

Natalia is a multi-platform journalist in Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador.