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‘No place for hate or bigotry’: Saanich mayor speaks out after Pride crosswalk vandalized

Saanich police investigating incident as criminal mischief
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The Pride crosswalk at G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre was vandalized overnight on June 27. (Courtesy Saanich Police Department)

A Saanich crosswalk meant to be a symbol of inclusion and support was vandalized just days before the 2023 Victoria Pride Festival begins.

The crosswalk at G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre, depicting the Pride flag, was covered with black paint.

“This appears to have been planned and taken some time to paint, and we believe there are people in the community that have information to share with us,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades.

The incident occurred sometime overnight Tuesday (June 27) or during the early morning hours of Wednesday (June 28) and the Saanich Police Department is investigating the vandalism as criminal mischief.

“There is no place for hate or bigotry in Saanich. The Pride crosswalk represents our unwavering support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and our commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community for all residents and visitors,” said Mayor Doug Murdock in a statement made on the district’s Twitter account.

“The act of vandalizing the crosswalk not only defaces public property but also sends a message of division and exclusion. Let us use this unfortunate incident as a catalyst for positive change … Together, we will rise above adversity and create a community that is truly welcoming and inclusive for all.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4321 or report anonymously to Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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Katherine Engqvist

About the Author: Katherine Engqvist

I took on the role of Bureau Chief when we created the Greater Victoria editorial hub in 2018.
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