Toronto Star

Racist graf­fiti de­faces NDP can­di­date’s lawn signs

Swastika and ‘white power’ scrawled on Don Val­ley East elec­tion cam­paign poster

- GE­OF­FREY VENDEVILLE STAFF RE­PORTER

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.”

 ?? TWIT­TER ?? Racist graf­fiti ap­pears on NDP can­di­date Khalid Ahmed’s sign, in a photo cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter.
TWIT­TER Racist graf­fiti ap­pears on NDP can­di­date Khalid Ahmed’s sign, in a photo cir­cu­lated on Twit­ter.

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