Vandals left their mark on one of Summerland’s two rainbow crosswalks on the weekend.
On Saturday, Aug. 26, an anti-Black racial slur was painted on the crosswalk on Main Street at Kelly Avenue. Municipal crews quickly responded to paint over the slur and restore the crosswalk.
The two rainbow crosswalks — one on Main Street and one on Victoria Road North — were installed in early September, 2015 as a show of support for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Coun. Erin Trainer, who promoted the crosswalks in 2015, is disappointed with the recent vandalism.
“To me, these crosswalks represent the best things in our community,” she said. “They represent our values.”
Graham Statt, Summerland’s chief administrative officer, said other vandalism had been going on in the community around the same time as the crosswalk was defaced. Crews were able to respond quickly to cover up the graffiti. However, the time and effort in such clean-up work comes at a cost to the municipality.
“It takes time away from other work,” he said.
He added that the crosswalk is scheduled to be repainted later this year.
The defacing of the crosswalk is not the first time a display of hate has been shown in Summerland during this calendar year.
In early June, graffiti with a racial slur was spray-painted on a wall at Summerland Secondary School and at a wall at the school’s tennis courts, near the community’s Truth and Reconciliation mural.
Then, in early July, a Pride flag at Summerland United Church was ripped down from the church building.
Statt said the vandalism of the rainbow crosswalk might not have been a statement of racism or intolerance to the Pride community. He added that the identity of the person or people responsible is not known, nor whether those responsible for the vandalism are residents or visitors to the community.
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