Pierre Elliott Trudeau statue near Toronto painted in blackface
York Regional Police are investigating after a statue of Pierre Elliott Trudeau near Toronto was vandalized. Police reported that the face of the statue was spray-painted black.
Police say that they received a report from a local resident in Vaughan that the statue of the former Prime Minister — located in a park that also bears his name — was vandalized at 12:10 p.m on Thursday, June 18.
They are now asking any witnesses or people with information to come forward.
#BREAKING: York Regional Police tell CP24 their Hate Crime Unit is investigating after a statue of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau in a park in his namesake was vandalized. pic.twitter.com/LL4rt0DnfI— Kris Pangilinan (@KrisReports) June 18, 2020
"This type of thing doesn't do anybody any good, and again, that's why it's a crime," Sgt. Dave Mitchell told reporters at the scene. "It's disrespectful. To everybody."
Depending on what the motivation was behind the vandalism, Mitchell said that the incident could be considered a hate crime.
Officers investigating report of a statue in Pierre Elliott Trudeau park in Vaughan being vandalized. Information received that the statue's face was covered with black paint. Any witnesses please call 866-876-5423 x7441.— York Regional Police (@YRP) June 18, 2020
The incident comes amidst growing calls in Canada for statues of historical figures with links to racism and the oppression of minority groups to be taken down.
Hundreds of Canadians have signed a petition asking the City of Vaughan to change its name since the city is named in honour of British diplomat Benjamin Vaughan, who owned several plantations and opposed the emancipation of slaves.
Current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the son of Pierre Trudeau, came under fire in September 2019 for his widely circulated blackface photos, for which he later apologized.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to comment on the Pierre Trudeau statue being defaced.
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