Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dogs in City Park, Pride, and the Mayor of Kelowna

In 1997, Walter Gray, then the Mayor of Kelowna, altered a proclamation to remove the word “Pride” when proclaiming “Gay and Lesbian Week.”  His contention was that being gay was nothing to be proud of.

In 2000, a BC Human Rights Tribunal found him guilty of discrimination because everybody else could have proclamations issued.

Immediately, Gray announced that he would simply stop issuing proclamations.

In 2000, when My Dog Sandy came to us, the Okanagan Dog Owners Association was fighting the City for off-leash parks.  There were none.  Later, OK Dog fought the City for the right to walk dogs on-leash along the waterfront from City Park to Tugboat Beach.

We have a new Mayor now.

Today I attended the Okanagan Pride festival.  It was held in City Park.  Mayor Sharon Shepherd read the proclamation to those in attendance.  And then, the “Best Dog” contest began.

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd and Okanagan Pride Chair Dustyn Baulkham

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd & Okanagan Pride Chair Dustyn Baulkham

What could be better than this?  There’s a new park on the waterfront, right across from City Hall.  There’s a dog water fountain in the park.