NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Just two weeks after a new rainbow crosswalk was unveiled in the District of North Vancouver, the symbol of LGBTQ2+ pride has been defaced.
An offensive homophobic message was spray painted on the crosswalk on Ross Road and Mountain Highway outside the Lynn Valley Library.
It was discovered Tuesday and the RCMP is hoping to find whoever is responsible.
“It’s upsetting and it’s disturbing,” said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP.
We are happy to unveil the latest rainbow crosswalk in the District by the Lynn Valley Library. All are welcome in our community. ????️???? pic.twitter.com/lN5hlW7OrC
— District of North Vancouver (@NVanDistrict) July 7, 2021
“When there is hate speech that is based on any of the grounds protected under the Canadian Charter then it is considered a hate crime,” he explained.
He says that the offender or offenders could also face property damage charges which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.
“We would like to try and identify the person or persons who are responsible for this.”
The District of North Vancouver says it is aware of the graffiti and staff have been sent to assess it.
The vandalism is just the latest in a string of hate-motivated incidents in the province in recent weeks.
In early July, Nanaimo’s newest pride crosswalk was also vandalized.
On July 1, Vancouver’s iconic pride crosswalk was also defaced. The crosswalk has been a fixture on Davie Street in the city’s West End.
The Vancouver Pride Society wrote in an Instagram message that it hopes everyone is staying safe.
“With Pride Week coming up we want to remind our community to be out and proud and protect one another. Hate will never win,” the message reads.
The RCMP is part of the BC Hate Crime Team whose mandate is the identification, investigation and prosecution of crimes motivated by hate.
Anyone with video surveillance or information about these crimes is asked to contact police.
With files from Sonia Aslam