Politicians call for stricter graffiti penalties after war memorial in Airdrie, Alberta vandalized

The vandalism of a war memorial in Airdrie has caused some politicians to call for heftier fines and increased penalties.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Joseph Fang Toronto, Ontario

The vandalism of a war memorial in Airdrie has caused some politicians to call for heftier fines and increased penalties.

During the night of March 21 or the early hours of March 22, a monument to Canadian Armed Forces members who served in Afghanistan was vandalized.

The monument, a full-sized replica of a light armoured vehicle used to transport forces in Afghanistan was unveiled back in 2016.

“I can’t imagine anybody desecrating, in particular, war memorials for those who provided us our freedoms … It’s definitely a living monument to both those who’ve served and lost their lives, and were fortunate enough to come home,” Mayor Peter Brown said last month after the vandalism took place, according to the Calgary Herald.

Now, other politicians have stepped up. Primarily, Blake Richards, the MP for Banff-Airdrie. Richards put together a petition last week in the House of Commons calling for stricter fines against people for using vandalism to disrespect the “heroism and sacrifice” of veterans.

“At the end of the day, I think there does need to be some recognition that this is a different type of vandalism,” Richards said.

Currently, under the Criminal Code of Canada, anyone guilty of vandalizing a war memorial is smacked with a minimum $1,000 fine for their first offence. A second offence results in at least 14 days in jail and any further offence results in a minimum of 30 days in jail.

In his petition, Richards says the current penalties for defacing war memorials “lack the severity to discourage and prevent vandalism”.

So far, 245 people have signed the petition. You can do so here.

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