The Ukrainian flag remains hoisted at the municipal office

The Ukrainian flag remains

The Houston District Council will not lower the Ukrainian flag currently flying at the municipal office for three months.

The decision follows the raising of the flag in April, when the council said it would review the situation after three months.

“The conflict in Ukraine is ongoing and shows no signs of abating for the foreseeable future,” District General Manager Michael Dewar wrote in a briefing to council.

The council has also authorized the installation of a flagpole at the municipal office so that special occasion flags can be flown, but this has not yet been done.

Instead, the Ukrainian flag replaced Houston’s own flag, subject to review in three months.

The decision to purchase and fly a Ukrainian flag was driven by local residents.

The Council also authorized a donation of $1,000 to the Red Cross to support its relief efforts for Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion.

Sponsorship of rewards allowed

The District of Houston will be a gold sponsor of this year’s Community Excellence Awards, hosted by the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce.

The gold sponsorship has a cost of $1,100 and in return the district will have its logo displayed and receive a free ticket to the event to be held on September 24th.

There are nine levels of sponsorship in all, with gold being the third ranked. Number one is a $2,500 platinum sponsor while $1,500 earns a grand prize sponsorship.

“The Community Excellence Award was created to encourage and applaud businesses, organizations and individuals in this community for their dedication to quality and excellence in their daily endeavours,” the chamber president wrote, Darrin Super, to council asking for a contribution.

As with many public events affected by the pandemic, it will be the first time after a two-year hiatus that it will be held in person, he said.

District applies for senior grant

A grant requested by the district will extend the duration of a local recreation program for seniors.

Last month, the council approved a $15,000 grant to Houston Link to Learning to run a program this summer through next March providing bowling, picnics, movies and refreshments for seniors. The money came from a provincial grant received by the district to cover pandemic-related costs.

But if the district receives the requested $15,000 from another provincial program, the seniors program can be extended through September 2023.

“The Seniors Gathering Project is about fairness and the equitable distribution of opportunity, power and resources,” Houston Link to Learning executive director Marian Ells noted in an overview of the program.

“Removing barriers to program participation meets the needs of all seniors and intentionally reduces the inequities faced by many seniors.

Houston District Assistant Business Services Director Madelaine Swift told the council that the program aligns with intentions outlined in a 2014 plan for senior-friendly activities commissioned by the council.

Melissa C. Keyes