Vandalizing a Remembrance Day memorial is something most people would not consider doing. And now, the person arrested for allegedly spray-painting the Cenotaph on November 12 appears to have spoken. Toronto Police have arrested 33-year-old Thomas Christian Zaugg for mischief and it seems the firing of Don Cherry had something to do with it all.
Toronto Police issued an update on Friday, November 15, announcing that Zaugg is now facing two mischief-related charges.
"Ye Broke Faith" and "With Us" were the words spray-painted on the cenotaph.
Now, it's been discovered that a man with the same name wrote a pretty long Facebook post a couple of days ago. The post apparently admits that he, ostensibly Zaugg, vandalized the cenotaph out of some kind of revenge for Cherry's dismissal.
It should be noted it has not been publicly confirmed whether the two Thomas Zauggs are indeed the same man.
The Facebook post reads: "What Don Cherry said was not racist, hateful, or directed at immigrants. [...] We have gotten to a strange place in our society when a beloved sports broadcaster, known for making fiery yet thoughtful rants, gets fired for encouraging the people in the GTA to celebrate and participate by reverencing a national day of remembrance of our fallen, and continue in the tradition of buying and wearing a poppy."
The post continues: "This cancel culture has gotten out of hand and I fear it is the beachhead for a cultural shift into an authoritarian communist state. This is not the future the men who fought and died in the battles inscribed on that monument died for."
"We have broken faith with their noble sacrifices, and we need to acknowledge that in order to start correcting that as the people of the Greater Toronto Area. [...] They (soldiers) did not die for us to become this type of mentally straight-jacketed society, unable to speak freely or share one's view."
"You people, the perpetually offended hyper-sensitive adult children, are ruining our society. And that's why I spray painted the Cenotaph."
We wonder if the choice of "you people" was deliberate, given the focus on Cherry's use of the controversial phrase.
Zaugg also said in a video posted to his Facebook page that he sent statements of admission to the offices of Toronto's and Mississauga's mayors.
On Friday, according to CP24, Mayor Tory's office confirmed they received an "unsigned letter" from someone purporting to have defaced the Cenotaph.
Cherry had been fired a day earlier on Remembrance Day itself for comments apparently aimed towards Canadian immigrants.
His dismissal sparked a media frenzy, with plenty of support for the veteran broadcaster. Some Canadians even called for others to join them in boycotting Sportsnet and Rogers altogether.
Zaugg appeared in court today at Toronto's Old City Hall. According to NewsTalk1010, during his appearance, he "insulted duty counsel, slammed the justice system, mental health, and rejected a request for a publication ban."
The Crown is now assessing his level of responsibility to see if he will be released.