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A memorial statue for an Edmonton police officer killed in the line of duty in 1990 was recently defaced by vandals, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Jason Kenney, Alberta's premier, is furious, and took to Twitter calling for changes to the Criminal Code that would further penalize vandalism if the target were a police memorial.
"It is despicable to dishonour the memory of those who gave their lives in the defence of our community," says one of the many tweets.
The proposed changes would allow for the same penalties to be applied for defacing a police memorial as for defacing a military memorial.
Under this legal provision, the first offence allows for a fine of up to $1,000, and subsequent offences have minimum jail terms of 14 and then 30 days attached to them. Repeat offenders could even get up to 10 years in prison.
The statue in question is that of Constable Ezio Faraone, who was operating as part of a tactical unit and was killed while responding to a bank robbery in 1990. A few days ago, an unknown vandal went to the statue overnight and tagged the statue with spray paint saying "F***ing police."
Kennedy had previously tweeted that Alberta would be happy to take the statue of John A. Macdonald, which was beheaded and torn down in Montreal recently during a protest.
The NDP leader for Alberta, Rachel Notley, took a contrary position and said that legal action is not the answer.
"The law already makes vandalism illegal. At a time when Black people, Queer people, and Indigenous people are demanding real action toward ending systemic racism, eliminating discrimination, and moving forward with reconciliation, we need leaders who are willing to open their hearts and minds and listen.
"Listening means being willing to have conversations about our shared history and to acknowledge the good, along with the bad. Jason Kenney's response does not achieve any of these goals," Notley said.
There has been a rash of vandalism of statues by political extremists in Canada and in most of the world since the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.