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

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Voters in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission and Langley may head back to polls in 2021

Election of local politicians in BC vote would trigger by-elections in several Fraser Valley cities

Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society volunteers clean up Aldergrove streams. (Aldergrove Star files)
Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society looking for new members to help protect Aldergrove waterway

The society hopes to hold stream clean-ups and blackberry bush removal events this fall

Coast Spas in Langley was ordered closed by the Fraser Health Authority after 12 staff came down with COVID-19 (undated Google Street View image)
COVID-19 outbreak closes Langley spa manufacturer

Fraser Health reports 12 employees have tested positive

Ferdinand Bredenholler played the last post at the Fort Langley Remembrance Day service in 2019, when a crowd of 6,500 attended. This year, due to the pandemic, organizers are asking the public to follow the ceremonies online rather than attending. (Langley Advance Times file)
A stay-at-home Remembrance Day planned for Fort Langley

Organizers take the annual ceremony online

Pastor Brad Sumner is inviting Halloween trick-or-treaters to visit the Jericho Ridge Community Church for a COVID-compliant celebration. (Courtesy Jericho Ridge Community Church)
VIDEO: A drive-in Halloween at the Jericho Ridge Community Church

A COVID-compliant event for kids on the Langley-Surrey border

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

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

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

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

Most Read