British Columbia

Pride flag immediately replaced after vandalism at Delta City Hall

Delta police are investigating after someone cut down the metal pole on which the pride flag had been raised in front of Delta City Hall on Wednesday. Delta Mayor George Harvie called the vandalism a hate crime.

Delta police are still searching for a suspect in the incident, called a hate crime by the city's mayor

The progress pride flag is seen flying outside Delta City Hall, following an act of vandalism on Wednesday, in which someone cut down the metal flag pole on which the flag was originally raised. (City of Delta/Facebook)

Delta city staff wasted no time replacing a pride flag flying in front of City Hall on Wednesday, following an act of vandalism called a hate crime by the city's mayor.

Mayor George Harvie said he was made aware of the incident first thing Wednesday, when he received an email from the city manager.

"I'm very upset over it, and if the person's listening — if he decides to cut it down, we'll put it right back up the next morning," said Harvie of the vandalism. 

A spokesperson with the Delta Police Department said the investigation into who was behind the act of vandalism was in the preliminary stage and they have not identified a suspect as of Thursday. Harvie said he couldn't comment on whether there was video surveillance.

The entire metal pole was cut down.

"Whoever's out there, if they're listening, we'll find you because we do not — and I as mayor — do not tolerate this act at all," he said. "It's just disrespectful, it shows — just ignorance."

Members of Delta Fire Rescue attach a large progress pride flag to a fire engine's ladder in a show of support for the 2SLGBTQ+ community, following an act of vandalism at City Hall on Wednesday. (City of Delta/Facebook)

The Delta Pride society posted a statement online saying "we are disheartened by the recent hate crime which took place at 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," said the post, noting that the new flag has been raised in a more prominent location, at the centre entrance to City Hall.

Harvie said that he hadn't observed any sort of heightened bigotry targeting members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community this year in Delta.

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South of the border, a slew of bills aimed at prohibiting gender-affirming health care for trans youth have been proposed in various states.