Haldi Road signs opposing rehab centre vandalized
About 80 signs posted on private property in the Haldi Road area were either stolen or vandalized over the weekend.
Tricia Deere, who lives in the area, explained the signs were placed on properties by area residents who are opposed to the woman’s rehabilitation centre proposed for the old Haldi Road school.
Signs staked into yards were stolen. Others nailed to fences were spray-painted. Unfortunately, since most of the homes in the area are set well back from the road, no one heard or saw anything.
Deere said this isn’t the first stint of vandalism that has occurred since the neighbourhood took a stand against placing the centre in the area, but all the other incidents were minor.
“Posters were torn off of mail boxes. They cut the ‘yes’ off the HST signs and put them over the ‘no’ on these signs, but there was no actual property damage,” she said. “This time they went down every single side road and took the signs.”
Each sign costs about $8. Most of the people with a sign in their yard paid for them via a donation.
Deere said the proposal to place the centre in the neighbourhood led to a lot of controversy, however things have been quiet for the entire summer, so the vandalism came as a surprise.
In spite of the single-mindedness shown by the vandals, she added the signs will be replaced.
Deere and her neighbours are not the only ones upset by the vandalism.
Marshall Smith, project manager for the proposed centre on Haldi Road, said he is absolutely against what happened.
“We don’t condone vandalism of any kind in our communities.
“While I don’t agree with what the signs say, I absolutely support the neighbours’ right to express their opinions. This type of vandalism in our communities brings us all down.”
However vandalism isn’t the only symptom that there is a lot of tension in the Haldi Road neighbourhood since the proposal for the rehabilitation centre.
Jennifer Pighin, who also lives in the neighbourhood, is in support of building the centre.
Pighin attended a community meeting when the issue first arose, and though she was completely neutral at the time, many of the opinions expressed there concerned her.
“The way they were talking about the women was shocking to me and quite upsetting. I spoke up and said it might possibly be a good thing.”
She hasn’t been invited to a community meeting on the subject since.
A petition and explanation of the stand some neighbours are taking was placed in a local store, and when Pighin went through the document, she said she was shocked by the content.
“The last page says ‘show the city where your loyalties lie’ and ‘we will be watching you closely – all eyes are on you’.”
The group of neighbours opposing the rehabilitation centre will be making a presentation before city council on Aug. 22.