An "offensive" mural in Vancouver's Firehall #2 is being removed. Photo: The Province
It's not often I publicly agree with former Vision Vancouver candidate David Eby, but when it comes to his recent efforts to remove an offensive mural at a downtown fire hall, I say bravo. Eby is the head of the BC Civil Liberties Association and he's been leading the charge to remove a mural (see above) which depicted the Angel of Death with the following caption:
It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Due to Eby's efforts, the firefighters have backed down and announced they will remove the mural. In response to all the controversy, Vancouver's assistant fire chief Wade Pierlot told The Province:
The fact that it offends one person is enough for me.
Prior to the recent media stories, I doubt that many people were aware the fire hall had this mural hanging in full view. However, now that this has become public, I think the VFD deserve credit for how they've handled this potential PR disaster. Their decision to remove the mural quickly will clearly nip this issue in the bud, even if it does anger some of their front-line firefighters who see this as political correctness gone mad.
Eby makes it quite clear as to why he pushed for the mural's removal:
Maybe it was appropriate 15 years ago [when it was put up] but it is not appropriate now. I think the best argument you can make for the mural is black humour -- people having to deal with this every day. If that's the best argument, it's not good enough.
In 2010, images like the one depicted in Fire Hall #2 should no longer be acceptable as something we display in any of our public institutions. Kudos to Eby for raising this issue and for successfully getting the VFD to remove it as soon as possible.