Racist graffiti defaces NDP candidate’s lawn signs
Swastika and ‘white power’ scrawled on Don Valley East election campaign poster
Toronto police are investigating after a swastika and the words “White Power” were spray-painted on a campaign poster for the New Democratic Party candidate in Don Valley East overnight on Saturday.
Candidate Khalid Ahmed saw his phone buzzing Sunday morning as a picture of the vandalized sign made the rounds on Twitter.
“This is one of the most diverse ridings in Canada, and to see this happen here is unacceptable,” he told the Star.
“I knock on doors every day, and if people don’t like me I’m fine with that. But when these racial comments and these symbols come in, that’s when they cross the line.”
The sign vandalized with a swastika was on Victoria Park Ave. between Ellesmere Rd. and Lawrence Ave. Two more of Ahmed’s posters nearby were knocked down and another was defaced with illegible graffiti in green marker.
Ahmed, who is studying social work at Seneca College and turns 24 on election day, said he may have been targeted because of his Indian background or his party’s stance on the niqab. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has said he is pondering a law that would require Muslim women who wear a niqab to unveil themselves when delivering public services as an employee of the government, or receiving them as a citizen. The NDP and the Liberals have both come out against such legislation.
The Conservative candidate for the riding, Maureen Harquail, said in an emailed statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the destruction of these lawn signs. We encourage everyone to get involved in the democratic process in a constructive way, not by damaging signs, but by participating on a local campaign.”