Ontario town shows inclusivity one year after mayor's controversial comments

The Town of Amaranth raised the Pride flag for the first time ever on Tuesday to mark Pride Month, one year after its mayor made controversial comments about flying the multi-coloured flag.

Stacey Whittington, chair of the Amaranth Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Community Advisory Committee, said it had been a long time coming.

"I'm elated to see it up," she said. "It's just so nice to see that representation there," she added. "It's up across the street at the elementary school where I work, so it's so nice to be able to see the actual township is celebrating the LGBTQ2 community as well."

This time last year, the town's longtime mayor Bob Currie stirred controversy when he responded to a resident's question about why the Pride flag was not flying over Amaranth's municipal offices.

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Following his remarks, there were calls for his resignation, and Currie was ousted from a key county committee. He has since issued an apology.

Currie was absent for the flag-raising Tuesday because of prior commitments but told CTV News he stands by the council's unanimous decision to fly the flag outside the administration centre.

In a release, the town said the flag-raising would provide "an opportunity to prevent discrimination."

"We're making positive changes to address a less than ideal situation from last year," deputy mayor Chris Gerrits said Tuesday.

The diversity equity advisory committee has 14 members working with town council to create inclusiveness in the community.

With files from CTV's Rob Cooper