'Extremely disappointing, extremely frustrating': Pride flags stolen, defaced in Norwich
Jeff Ducharme was in his home office when a young man in a truck pulled up, ran up to the front of his home in Norwich, Ont. and stole his pride flag in broad daylight.
“I wasn't particularly fazed by the loss of the $5 flag, as much as the fact that somebody was bold enough to come right up to my house and steal it off the side of my house in the middle of the day,” said Ducharme.
“We've done it every year, we put up a flag and every year goes missing. This year I put it up in between a bunch of surveillance cameras and caught him on camera,” he added.
His was just one of a few over the past week to either be stolen or spray painted in the small Oxford County town southeast of Woodstock.
Surveillance video shows a young man approach Jeff Ducharme’s home in Norwich, Ont. and steal his pride flag. (Source: Jeff Ducharme)The OPP recently sent out photos of a truck and tractor they believe to be involved in the theft of pride flags around Norwich.
On May 20, a flag was stolen from a hydro pole and another was spray painted. On May 21, two more reports came in of stolen flags in the downtown area.
Oxford County OPP say they are investigating, but no arrests have been made and no charges have been laid.
“Extremely disappointing, extremely frustrating,” said Tami Murray, president of Oxford County Pride.
Murray says the Norwich business improvement association (BIA) put the flags up around town, and within 24 hours they were stolen. She calls it “disheartening” less than a week after International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
However, over the past few days she’s seen the negative turn into a positive.
“We have received copious amounts of financial donations to support the BIA and Norwich to replace those banners,” said Murray. “In addition, we've also received some donations for community members to be able to replace their flags that are being currently destroyed in the community.”
In what is a difficult time for many in that area of the county, a local business is doing something to try and show they care.
Guns Hill Artisan Cheese wants to make a clear statement that they promote diversity and inclusion.
“What our goal is, is to take our little sidewalk that we've got here, getting into the cheese shop, and then paint it with the progressive pride flag,” said Shep Ysselstein, the shop’s owner.
Shep Ysselstein of Guns Hill Artisan Cheese near Norwich, Ont. says they will paint a progressive pride flag on their front walkway to support diversity and inclusion. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)“It’s just so that it's very clear that everybody is welcome here regardless of what your background is and where you're from and how you feel,” he added.
Ysselstein and his partner hope to have the sidewalk painted in time for the beginning of Pride month next week.
Murray says she isn’t surprised by what is happening in Norwich, as they have a history of posters and other items promoting pride being stolen.
“Flags are continuing to be torn down, and as of today, people are going on to people's personal and private properties,” said Murray. “I'm really hoping that moving forward that we consider what it is — which is a hate crime. I'm really hoping that that is something that is considered moving forward.”
The loss of his flag isn’t about to deter Ducharme from showing his support, however. Wednesday morning, he put another flag back on the front of his home.
“I support anybody who's marginalized,” said Ducharme. “My kids have friends who are in the LGBT2+ plus community, and with Pride month coming up and it's just I felt the right thing to do.”
London Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Patrick Brown is alleging political corruption played a role in his disqualification from the Conservative Party of Canada's leadership race, a move that came following allegations that his campaign violated election financing rules.
Despite being disqualified by the Conservative Party of Canada from becoming its next leader, ousted candidate Patrick Brown's name will still appear on the ballot.
Video has emerged showing a worker dangling in the air above a Toronto construction site after accidently getting entangled in a tagline attached to a crane.
Air Canada and Toronto's Pearson airport again claimed the top spots for flight delays on Tuesday, marking at least four days in a row where the country's biggest airline has placed No. 1 of any large carrier worldwide.
Air Canada said on Wednesday it will not allow animals in the baggage hold until Sept. 12 due to 'longer than usual' delays at airports, as carriers and airports wrestle with complaints over lost luggage and long lines.
As gas prices slightly trend down this week after some of the highest national averages seen in recent months, some Canadians may be thinking twice before planning their usual summer road trip plans. CTVNews.ca looks at how drivers can save at the pumps while travelling.
Prices have been easing slightly recently, but affording a mortgage is still a very difficult task for many Canadians. How much of a mortgage can you afford? Contributor Christopher Liew breaks it down in an exclusive column for CTVNews.ca.
Canada's immigration department is restarting all Express Entry draws for immigration applications Wednesday, after pausing the program 18 months ago during the pandemic.
A federal judge Wednesday sentenced Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary series 'Cheer,' to 12 years in prison for coercing teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of themselves and soliciting sex from minors at cheerleading competitions.
Break-ins targeting restaurants, salons, dress shops and cannabis stores have been reported in Kitchener, Waterloo and Woolwich.
