LGBT in B.C.: Rainbow crosswalks defaced in Burnaby, White Rock, Courtenay, and Salmon Arm

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      While several Metro Vancouver municipalities have celebrated the installation of rainbow crosswalks this year to convey a message of inclusion and diversity, they have not been without criticism or resistance and have also been targets of vandalism.

      Burnaby

      Just before Burnaby was scheduled to hold its first Pride celebrations on August 11, the rainbow crosswalk created at Jubilee Avenue had been spraypainted with symbols.

      However, the vandalism was removed prior to the celebrations.

      White Rock

      White Rock's new rainbow crosswalk was created on July 21 and officially launched in the Five Corners neighbourhood on July 27 during the city's annual rainbow-flag-raising ceremony, and prior to the city's annual Pride Party on July 28.

      However, the City of White Rock stated in an August 3 news release that RCMP notified the city that the crosswalk had been defaced with symbols and words around 12:15 a.m. on August 3.

      City staff attended the location by 6 a.m. and had cleaned the crosswalk of graffiti by 11 a.m.

      The incident is under investigation and any witnesses are asked to contact White Rock RCMP at 778-593-3600.

      Courtenay

      On August 10, Comox Valley RCMP was reported to have issued a ticket to the registered owner of a vehicle that defaced a rainbow crosswalk in Courtenay with tire marks in June.

      Salmon Arm

      Salmon Arm found its rainbow crosswalk, installed in July, defaced twice in one week, once by tire marks on July 25 and then on July 31, with the words "make S.A. straight again".

      CBC News reported that RCMP are treating the latter incident as a hate crime for targeting a specific group and Mayor Nancy Cooper stated that the city is committed to repainting the crosswalk if required.

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