City wears heart on bumpers

City Council votes yes to yellow ribbons

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The City of London decided to wear its heart on its sleeve, or at least on its bumpers.

After a close vote on Monday night, the council decided to adopt a policy that would see the yellow “Support our Troops” ribbons put on the bumpers of all city vehicles.

With the motion passing 11-8, the vote saw emotional debate from both sides. Controller Bud Polhill, who was instrumental in the pro-ribbon campaign, was pleased with the outcome.

“I think it worked out well. I’m not upset with [those opposed to the campaign].”

Polhill underlined the importance of the motion during the meeting. “I stood up and told council that 10 minutes after we make this vote the troops in Afghanistan will learn about it.”

But Controller Gina Barber, felt that the gesture was not so easily interpreted.

“This is a PR campaign for the war in Afghanistan which has cost us too many lives of both our soldiers and innocent civilians.”

Barber was also concerned about the limits to freedom of expression this motion could imply.

“City workers who may not believe in [the slogan] are being forced to express an opinion that may not be their own.

“I don’t think we go around fighting for freedom of expression and then denying it.”

Councillors were not swayed by such arguments. “[The opposition to the campaign is] just horse crap [caused] by certain councillors and misinformation,” Stephen Orser, ward four councillor, said.

Orser voted in favour of the motion, citing his father’s role as a former prisoner of war, and the presence of an army base in his ward.

“I’ve received dozens of comments supporting the ribbons,” he said, adding “After [the vote] only one out of about 200 didn’t like the motion, and his only reason was that he didn’t want the money spent.”

Orser said “If your conviction [against the ribbons] is that strong, you can leave the company that has made the decision to support the troops.”

Orser added he had not heard any complaints from city workers regarding the decision.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette