The anti-Enbridge billboard in Burns Lake that spawned a bylaw infraction notice after complaints of it being “offensive” will stay put after the Village Council voted Tuesday night (Aug. 20) to permit the sign to remain on Gwyn’s Greengrocer.
On July 18, a Dogwood Facebook post about the billboard was shared nearly 3,000 times and viewed by 130,000 people, prompting more debate about the controversial sign.
Before Tuesday’s council meeting, more than a dozen letters were submitted to the mayor and council, from as far away as Toronto and Vancouver, all in support of the sign staying up.
The owner of the business, Gwyndolyn Nicholas, also submitted an appeal letter and spoke briefly at the meeting, detailing how upsetting it was to see the word “offensive” used in reference to her sign.
During a phone interview the day after the decision, Nicholas says the whole ordeal ultimately started something very positive.
“I just feel that there is power in numbers and we sometimes forget that,” she says. “It’s been an amazing and encouraging event. This is a very important issue and so many people are discouraged by what’s happened with the federal government process . . . This allows our group and people in our community to realize that there are people who we support us.”
Nicholas said the support she’s received from across British Columbia and Canada has been “exceptional.” And she’s looking forward to seeing where things go from here: “I don’t see this decision as a conclusion, I see it as the start of something much bigger.”