Cheque presentation towards the rainbow crosswalk in Chatham. December 1, 2017. (Photo courtesy of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent).

Local Company Leads In A Fight For Inclusivity

A Chatham company is footing the bill for a rainbow crosswalk, which is set to be implemented at King St. and Second St. next year.

Kyle Pinsonneault, president of Canadian Executive Search Group Inc., says the company is donating the full $2,000 needed for the project.

“We do not discriminate against anyone and we would like to see change here in Chatham-Kent,” he says. “Canadian Executive Search donates every year thousands of dollars to Windsor Pride and now that Chatham-Kent Pride has come on the radar, this was a great opportunity for us to help make change here.”

Pinsonneault says the decision to make the donation was immediate. In fact, Councillor Brock McGregor — who brought the rainbow crosswalk motion to council in November in support of the LGBTQ community — says Pinsonneault emailed him about the contribution during a council meeting.

“It was really inspiring to see Pinsonneault make that decision and it’s a really special announcement to make,” says McGregor. “I think this is a great step for the community. We’re well on our way to getting this [crosswalk] installed, and having that sign in the community that we are committed to inclusivity and diversity.”

McGregor adds he was pretty confident that the community would step up in raising the money fairly quick when the motion was passed.

The $2,000 donation was announced Friday morning. However, other residents have also put money towards the project as well.

McGregor says about $2,500 has been raised. He says any left over money from the required $2,000 will go towards crosswalk maintenance.

There have been mixed responses over social media in regards to the rainbow crosswalk. Pinsonneault says they can only hope that once the project is complete, it’ll make a positive change.

“After seeing a thousand comments on social media of negativity, we hope it starts a discussion,” says Pinsonneault. “It starts with Canadian Executive Search putting our foot forward and being able to donate this money and hopefully other businesses [will] show their support for CK Pride.”

No municipal tax dollars will be used in the rainbow crosswalk project.