While Metro Vancouver has seen an uptick in graffiti during the COVD-19 pandemic, a recent post on social media sparking outrage depicts an act of vandalism that's not actually recent.
On Nov. 13, someone took to Twitter to share an image of one of the City of Surrey's welcome signs. The green sign reads "Welcome to Surrey" in white lettering, and it has a yellow beaver above the words. However, vandals have crossed out the beaver with a red "X" and written "The beaver dies here" below.
The account that shares the defaced welcome sign, @PRiMETiMESNOOP, captions "This is absolutely F*CKING DISGUSTING!!! I'm sick of Surrey consistently getting targeted, whoever did this should be sent to jail."
This is absolutely FUCKING DISGUSTING!!!— Snoop (@PRiMETiMESNOOP) November 14, 2020
I'm sick of Surrey consistently getting targeted, whoever did this should be sent to jail. pic.twitter.com/RRPukXWL3a
A number of people have responded to the vandalism online, commenting that the perpetrators should be punished, or that it might have been done by a rival city.
But a spokesperson for the city says the defaced sign isn't something to be concerned about today.
Oliver Lum, Senior Manager of Communications and Media Relations with the City of Surrey, tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that he hasn't seen a sign like this one posted in the city since he started his position--over seven years ago.
"The beaver was the logo for the City of Surrey, but like I have said, I've been here for seven years and it hasn't been the logo in the seven years that I've been here," explains Lum.
"We've seen that picture before."
Lum adds that he hasn't seen any current City of Surrey signs defaced when he drives by them.
Vandalism in the City of Vancouver during the Pandemic
In August, Glacier Media Investigative Reporter Mike Howell noted that downtown Vancouver has seen a huge spike in garbage on the streets, discarded needles and buildings being tagged with graffiti over the course of the pandemic.
Charles Gauthier, president and CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, said he was "actually bewildered" by the uptick in graffiti.
The association saw a staggering 3,772 graffiti tags removed (a 578 per cent increase over last year).
Graffiti was most evident along the Granville Strip, but running north up to Melville Street. The neighbourhood around the Orpheum at Smithe and Seymour streets was also a hotspot for needles and graffiti.
--With files from Mike Howell.