Summerland mayor Toni Boot hopes the community will be able to have conversations about racism after graffiti containing racist symbols was spray painted on a local residence.
The vandalism, left at the home of an Indo-Canadian family on the evening of July 13, included swastikas. Racist graffiti was also left at the bandshell in Memorial Park.
“It will forever be a fact that this family had to endure this violation and this vandalism,” she said.
Boot, Summerland’s first Black mayor, said the incident is a hate crime and is being treated as such by the Summerland RCMP.
While the graffiti was left on the home of one family, Boot said its message goes much farther.
“It was also targeting all Indo-Canadians and all people of colour. It has impacted everyone in our town.”
This is not the first-time expressions of racism have occurred in Summerland.
In October 2014, when Boot was running for a seat on Summerland’s municipal council, her business sign was defaced with racist and sexist slurs.