A spray-painted message calling for the murder of Canada’s prime minister on the McCallum Road overpass remained in place for two days because road crews have three days to remove reported graffiti, no matter the subject.
The graffiti read “Kill Trudeau,” “Kill Bill Gates” and “Geo-engineering Murder” on different sections of the overpass. It remained until the morning of Oct. 23.
On the morning of the federal election, drivers passing Abbotsford along Highway 1 were greeted by the anti-Justin Trudeau message.
The BC Ministry of Transportation relies on drivers and patrolling crews to report graffiti and on maintenance contractors to remove it, says Danielle Pope, communication manager for the ministry.
“The ministry’s maintenance contractor performs cleanup or repairs as needed within three days of identification,” Pope said in an email.
Emil Anderson Maintenance Co Ltd., the independent contractor tasked with maintenance along Highway 1, did not respond to The News’s request for an interview.
Although similar graffiti is common on the overpass, this is the first time it has specifically targeted public figures, according to Const. Mike Willford, media officer for Abbotsford Police Department.
In 2016, up to 45,000 people drove under the overpass daily, according to traffic volume statistics from the transportation ministry.
Studies show the faster a piece of graffiti is removed, the less desirable it is for future vandals to target the property, states the City of Vancouver’s website.