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

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Voting locations in Langley for the 2020 BC provincial election. (Google)
MAP: Voting locations in Langley

Sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Aldergrove legion Branch 265 president Doug Hadley presents a poppy to Langley Township mayor Jack Froese. (Madeline Roach/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Poppy sales begin at Aldergrove legion branch #265

Branch president Doug Hadley shared the poem Who is a Veteran to begin the time of remembrance

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

Willowbrook Shopping Centre. (Langley Advance Times files)
Le Chateau will shutter stores in Willowbrook, across Canada

The Canadian fashion company says COVID-19 has made it impossible to continue operating

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

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

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read