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

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
The polls are now closed

B.C.’s snap election is over, now it’s time to count the ballots

Simon Gibson watching the vote count at the Best Western Hotel in Mission. With 98 polls reporting, Gibson leads NDP challenger Alexis by 188 votes. / Kevin Mills photo.
Abbotsford-Mission riding too close to call, mail-in ballots will decide

98 polls reporting: BC Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson leads NDP challenger Pam Alexis by 188 votes

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Simon Gibson watching the vote count come in at the Best Western Hotel in Mission. Kevin Mills photo.
Abbotsford-Mission riding one of the closest races in the province

BC Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson leading by under 100 votes

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

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)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read