MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — The City of Maple Ridge is speaking out after a statue was vandalized with graffiti containing racist, anti-semitic, hateful and homophobic messages.
Ahmed Yousef, Maple Ridge City Councillor, says the city welcomes all people, and this act of hate does not align with the community’s values.
“An individual who is anti-semitic, anti- LGBTQ and anti-minority, that doesn’t sound like anybody that is part of our community, part of Maple Ridge,” he said.
“It’s highly uncharacteristic of our community, to display it so prominently, is something that was disturbing.”
A swastika and derogatory words were found painted on a penguin statue situated near Lougheed Highway, close to a shopping mall on Sunday.
The city is aware and has been actively working on catching criminal acts of graffiti around our community’s downtown…
Maple Ridge mayor, Mike Morden took to Facebook on Tuesday to thank the Downtown BIA and city councillors Ryan Svendsen and Chelsa Meadus for cleaning up the graffiti.
According to Yousef, the man who noticed the graffiti reported it on Sunday — which is the reason why there was a slight delay in the cleanup process.
Mike Morden, Maple Ridge mayor, says there needs to be consequences.
“The police are very aware of this. We have a community safety officers program. They’re doing the best to try and catch this individual,” Morden said.
“We find this unacceptable. Our expectation is that the person doing this gets caught and faces consequences.”
Kiersten Duncan, Maple Ridge city councillor, is also condemning the act.
“Any kind of hate speech is not acceptable in my community. This is not what residents of Maple Ridge stand for.”
Yousef has lived in Maple Ridge for a decade and says this level of intolerance is rare.
“Maple Ridge is a wonderful community since my family and I have moved here. And we’ve seen not just our own experience but welcoming other newcomers to our community from within Canada and outside,” he added.
NEWS 1130 has reached out to Ridge Meadows RCMP for comment.