Author Topic: Graffiti, even on the cenotaph  (Read 1613 times)

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Graffiti, even on the cenotaph
« on: April 01, 2012, 06:44:22 PM »
Graffiti, even on the cenotaph

Montreal Gazette September 27, 2011

“We had just put on a great festival and yet somebody had the disrespect to do that to the cenotaph,” said Susan Clarke, a Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce city councillor who represents the Loyola district for the Union Montreal party.
Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

MONTREAL - Re: “Vandals deface monument” (Gazette, Sept. 27).

As minister of veterans affairs, I was appalled and saddened when I heard of the vandalism of the war memorial. Our cenotaphs and monuments are powerful reminders of the sacrifices that generations of Canadians have made for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. Our government understands that cenotaphs and monuments are sacred gathering places within our communities, and it is disappointing that some individuals do not share this view.

I want to thank Sgt. Brangwyn Jones for reporting the vandalism to the police, and hope that the individuals responsible for this crime are brought to justice.

We have a duty as Canadians to preserve our war memorials in honour of our fallen men and women, our veterans and those who continue to serve Canada today.

Lest we forget.

The Hon. Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Ottawa

I sincerely hope that the councillors in N.D.G. send a bill to clean up the cenotaph to the owners, or those who are represented by this monument.

Oh, wait, that might be nigh impossible.

Guess this might prove the bizarre thinking by elected officials!

Ian W. Pullen, Dorval

Re: “N.D.G. sends mixed message” (Gazette, Sept. 22).

I am a longtime N.D.G. resident and, like many others, extremely concerned by the deterioration of our neighbourhood due to illegal graffiti and tagging. I attended the information session that your article was about, organized by city councillor Susan Clarke and other borough officials, and found the article and the headline misleading. It focused on a controversial graffiti contest in the borough and suggested it was contradictory to the enforcement of a new bylaw obliging property-owners to remove graffiti.

I, on the other hand, find them to be complementary. The contest aimed to educate people that graffiti can only be performed with permission and on a surface designed for that purpose. The bylaw obliges owners to remove the graffiti that do not meet those criteria.

The message sent by N.D.G. is by no means “mixed.” It is crystal clear: N.D.G. residents wish to live in a visually pleasant environment; all possible preventive and educational measures will be taken to eradicate the problem; illegal graffiti and tags will no longer be tolerated. It was about time someone put their foot down. Thank you, Mrs. Clarke.

Aniela Belina, Montreal

Putting “graffiti” and “art” in the same sentence is a pathetic attempt to make unacceptable vandalism tolerable. There are plenty of subsidized community-centre programs in all boroughs and municipalities that provide outlets for artistic expression without victimizing property owners and taxpayers.

Maximum fines of $100 are a laughable deterrent. Holding vandals (or their parents) financially responsible for the damages caused would go a long way toward making the punishment fit the crime.

Why is a hapless motorist who skids on slippery pavement and damages a street sign or lamp post billed for the cost of replacement while graffiti vandals get off with a slap on the wrist, at most?

Michael Wiener, Dollard des Ormeaux

I live on the West Coast and recently visited both Toronto and Montreal for the first time. I was overwhelmed by the graffiti in both cities, but more so in Montreal. I’ve taken and sent many pictures to friends on this blight of your most beautiful city, and feel the frustrations of the writers of recent letters to The Gazette.

I too felt the anger when a lowlife tagged my recently built $4,000 cedar fence. I phoned the police, who came and opened a file, took pictures of the tag and advised me to have it removed immediately, which I did. As the fence was a natural finish I had to cover it with solid stain. It took a day’s work and the stain cost $300. Two weeks went by and I was hit once again. A quick touch-up remedied the problem. Two months ago the culprit was caught. The person awaits a trial and a slap on the wrist, but his name will be in the paper for all to know. Other people who have been tagged and have taken the same approach have also successful in curbing this anti-social behaviour.

There is one common thread in all graffiti worldwide, and that is the cover of darkness. A better-lit area or video surveillance will drive these vermin to the sewers and underpasses where they belong. A response team for cleanup, and most of all persistence from the community about removing the offending tags, are needed. Businesses with a vested interested in tourism, like restaurants, hotels and the taxi industry, could get involved. We should not be held hostage by a few people who have issues with the world. (Please don’t listen to those who claim this is art. These are criminals who wilfully damage property.)

Graffiti spawn a sense of hopelessness and frustration that is damaging to citizens who once had pride in their city.

Andy Klompenburg, Nanaimo, B.C.

What to do about lineups at the airport

Re: “A three-hour lineup at Trudeau airport: there must be a better way” (Letter of the Day, Sept. 26)

I came back from France on Sept. 8, and was faced with similar long wait to get to customs. Letter-writer Carlo Morselli described the situation very well.

I have thought of a solution that might help everybody. Having a restaurant or café with good food, a bar and a coffee shop would attract the people who are not in a rush and could wait while having a good meal or a drink. This way the line would be shorter for the other people. The ones waiting should watch the line and when it’s short, would get in line. It has to be done in a way that the customs officers don’t have to wait for them. The details may not work out exactly this way, but this is a general idea of a solution to the long lines.

Firooz Zanganeh, Montreal

Most air travellers will agree that clearing customs at Trudeau often involves a long wait. When I am waiting in line, having little else to do, I always take note of how many of the customs booths are open. Surprisingly, despite long lines of impatient travellers, I have always found that almost 50 per cent of the booths are closed. Could this problem be resolved by hiring a few more customs agents?

Letter-writer Michael Pollak (“Delays at Trudeau airport,” Your Views, Sept. 27) was fortunate to clear customs in 12 minutes at Charles de Gaulle. My wife landed at CDG at 5:30 a.m. via Air France from Montreal. She finally cleared customs at 8:15 a.m. and missed her connecting flight.

Norm Shacter, Westmount

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