The University of British Columbia says thinks it’s found the person who burned a rainbow pride flag off a flagpole at the school.
UBC released a statement today saying it believes the act was an isolated incident, and that they are cooperating with the RCMP on the matter.
It’s still unclear whether the suspect is a student or not, or will face charges.
The flag had been raised last Friday to kick off the school’s annual OUTweek and was burned at some point over the Family Day long weekend.
Elliott Cordingley with the UBC Pride Collective says members were shocked and upset.
“We were feeling abit overwhelmed and abit unsafe. Our immediate concern was about the safety of our members and we are working together to keep our week going and to keep going strong.”
The group, which organizes the annual celebration of gender and sexual diversity, issued a statement this evening calling the act a suspected hate crime, and cancelling a planned march over safety concerns.
“We are incredibly disappointed and upset that this is what needs to happen to protect the safety of all of our members and supporters because of the external visibility of this event. All other events will be going forward as planned.”
Act of hate
The school issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, condemning the flag burning as hatred.
Sara-Jane Findlay, the associate vice-president of equity and inclusion, says whoever did it violated the school’s deeply held values of equity, inclusion and respect.
“Something like this has much broader ramifications within our community and (we) see it as something that is driven by hate and something that we as an institution work against in all of our work.”
UBC says it fully supports the OUTweek event, and that campus security and the RCMP are both investigating.
Yesterday, the city of Vancouver raised a rainbow flag over City Hall as a response.
In a Tweet, the Mayor’s Office says Gregor Robertson has asked the pride flag be raised over city hall in solidarity with the university, saying, “Hate has no place in our community.”
With files from Shelby Thom