Statement regarding act of vandalism against Councillor Porter
On behalf of City Council, staff and our community, I want to state that acts of violence against anyone – including elected officials – will never be tolerated in our community.
Last night, while Councillor Karrie Porter and her family slept, a person threw a rock at their front window. This was a deliberate act of vandalism aimed to intimidate Councillor Porter. There is no room for this kind of behaviour.
Unfortunately acts of vandalism to elected officials’ homes is not new. Councillor Porter’s home was spray painted last fall. St. Catharines M.P. Chris Bittle had his car spray painted, and my own home and vehicles were vandalized last fall. As Mayor, I am left disheartened to see that people in our community feel that resorting to acts of violence and vandalism are acceptable ways to express themselves. This is not who we are today and it will never become who we are as a City.
Councillor Porter is a courageous elected official in St. Catharines. She stands up to call out injustices, racism and bigotry. She stands up for her constituents and those that are often left on the outside of our community. She is a bright light for what we aspire to be as a community.
And for this – she becomes a target.
These last two years has been an extreme challenge for our community. Tensions have never been higher over a number of issues and concerns. Social media has become a toxic place for people to polarize and divide. We all need to step back and refocus on being better at bringing people together.
I believe we have an amazing city, but clearly we have work to do to make it better. The way to start is being more respectful to each other. To acknowledge that violence and acts of vandalism will never be tolerated. We need to remember that we are all neighbours – and we should treat each other as such.
Council stands in solidarity with Councillor Porter and her family today as she deals with the impacts of an act of violence at her private residence.
We must do better, we must be better.