'There’s no great answer': Low-income tenants weigh options in Cambridge as renovations push them out
Tenants of the Tiger Lofts, an affordable apartment building in Cambridge, say they’re being “renovicted” and won’t be allowed to stay after extensive renovations.
Police are looking for a man who allegedly grabbed and sexually assaulted a woman in a Kitchener park.
Emergency crews were on scene after a pedestrian was struck by a train late Wednesday afternoon in east Chatham.
Shawn Lippert received a scary call Monday morning. “I got a guy on the other end and said, ‘Hi this is Enwin. We're giving you a courtesy call.’” Lippert was told his Scareshouse Windsor business account was in arrears and service was about to be cut off.
'Is your urgency an emergency?': Windsor-Essex hospital officials appeal to public to reduce hospital and EMS wait times
With the hospital system in Windsor-Essex continuing to operate under tremendous pressure, healthcare leaders are asking residents to reserve calling 911 for emergency situations only, and to seek alternate care for non-medical emergencies.
Farmers in southern Ontario say they are fed up with a selfie fad that has caused thousands of dollars in damages.
School buses may be parked for the summer, but come fall, they will be equipped with a new lighting system to catch drivers' attention.
Strawberry pickers at Barrie Hill Farms saw more than fresh berries when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited.
Weengushk International Film Festival returns to in-person events this coming weekend. The festival will highlight stories and voices of Indigenous women.
Many post-secondary institutions are vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to CyberCatch, a firm tasked with getting small- to medium-sized organizations up to date with Canada's new standard for cybersecurity.
Bavarian Meat Products in North Bay has been closed since fall of 2021. While the business has closed, flies are thriving and the odour of rotten meat gets worse.
An Ottawa senior citizen says he lost his life savings after investing with a real estate development firm that has been charged with fraud.
Ottawa police are on the scene of a shooting that injured one person in the city's west end.
The penultimate day of the public hearings into Ottawa’s light rail transit system saw some sharp words from the train manufacturer.
'I cannot get any rest': Residents complain of sleepless nights after alleged nightclub opens up under condo
Residents living in Toronto’s west end say they have been left utterly exhausted after an alleged nightclub opened up at the base of their condominium.
Ontario has likely entered a new wave of the pandemic driven by the more infectious BA.5 subvariant, the province’s science advisory table says.
A mother from Nova Scotia is speaking out about her recent travel experience through Toronto Pearson Airport after a WestJet flight delay left her and her daughters sleeping on a nursing room floor.
WATCH LIVE @ 9 A.M.
WATCH LIVE @ 9 A.M. | With another COVID climb, Quebec health minister calls news conference for Thursday morning
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise in Quebec, public health officials have called a news conference for Thursday morning.
'Not a time when Quebec can afford to lose young doctors,' province's opposition leader says of ER exodus
The leader of Quebec's Liberal Party paused her vacation briefly on Wednesday to react to the news that two young emergency room doctors have quit their jobs in their hometown of Montreal to work in Toronto.
The Montreal Alouettes have fired their head coach and their defensive co-ordinator, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.
A person has been taken to hospital with serious injuries following a shooting in Halifax Wednesday night.
The ex-boyfriend of Cassidy Bernard has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter and a consecutive three years for child abandonment in connection with the young mother's death.
Families of victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting are considering whether to continue participating in the public inquiry into the tragedy because key witnesses are being shielded from cross-examination.
A political breakup at Winnipeg City Hall is creating intrigue in a council race.
There is a chance that severe thunderstorms could hit parts of southern Manitoba.
Residents in a southern Manitoba town are asking questions as to why they are facing a summer with no emergency room.
Ward 2 councillor Jennifer Wyness asked council to consider referring veteran colleague Gian-Carlo Carra's disclosure investigation findings to both the minister and police for further review.
Calgary drivers might be asking why the price of gasoline is more expensive in their energy rich province where oil is refined and extracted than in Ontario, but one retail expert claims to have the answer.
City officials have announced two more downtown buildings that will see vacant office space repurposed into residential housing.
Wade Stene, who admitted to kidnapping and sexually assaulting an eight-year-old Edmonton girl, was sentenced to 15.5 years behind bars Wednesday afternoon.
The City of Edmonton is moving ahead on a new bylaw aimed at reducing the number of single-use items, like plastic cutlery and bags, that end up in city landfills and on city streets.
An Edmonton Police Service officer has been charged with assault after an off-duty incident earlier this year.
The large logs that have lined the water’s edge at many Vancouver beaches have been a favourite lounging spot for sun worshipers for over 50 years.
Health professionals are hoping the rollout of the pending COVID-19 vaccine for children under five will have better uptake than the one approved for children aged five to 11.
Homicide investigators have shared the identity of the man killed in a brazen afternoon shooting in a hotel parking lot in Surrey Monday afternoon.