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Pride flag stolen from hospital replaced

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A pride flag is once again flying at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette Campus after officials said its previous flag was stolen.

According to social media posts by the hospital, the flag was taken down by a trio of vandals early Tuesday morning.

“We continue to support our Windsor Regional Hospital team members from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community as well as the broader community at large,” the post read. “At Windsor Regional Hospital, we are committed to being inclusive, treating everyone with dignity and respect and we acknowledge the 2SLGBTQIA+ community’s right to equitable care and treatment."

“It was disappointing,” said Steve Erwin, director of public affairs and communications. “We're not going to be deterred.”

Erwin said it’s unfortunate that incidents like this happen in our community in today's era, but in order to support hospital staff that are of the LGBTQ2S+ community, they want to continue to celebrate Pride. 

“Windsor Regional Hospital, like other healthcare facilities, we want to be a welcoming environment," Erwin explained. "We want to welcome people of all backgrounds, all races, all diversity, and certainly absolutely that includes the to 2SLGBTQIA+ community.”

Erwin said the act of vandalism was perhaps reflective of today's divisive atmosphere and the perpetrators' "need to act out." He said if the vandalism was done as a prank then it could be turned into a "teachable moment" for the individuals involved and the community as a whole.

But ultimately, regardless of whether it was a political statement or a prank, Erwin said they are undeterred. 

"The point is the flag means something," he said. "It stands for something and it's important to our staff to recognize it and again we're not going to be deterred.”

It noted that Windsor police have been notified and that a replacement pride flag was provided by Windsor-Essex Pride Fest.

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