A woman has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a Vancouver church with paint, and will receive a conditional discharge, meaning she will not be given a criminal record for their actions.
The event took place on July 1, 2021, roughly one month after the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nations announced that it had likely found the remains of hundreds of bodies near the site of a former residential school is Kamloops, the National Post reports.
Two twin sisters were seen by witnesses at the church. The court ruling said that one of the sisters had a jacket that said "The Church Is Complicit" on the back.
One witness to the incident and attempted to intervene. The incident was among 12 church vandalisms that took place in British Columbia during that summer alone. Many more churches across the country were burned down.
Emily Luba, one of the sisters, must now write a 500-word apology to the church and pay a $1,250 fine. She will receive no criminal record.
The post reports: "Emily Luba, 27, was charged with mischief for the damage to the church. She had no prior criminal record. She was also charged with mischief in relation to an earlier protest at Polaris Realty Canada Ltd. in April 2021. The Crown had sought a suspended sentence, which would have left Luba with a criminal record, and a 12-month probation order that would have seen Luba perform 40 hours of community service." (Luba’s sister, who is unnamed in the court ruling, also received a conditional discharge.)
"I think of the church congregation who felt scared to worship due to the fear of escalating actions after I covered their church in orange paint. The congregation is composed of people, mostly elderly, none of whom are to blame for residential schools,” said Luba in her apology, according to The Post.
The church burnings were a controversial issue for many Canadians, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the burnings "Unacceptable and wrong." Others, such as disgraced Trudeau advisor Gerry Butts, said that it "may be understandable" for people to burn down churches.