Summerland mayor Toni Boot continues to garner attention for her support of the Lekhi family.
B.C. premier John Horgan posted his appreciation of Boot on social media on Monday, July 20.
“After a family’s home was targeted with racist graffiti, Summerland mayor Toni Boot rallied people behind the family and stood up against racist symbols,” Horgan wrote.
“Racism is a virus. I admire Mayor Boot’s leadership in helping stomp it out and build a more inclusive B.C.”
Late in the evening of Monday, July 13, Kiran and Ramesh Lekhi heard a bang in one of the bedrooms in their home. Kiran said she found broken glass from the bedroom window. The couple found the walls of the house spray-painted with vulgar signs, as well as a swastika.
The Lekhi family has been living in Summerland since 1987 and never experienced any incidents like this until now.
“To have to witness this makes me sick, but at the same time, it is another opportunity for us to gain some understanding about where society is in respecting all people,” Mayor Boot said of the incident.
The district’s council talked about the incident and the concerns they had during the Monday, July 20 meeting.
“Mrs. Lekhi was absolutely distraught, not understanding why someone would do this to their home,” Counc. Marty Van Alphen said.
“It’s just baffling to see this in our community. This isn’t us, this isn’t Summerland. We need to be better, and this is the time to have a community conversation about this.”