Coldstream crews used a pressure washer to clean vandalism off the community’s rainbow crosswalk on Monday morning.
The damage to the rainbow crosswalk, which crosses Kalamalka Road near Kal Beach, was reported on over the weekend.
The crosswalk, which was installed in 2017, features coloured stripes alternating with white crosswalk stripes.
The vandal or vandals defaced the coloured stripes with what appeared to be white paint.
Local LGBTQ2 advocate Dawn Tucker was sad to see the damage to what is meant to be a symbol of inclusion.
“This doesn’t represent our community,” she said.
She urged the community to come together, denounce the vandalism and show support for one another.
“I really hope that people don’t let the actions of an individual or small group of individuals…take away from the community I know that we are,” Tucker said.
“I believe that Vernon and Coldstream are very strong and welcoming community and I believe that we are going to be better from this.”
At the same time Tucker believes the vandalism constitutes a hate crime and it will make some members of the community feel unsafe.
“We still have problems in our community where people don’t feel comfortable being who they are because they are afraid. They are afraid because, while this is a symbol, when people attack a symbol people are worried about being attacked as individuals,” Tucker said.
“Until rainbow crosswalks can be safe, why would we expect our youth to feel safe?”
She is hoping whoever caused the damage will turn themselves in.
“I hope that when they are caught… that there is an opportunity for restoration and education,” she said.
This is not the first time a rainbow crosswalk in the region has been targeted by vandals.
Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized twice in two weeks last July.
No one was ever charged in connection with the Salmon Arm vandalism.
Police in Salmon Arm said a public appeal for information failed to turn up any tips that could identify a suspect.