An announcement from Stephanie Bakker…

Thank you, Westlock! You came out to vote on February 22 and sent a clear message to our Mayor and Council with a successful YES result!  Thank you to every citizen of Westlock that came out and exercised their democratic right to vote. And thank you to everyone who signed the petition last year that made this vote possible.  Without it, Town Council would never have given its citizens the opportunity to do so.

Unkind words have been fired from both sides online. But we’ve heard from some very caring people on both sides, as well. I know the results will be disappointing to some.

To our friends and family in the Pride community… Despite what the Mayor and Council have been trying so hard to convince you of, those who voted for the bylaw were not voting against YOU. You are loved. Those who voted for neutrality did so with a genuine desire to keep our community whole and inclusive.

It’s been an educational experience being just a grassroots movement going up against the government. With their actions over the past few weeks, the Mayor and Council have conveniently hammered home our point that the government should remain neutral. Even if you don’t care about neutrality, their behaviour has been a wake-up call to people.

Lylith Messier is a part of the Pride community, and she and I are co-hosting a Block Party for the town TODAY (Friday, February 23) from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the Capri Mall parking lot. We’re calling it the “I Don’t Agree with You But I Love You” Block Party. At the time of the invite, we didn’t know which way the vote would go. We did that deliberately as we wanted both sides to feel welcome.

Now that the plebiscite is done, we hope our common care for each other as individuals will win out over disappointment from the results.

It’s been a rough 8 months! Westlock could use some music in the sunshine!

Stephanie Bakker
Westlock Neutrality Team Lead
February 23, 2024