The first Pride flag crosswalk in Gananoque was painted on Friday, and was vandalized shortly afterwards.
“I’m very disappointed. I really had hope that the community of Gananoque was better than that,” says Lynn Pretsell of the Rainbow Connection of the Thousand Islands.
Pretsell, a local activist and LGBTQ2 supporter, first brought the idea of a rainbow crosswalk to council. The motion to create the first-ever rainbow crosswalk in the town was passed in June.
“It’s 2021. Its time for people to go out and live their best life and not judge other people on how they choose to live their life,” she says.
Gananoque Police Chief, Scott Gee, says community complaints helped to locate the driver.
“We actually received three complaints at the same time from members of the public who witnessed the incident, at which time our officers responded and located the driver and as a result of the investigation the driver was charged with stunt driving as well as mischief to property,” Gee says.
Pretsell says the black tire marks won’t be staying for very long, with the town moving swiftly to fix the damage.
“We will be back at it Friday morning this week to repair the damage,” she says. “And actually with a second coat it will be even brighter than before. So that’s amazing.”
Chief Gee says he wants the LGBTQ2 community to know that he stands with them.
“Things like this wont be taken lightly, and resources will be put in. We need to send a message to the community that this wont be tolerated.”