Vandals tagged multiple areas of Pitt Meadows with racist graffiti over the past week – including City Hall.
The same tag containing swastikas found on City Hall could also be seen on the sound wall on the south side of Lougheed Highway, a message in clear view for the Monday morning commute.
Another racist tag was left on the sidewalk outside the Bottle Return Depot on Lougheed Highway at 203rd Street in Maple Ridge – one that Nareen, who did not want to use her full name for fear of becoming a target, took a picture of last Wednesday.
Nareen, a Maple Ridge resident of South Asian descent, is disgusted at the hatred on display in the area. However, she has lived in Maple Ridge for almost eight years and says it’s nothing new.
When Nareen and her husband, who is white, first moved to Maple Ridge, somebody carved swastikas and “WP for life” into the walls of the apartment building they were living in.
Another time, when she was pregnant with her second child, somebody cut her off in a grocery store parking lot and she honked her horn.
“They actually got out of the car and came up to my window,” she said, adding that her oldest son, who was two at the time, was also in the car.
The person called her an “f-ing Hindu, you stupid Paki,” and told her to go back where she came from.
“I remember I had to pull over and call my husband and I started crying and I said I don’t want to live here anymore.”
Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall said he learned about the vandalism along Lougheed Highway on Friday.
“Obviously council and our city don’t tolerate racist comments or anything that is of that type of nature. And what we need to do is get it cleaned up,” he said.
Const. Julie Klaussner with the Ridge Meadows RCMP confirmed police are investigating several instances of graffiti in Pitt Meadows, but that the investigation is still in the early stages.
Nareen was upset that she had to drive by the tag on Lougheed Highway three times Monday morning.
“It’s pretty heartbreaking,” she said about finding such things in her community.
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