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No jail time for Vancouver church vandal. Must pay a fine and write an apology.

A woman has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a Vancouver church with paint, and will receive a conditional discharge, meaning she will not be given a criminal record for their actions.

A woman pleaded guilty to vandalizing a church in Vancouver splashing it with paint, and will receive a conditional discharge, meaning she will pay a fine and will not be given a criminal record for their actions.

The act of vandalism incident took place on July 1, 2021, roughly a month after the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc announced they found anomalies with ground penetrating radar they think are remains of hundreds of bodies near the site of a former residential school is Kamloops, the National Post reports.

Witnesses at the church saw two identical twin sisters. According to the court judgement, one of the sisters wore a jacket with the words “The Church Is Complicit” on the back.

One witness to the incident and attempted to intervene. This was just one of the dozens of incidents involving church vandalism in British Columbia during that summer. Many more churches were set a blaze across the country.

“It doesn’t actually see bodies. It’s not like an X-ray,” explained director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archeology

Emily Luba, one of the sisters, must now write a 500-word apology to the church and pay a $1,250 fine. She will receive no criminal record.

The National Post reports: “Emily Luba, 27, was charged with mischief for the damage to the church. She had no prior criminal record. She was also charged with mischief in relation to an earlier protest at Polaris Realty Canada Ltd. in April 2021. The Crown had sought a suspended sentence, which would have left Luba with a criminal record, and a 12-month probation order that would have seen Luba perform 40 hours of community service.” (Luba’s sister, who is unnamed in the court ruling, also received a conditional discharge.)

According to provincial court Judge Gregory Rideout, 12 B.C. churches had suffered similar attacks since May 2021, with many “splashed with red paint or orange paint… the colours of clothing associated to the young residents of the residential schools.”

Rideout noted at the time of the offence that Luba was following a protest group known as the Braided Warriors, which Rideout said has the goal of defending the land from colonial violence. 

“Their mission includes their opposition to all resource extraction,” Rideout said. “One of their goals is to stop the insurers of the Trans Mountain expansion project and the related work they facilitate through the staging of protests at the premises of various insurance companies.”

“One of them was wearing a jacket that had the words, ‘The Church is Complicit’ written on the back,” the judge noted in his court ruling.

“I think of the church congregation who felt scared to worship due to the fear of escalating actions after I covered their church in orange paint. The congregation is composed of people, mostly elderly, none of whom are to blame for residential schools,” said Luba in her apology, according to The National Post.

When the churches were burned to the ground, it was a highly controversial issues to most Canadians, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the burnings “Unacceptable and wrong.”. However Justin Trudeau and disgraced Trudeau advisor Gerry Butts, said that it “may be understandable” for people to burn down churches.

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