May 17 2018
Hamilton, ON - Hamilton’s Municipal Law Enforcement Division issued the order in March 2018 to have the graffiti removed from the outside of a building on Cannon Street E. The officer who issued the order was acting in accordance with their training. The order was directed at removal of a symbol painted on the exterior and was complied with in the requested timeframe. After reviewing the order, Municipal Law Enforcement has determined the order was improper in terms of exceeding the scope of its by-law, which is intended primarily to address property damage and maintenance and not content of signage.
Stemming from the senseless acts of violence and vandalism in our City, my comments were a reaction that hate speech, and the acts of violence, have no place in the City of Hamilton. Based on actions and initial statements provided by municipal staff, my earlier comments were based on the belief that City Municipal By-Laws had been applied appropriately. With additional information, it is clear the anarchy symbol is not a hate symbol and efforts are being undertaken to immediately update staff training. Further communication with Hamilton Police Service will also be necessary, in instances where concerns related to potential criminal activity are identified to ensure by-laws are applied properly. Municipal Law Enforcement is committed to ensuring that staff are appropriately trained, and by-laws applied fairly.