New Brunswick

N.B. monument graffiti includes swastika

A Riverview monument built to remember victims of violence has been targeted by vandals and covered in swastikas and racist slogans.

A Riverview monument built to remember victims of violence has been covered in swastikas and racist slogans.

A city crew from Moncton was in Riverview on Tuesday helping their counterparts clean up the vandalized monument.

The vandalism comes at a symbolic time for the monument as it also commemorates the 14 women who died in the Dec. 6, 1989, massacre at Montreal's École Polytechnique.

There was so much graffiti in industrial-strength paint on the monument that the lettering had to be repainted.

Nancy Hartling, a representative of the Moncton-area committee that organizes events to mark the Dec. 6 massacre, said she doesn't believe women were meant to be the target of the vandals.

Instead, she said it is likely a part of a growing prevalence of graffiti in the area.

"I was shocked because it was like, oh my gosh what happened, who did that," Hartling said.

"And I guess it's especially a little more emotional because of the time of year, being near the date of Dec. 6."

The Riverview monument will be restored in time for the Dec. 6 ceremony at the site.

Vandalism taken seriously

Codiac RCMP Const. Chantal Farrah said vandalism is a crime that the police take seriously.

"Vandalism doesn't only affect the property owner. It insults everyone who sees it," she said.

"We are all proud of where we live. We are proud of our community. We want it to look good. We want to have a good reputation and vandalism tarnishes that."

This is the second New Brunswick monument that has suddenly been in need of repair so close to a significant date.

Only two days before Remembrance Day, the cenotaph in Fredericton was found damaged.

The cross was found in pieces at the bottom of the monument on Nov. 9 and a second monument was shifted several centimetres off its base.

Fredericton Police have been searching for the possible vandals, but they recently said there is a chance the cross may have fallen on its own.

And this isn't the first time that vandals have hit Moncton-area sites with racist graffiti.

In July 2008, the RCMP were called in to investigate seven incidents of vandalism in the city that include racist graffiti on a mosque and synagogue. Two large swastikas and the words "Muslims out" were discovered spray-painted on a local mosque.