BEAMSVILLE, Ontario, August 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At 1:18 Thursday morning, in a parking lot in the middle of a small Ontario town, police extinguished a pro-life billboard that had been set on fire and left to blaze.
“Obviously, we’ve hit a nerve,” said Coreen Wierenga, spokesperson for the Christian Heritage Party-Niagara West Glanbrook, which erected the billboard.
The massive billboard features a larger-than-life baby in utero, curled in a fetal position. “I praise you Lord because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…You knit me together in my mother’s womb,” reads white letter text against a purple background.
“I think it’s a beautiful billboard. I don’t think it’s offensive", said Wierenga told LifeSiteNews.com. "I’m flabbergasted”.
The billboard is made out of Coroplast, a plastic that is not easily destroyed by fire.
“It’s not something that you hold a lighter to", Corren said. "Whoever came had to have some kind of a torch mechanism."
"The whole billboard didn’t go up in flames, but that was their intention”, Wierenga said.
The bottom corners were already destroyed by fire before police arrived to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher, Niagara Regional Police Service confirmed to LifeSiteNews.com.
The billboard, put up six months ago, has caused a series of controversies within the small town of 10,000 people.
Within two days of it being erected, the municipality ordered its removal, saying that it violated by-law specifications for signs.
But owners fought back and succeeded in keeping the billboard up.
Since then there have been pro-abortion protests in front of the billboard with people holding signs with the message “Abortion is our right”. The billboard has also been vandalized with spray paint.
Wierenga said that opposition to the billboard seemed to have settled down in the last two months. “And now they try torching it.”
“Somebody in the small town of Beamsville obviously doesn’t appreciate the message”, Coreen said.
The case has been forwarded to Grimsby’s Criminal Investigation’s unit, LifeSiteNews has learned.
The arson comes one week before the pro-life billboard was to be replaced by a new one with a pro-family message.