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Outlook town council - Delegation brings concerns with Pride flag to meeting

A hot-button topic took center stage at the most recent meeting of Outlook's town council.
2020 Town Sign

OUTLOOK - The town council of Outlook met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday night, May 24. Present were Councillors Bob Stephenson, Justin Turton, Sharon Bruce, Ryan Husband, and Kevin Grotheim, as well as Mayor Maureen Weiterman, Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Trew, and Assistant Administrator Rachel Sillers. Absent was Councillor Kyle McLeod.

The meeting was broadcast live on the Town of Outlook's Facebook page.

A number of topics and items were discussed, including the following highlights.


Council discussed a number of bylaws that were presented for either their first reading or their third and final reading. First discussed was Bylaw 01(2023) Landfill Operations, which presented some hearty discussion in the room before the first reading was held and carried.

Next was Bylaw 04(2023) Solid Waste Collection, which again brought up some discussion. There were questions regarding collection from Councillor Grotheim, while Councillor Stephenson was curious about the benefits of going with Loraas. Grotheim felt that there were "multiple avenues" that could possibly be explored regarding collection options. A motion was made and carried for the bylaw's first reading.

Following those bylaws were two that were up for their third and final readings. First was Bylaw 02(2023) Utility Administration, which after some final feedback, was officially carried by Council. Next was Bylaw 03(2023) Water-Sewer Rates, which was also officially carried by Council.

Reports of Administration, Staff and/or Committees Requiring Decision

In discussing the possibility of pursuing extended benefits for Town employees, CAO Trew shared that he's spoken with two people on the staff tell him that the current mental health benefits "suck", which brought about a discussion on how mental health issues have taken a bigger spotlight in recent years. Taking some new dollar figures into account, it was said that the subject would be taken under advisement and a decision would be made later.

New Business

Council discussed the appointment of a new Pest Control Officer (PCO), and it was said that Dwight Erickson was interested in fulfilling the role. A motion was made to appoint Erickson as the new PCO, and it was carried.

Council then carried two policies related to Utility Account Collection and Public Water Restriction.


Appearing as a delegation to Council was Outlook resident Murray Silljer, who asked to come and speak on his concerns about the Pride flag that is typically put up at the town offices building at the beginning of each June, which is displayed for the month in order to show support and recognition to those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"I want to thank you, Council, for putting me on the agenda and taking the time for my concerns," said Murray. "I want to talk to you today about the seriousness of flying the Pride flag coming up in the month of June, and to let you know that by flying the flag or honoring and showing your support for the gay movement, you are cursing or defiling our town and our community - Outlook. As God himself has told us over and over again in the Bible, as this is the only truth, and I'm not sure about any of your beliefs. Some of you might not believe, some of you do, some of you have different religions, and some of you might be atheists, but I firmly believe and totally believe the Bible is the true and living word. The truth inspired by God. And in the Bible, it tells me over and over again how Israel has sinned and fallen, become a Pagan nation with many calamities; either cursed, destroyed, killed, fleed from the land; it's all in here.

Then, after they repent, in time they return to God and they start over. And again, in time, they fall away again and it tells you this over and over in here. There are many chapters on this in the Bible, and I've photocopied you a couple of copies from the books for examples. One is from Leviticus 18:22, and the other is from Judges 10, and I've highlighted them in here. We as a country, province, city or town in Outlook are doing exactly what this was, what the Israelites had done. The Devil never stops working on us. This time, it's going to be more disruptive and more severe, as it tells me so in this Bible and it IS the truth. As we see the government pushing the narrative or corruption through the world - ALL governments - their agenda on perversity, immorality, the LGBTQ or whatever - "

At this point, Mayor Weiterman stepped in.

"I can go on and on, but I think you know where I'm coming from," said Murray.

Weiterman suggested that he stop there and move further into his notes, asking if there was anything he could read that comes strictly from himself. Silljer noted that he had intended on reading from Romans, but told Council that he would leave his notes with them for anyone who was interested in reading all that he had prepared. Silljer then read his ending statement.

"I ask you not to follow and not to fly the flag," he said. "If anyone wants to talk to me about the Bible, the truth, this will tell you everything and is the play-by-play book. I am more than willing to sit with anybody on the Bible."

Mayor Weiterman and Council thanked Silljer for coming and sharing his thoughts before he left the meeting.

Speaking to this reporter earlier today, Administrator Trew said that the Pride flag will still be raised for the month of June, and encouraged anyone to bring to the Town's attention any other flags of meaning.

"I was not directed to change the administrative practice of flying flags in recognition of days, weeks or months proclaimed nationally, provincially, locally or by partner, local, or First Nations governments," he said. "At the end of May, the disabilities flag will be replaced by the Pride flag for the month of June. I encourage anyone to bring to my attention similar flags of meaning that have significant days, weeks or months proclaimed nationally or provincially so that I can seek flags to fly and give it the rigor that it fits within the flag protocol."