Swift Current rainbow crosswalk is damaged yearly, Pride group says after latest vandalism

·2 min read
Saskatchewan's oldest rainbow crosswalk was recently damaged by a vehicle burning out tires on it.  (Joey Donnelly - image credit)
Saskatchewan's oldest rainbow crosswalk was recently damaged by a vehicle burning out tires on it. (Joey Donnelly - image credit)

Swift Current is home to Saskatchewan's first permanent rainbow pride crosswalk, installed in 2017.

But since then it has been damaged every year, according to Shaun Hanna, a board member of Southwest Saskatchewan Pride. This year the damage was particularly bad.

Earlier this week, a vehicle or vehicles left several tire marks on the crosswalk, located in the 200 block of Central Avenue.

"It's pretty clear that they did it once and then drove around the block and did it multiple times at night, which is very discouraging to see," said Hanna.

Hanna said that every time the crosswalk is vandalized, the organization has conversations about whether to publicly comment on it.

On one hand, there's concern acknowledging it might "give the bully power." On the other, not commenting might signify that they don't care or that they're fearful, he said.

Shaun Hanna
Shaun Hanna

"What was different this year is that the act was much more egregious, more thought through and much more public than it has been in years past," Hanna said.

"But we also had an outpouring of support from business leaders, from community people, allies … people that, frankly, we didn't expect to reach out to us."

Hanna said that he gave a statement to the RCMP on behalf of the Pride organization's board in order to make sure that it was understood there is a victim impact in cases like this.

"For somebody who is facing that process of coming out and is not sure where they fit in, in terms of their own identity or within their own community, having a symbol is a mark of approval that says that you'll be OK and people have your back."

The CBC has reached out to the RCMP detachment in Swift Current for comment.

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