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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

One Persons Actions Doesn’t Define A Whole Community

A protest held outside the residence in Vermilion which is displaying racial/hate speech.

Signage posted outside a house in Vermilion, wording has been covered due to the sensitivity of comments. Photos Lorna Hamilton

Last week the community of Vermilion was visited by Global News at the request of a Vermilion resident in an attempt to bring awareness to what she deems racial slurs and hate speech within the community at a private residence.

Sophia Lindsay relocated to Vermilion in 2016 from Toronto to be closer to her nieces and have a change in her life. She, however, didn’t think she would experience racism in a town such as Vermilion.

Lindsay says she started noticing the derogatory signage outside the residence last summer. She commented that she tried to have something done about the signs to no avail.

“I contacted the RCMP and all I got was I’ll look into it,” Lindsay said. When asked if she had contacted the Town of Vermilion in regards to the signage she says, “I did not contact the Town personally because I knew a lot of people already did.”

Lindsay commented that the signage on the resident’s property makes her feel disrespected and unwanted and that she contacted Global News because she feels nothing was being done to remedy the situation.

“I contacted Global New because the signs were up for weeks with many complaints to the RCMP and multiple emails to the Mayor of Vermilion. Nothing was being done about it. My family should not have to see this,” said Lindsay.

Lindsay also went on to say that she made the decision herself to speak out and that she is not affiliated with any groups that deal with racism or hate speech, but that she did contact a friend that is affiliated with a group in Lloydminster called Lloydminster and Vermilion for equity.

The Vermilion Voice reached out to both the Town of Vermilion and the Vermilion RCMP for comment regarding the issue.

“With regard to a number of unsightly signs on a property located in Vermilion. Please be advised that the Town of Vermilion has issued an order to the owner of the property under the town’s Nuisance Bylaw #7-87. The owner has fourteen (14) days to comply; after which the town may consider other actions to gain compliance,” commented Kevin Lucas, Director for Community Services for the Town of Vermilion.

Cpl Mike Dunsmore of the Vermilion RCMP commented that they can confirm that the situation did exist and that complaints were made.

“The matter is being investigated. I can’t comment on an active investigation,” said Cpl Dunsmore.

When Lindsay was notified by the Vermilion Voice of the actions taken by the Town to have the signage removed she commented that she feels it is not a strong enough action.

“I think it is just a slap on the wrist. He needs to be fined and charged for hate speech. There needs to be consequences for his actions,” added Lindsay.

In regards to the whole community, Lindsay states that she does not feel the opinions of one person are representative of the entire community.

“I absolutely do not see the community as a whole because of this guy. I have some really great friends here in town. One spoiled apple will not ruin the bunch for me. I have experienced racism in town but in one particular store, but that was only one time,” explains Lindsay.

On March 20, the Lloydminster and Vermilion for Equity group held a protest outside the residence and the Town Office.

Brad Gallamore from the group said that they were there to bring awareness and to try and get the Town of Vermilion to stand up against the derogatory signs posted outside the residence, which he states has been an issue for years.

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