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Pride flag at Cowichan Aquatic Centre vandalized

Incident occurred days before Pride Month
The pride flag at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre has been vandalized. (Citizen file photo)

The pride flag flying at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre was vandalized on May 20, and police are asking for help from the public in identifying the culprit(s).

The Municipality of North Cowichan flies the pride flag, which is also called the rainbow flag, on May 17 every year at the centre in recognition of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and in 2021, the council at the time decided to also fly it from June 1 to June 30 at the centre every year in recognition of Pride Month.

The municipality’s policy is that the flag remains in place if no other guest flags are scheduled between May 18 and June 1.

The flage was vandalized at approximately 11 p.m. on Monday, May 20.

“There is no place in this world for hatred,” said North Cowichan Mayor Rob Douglas in a news release.

“The pride flag represents inclusion and acceptance, and cowardly acts that desecrate these symbols are a reminder about why continuing to recognize and support events such as Pride Month are still so very important.”

The vandalized flag was removed and will be replaced by another pride flag in the coming days in time for Pride Month, the release said.

“In the face of injustice and hate, we must come together as a community in celebration of diversity, equity, and inclusion of 2SLGBTQ+ and other marginalized members of our community,” said Teresa Stebbing, president of the Cowichan Pride Society in the release.

“Hate crimes like this are a stark reminder that many queer and transgendered folks are still worried about their safety.”

The RCMP are investigating the incident, which took place at approximately 11 p.m. on May 20, and anyone with information can call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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