Delta Police have launched an investigating following the vandalism of the Progress Pride Flag at Delta City Hall in Ladner.
According to a late Wednesday afternoon news release from the city, Mayor George Harvie and Delta council learned about the incident that occurred early this Wednesday morning where the flag was cut down by a vandal.
“I am incredibly disturbed and disappointed by the actions of the vandal who tore down our Progress Pride flag pole in front of City Hall earlier this morning. Hate has no place in our community and I will not tolerate it,” said Harvie. “Delta council and I stand firmer than ever with our LGBTQ2S+ community and are proud of the beautiful Pride rainbow banners that continue to stand strong all across Delta. Love will always win over hate.”
On June 1, Harvie was joined by the Delta Pride Society and Sher Vancouver to raise the Progress Pride Flag for the first time, marking the fourth consecutive year that a ceremony has taken place to raise the Pride flag in support of the LGBTQ2S+ community and Pride Month.
Rainbow street banners were also put in place across Delta in consultation with the Delta Pride Society and the Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism. The banners incorporate both the Rainbow Pride flag and Progress Pride flag, the latter of which includes transgender and BIPOC representation. The banners also feature four words - Acceptance, Courage, Love, Pride - which reflect the lived experiences of Delta’s LGBTQ2S+ community.
“The Pride flag is more than a symbol for the LGBTQ2S+ community – it represents a desire for everyone to be treated equally, regardless of sexuality, race, gender identity, religion, or any other label,” said Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord. “The Delta Police Department is actively investigating this incident to pursue charges. In the meantime, the Pride flag continues to fly at Delta Police headquarters, and we stand with the LGBTQ2S+ community.”
Wednesday evening on Facebook, the Delta Pride Society said they were disheartened by this latest hate crime in the community.
“Delta Pride Society stands with our 2SLGBTQIA+ community and allies. We are here to support, educate, encourage and have compassion on this community. Always,” said the Pride Society. “We are disheartened by the recent hate crime which took place at City Hall. The Delta City Hall Progress Pride flag and pole was vandalized. Hours later the Progress Flag was placed more prominently at the centre entrance to City Hall.
“Please take this opportunity to talk with your children, your neighbours and loved ones. Look for ways to grow, learn and support one another. Understand better the need for rainbow flags, benches and crosswalks. This is a sign that the work is not done - until all are free from discrimination, inequality and hate.
“We love our community! Let’s come together to show that All Are Welcome Here! Let’s work to make it a better, kinder, inclusive Delta for everyone!”