Signs left outside a Johnson Place home employ racist language over recyclables left at the end of its driveway. Materials left out two days past collection

Racist sign, rope put up after trash mix-up

When Kevin Lowe’s tenant left the house last Wednesday to take his daughter to school, he found

When Kevin Lowe’s tenant left the house last Wednesday to take his daughter to school, he found the end of their driveway blocked.

Someone had strung a rope across from one end to the other, and planted with it two signs.

Lowe was not impressed with what they said.

“This neighborhood is not your private dump,” said one. “Clean up your goddamn mess, go online or to the town office to get a garbage collection calendar and stop making our environment look like an Indian reserve. We are contacting town bylaw over your constant littering here and they will be in touch … DISGUSTING”.

The second sign read: “WE ARE SOFA KING WEETODID.”

The home is located on Johnson Place, a cul-de-sac off Neva Road. The tenant moved the rope and the signs and later contacted Lowe, who lives in a different unit of the same house, to inform him.

“I was absolutely furious,” said Lowe. “I wanted to go door-to-door and tell whoever did this ‘You don’t leave racist signs in our yard. If you have a problem with me or anybody here, you come introduce yourself and knock on the door and tell us this is an issue for you.’”

According to Lowe, recycling materials for the two units had been put out at the end of the drive Monday but missed the collection truck.

They had not yet been taken back inside.

“It’s basically two units worth of recycling, with a little bit extra than it should have been. But they’re making it sound like we scattered s— all over the road. It was very organized as well,” he said.

It was the sign’s racist message that bothered Lowe most. He is not a member of a First Nation himself, but one of his tenants is. He said regardless, the sign is racist and uncalled for.

Lowe and his girlfriend moved into the property in June. He said for a number of reasons, including erratic work schedules in the summer, they hadn’t had time to meet their neighbours.

He said to put a rope and sign at the end of his driveway was “over the top” and its wording made it feel like the whole neighbourhood is “mutinying against us.”

Joseph Fernandez, chief administrative officer for the Town of Lake Cowichan, confirmed that his office did receive a complaint and a photo of the recycling materials left at the end of the driveway. He said the town relies on complaints when it comes to situations like unsightly properties, however, their policy is to investigate upon receiving more than one written complaint about the same situation.

“Sometimes you get the odd little mess, someone who hasn’t cut his grass, that in itself doesn’t really warrant our getting involved,” he explained. “We need two complaints and then we investigate it and if our investigation proves that the complaints are valid then we take action.”

That action could be in the form of a fine, but according to Fernandez the town would rather see the site cleaned up rather than fining the individual responsible. If the town’s notice is not heeded, it will send a contractor to do the remedial work and the charges will then be added to the offending property’s taxes.

“He should have taken [the materials] back into his property because recycling is Monday. So he’s now waiting for the next recycling day. That’s not really fair to the neighbours,” said Fernandez.

But, he added, people should report such issues to the town.

“People should be more reasonable than putting up signs like that,” he said, even if it didn’t infringe on any bylaws. “I would say they would have to deal with the police on that… We don’t have bylaws about that.”

When Lowe saw the signs, he immediately went to the closest neighbour and knocked on the door. Lowe said the woman who greeted him was very kind and calmed him down, convinced him not to continue going door-to-door, and said he should try to let it go.

He doesn’t plan to report the incident to the police, but has a message for whoever left the signs outside his driveway.

“Grow up,” he said. “That’s not how you deal with your problems as an adult.”

Just Posted

Lake Flahsback: Seniors home wanted, Co-op going great guns, school accreditation problem

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through old… Continue reading

Caps drop three on road trip

Cowichan misses a chance to widen lead over Surrey

Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Wrestlers begin 2019 in fine form with Cowichan camp

The particpants ranged in age from seven to 17

Mary Lowther column: Seed catalogues and proper storage

Seeds kept dry and at 4 C can last three times as long as if they were held in household conditions.

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

Most Read