Residents of an eastern Ontario town, Mississippi Mills are upset after their mayor refused to lower flags to half-mast in honour of the sixteen people killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash earlier this month.
On Friday, a group of citizens took it upon themselves to lower at least one of the town’s flags, which flies outside of a community centre.
Mississippi Mills resident Kevin McCartney says he couldn’t believe the flags hadn’t been lowered in his town, a move that was made by other municipalities including Ottawa and Barrie, Ont.
Mississippi Mills is a town in eastern Ontario, Canada, in Lanark County on the Mississippi River. It is partly located within Canada’s National Capital Region.
“I’m just embarrassed,” McCartney told CTV Ottawa’s Annie Bergeron-Oliver.
“We’re finally getting it right,” he added, referring to the flag lowered by residents.
“But it’s the people who are getting it right,” he said. “Not the government.”
Mayor Shaun McLaughlin in a blog post said that the “terrible tragedy” did not fit town policy for lowering flags.
“The day after the Saskatchewan catastrophe, 23 schoolchildren died in a bus crash in India,” the mayor wrote. “Should we lower the flag for them?”
He also pointed out that the local county and other nearby towns did not lower flags. “Our illustrious cabal of complainers never mentioned that,” McLaughlin wrote. “Another sign it’s all partisan.”