Date: Friday, October 30, 2020

Victoria, BC – Recently, changes were made to the “More Justice, More Peace” mural in Bastion Square.

These changes are as offensive, if not more so, than the original anti-police rhetoric in the initial artwork.

I am deeply disappointed in this outcome.  In my opinion, the divisive message contained in this artwork is inaccurate, misinformed, and disrespectful.  It is an affront to the women and men of the Victoria Police Department, who serve our communities with integrity, compassion and honour.  It completely ignores the work that they have done, are doing now, and will continue to do to make our community better through inclusion and dialogue with everyone, regardless of the colour of their skin.

I fully acknowledge that systemic racism exists across Canada.  I, for one, am proud to be among the countless leaders across the country who are confronting this issue head-on.  Expressions of hate, exclusion, and disrespect are not helpful as we try to move our country and our community forward.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the countless number of citizens who have stopped to thank our officers or offer them their words of support and encouragement.  These kind and thoughtful gestures do not go unnoticed and I am very appreciative.