Just weeks after being painted, the LGBTQ2 community are dealing with yet an another incident of targeted vandalism.
On Friday, June 16th as a symbol of inclusion and hope, the G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich was excited to unveil a vibrant rainbow Pride crosswalks, symbolizing inclusion and hope.
But on Wednesday, June 28th, Saanich Police were informed about an act of vandalism against this newly installed Pride crosswalk.
The community was disheartened to see it completely covered in black paint not even two weeks after its installation—especially leading up to the Victoria Pride festivities.
Deeply disturbing. ICA encourages respect for all LGBTQ+ people. Acts to hide their existence aren't what Greater Victoria stands for. A welcoming community for all means celebrating LGBTQ+ folks. You are loved; you have a place here. https://t.co/f0xsGwcCql #pride #lovewins
— Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (@ICAVictoria) June 29, 2023
The District of Saanich released before and after photos of the crosswalk on their Twitter account, along with a statement from Mayor Doug Murdock.
“There is no place for hate or bigotry in Saanich,” he said.
“The Pride crosswalk represents our unwavering support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community for all residents and visitors.”
A message from Mayor Dean Murdock:
"On behalf of Saanich Council, we are deeply disappointed and saddened by the wanton act of vandalism to the Pride crosswalk at Pearkes Recreation Centre.
There is no place for hate or bigotry in Saanich. pic.twitter.com/Xw5idIRzqy
— District of Saanich (@saanich) June 28, 2023
Upon speaking with Saanich Councilor, Teale Phelps Bondaroff about the incident, he shared his support for the 2SLGBTQ+ and his disgust in the vandals actions.
“Hate, bigotry, homophobia, and transphobia have no place in Saanich,” he said.
“It is important that we speak out and condemn hate…I am proud that the District of Saanich is committed to celebrating the rich diversity of people in our community and celebrates love, acceptance, and inclusion.”
By Thursday afternoon, Saanich crews were making progress with a pressure washer to remove the black paint and have hopes that it will be returned to its original state soon.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Saanich police at 250-475-4321.