Racist and homophobic graffiti was left on this downtown statue on Sunday. (Facebook photo)

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Two Maple Ridge city councillors went out late Sunday evening, out past midnight, to clean up some hateful graffiti on a downtown statue.

“It took two minutes with an eraser bar to make it go away,” said Coun. Ryan Svendsen, lamenting that someone hadn’t done the job earlier Sunday, as soon as was spotted.

The SmartCentres penguin statue facing the Lougheed Highway had its white belly painted with a swastika and racist, anti-gay wording. SmartCentres owns the Haney Place Mall in the downtown.

“I see graffiti, but not at that level. It was pretty bad,” said Svendsen.

The very public nature of the graffiti made it a story in the provincial media, to the chagrin of both city councillors.

“That’s not a reflection of our community,” said Coun. Chelsa Meadus, who took on the job with Svendsen, after learning about it at 11 p.m. on Sunday. “It was so disturbing to me, and to Ryan too.

“We’re in the news now, people are offended, and this impacts what people think of our community.”

A man who works as a barber in Maple Ridge told a Vancouver-based television station that he complained about the offensive graffiti to Ridge Meadows RCMP twice before it was removed.

Mayor Mike Morden posted about the issue in social media.

The city is aware and has been actively working on catching criminal acts of graffiti around our community’s downtown…

Posted by Mike Morden Mayor City of Maple Ridge on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

“The city is aware and has been actively working on catching criminal acts of graffiti around our community’s downtown core,” said Morden. “As the public knows, certainly our downtown regular visitors know as well, we along with many communities, have been plagued with racist and hateful words, and targeted comments towards the police. It is unacceptable and our expectation is those doing this face consequences. I can report the police and our CSO section have been actively working on this file for some time.”

The issue was raised at council earlier in the summer, as the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Association noted a small number of culprits are creating a big problem.

READ ALSO: Graffiti plagues downtown Maple Ridge

“We know it’s only two or three people – it’s the same graffiti over and over and over again,” said Ineke Boekhorst, executive director of the association.

She said the black spray paint is always the same wording, same letters and same style. It appears regularly, and is most prolific after a weekend.

“It’s really a nuisance, not very attractive, and often not very nice language.”


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

crimeMaple RidgeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl followed in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Seven more Surrey schools reporting COVID-19

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read