With Canada's federal election in full swing, it's right about the time that Canadians can expect to see signs and displays for their local candidates. Unfortunately, there have been instances of Canada's election signs being defaced with swastikas and other graffiti in at least three separate ridings.
Signs in New Brunswick and Quebec were spray-painted with swastikas. The signs belonged to both Liberal and Conservative candidates. In the New Brunswick Southwest riding, Liberal candidate Karen Ludwig's billboards were partially destroyed along with being covered in black swastikas. The candidate's face was also spray-painted.
"I will not be muzzled despite the intolerant and hateful behaviour of a few," Ludwig wrote on Twitter. "Can you imagine what young people will think when they see this kind of behaviour in rural New Brunswick?" Ludwig was retweeted by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, who wrote, "This behaviour is not acceptable. Standing with you, Karen!"
Meanwhile, in two Montreal ridings, a Liberal candidate and a Conservative candidate both had their signs spray-painted with swastikas. Soraya Martinez Ferrada, the Liberal candidate for Hochelaga, contacted police after she and her staff discovered a swastika painted on one of her signs. Ferrada's Deputy campaign manager, Lionel Fritz Adimi, handed the signs over to police as evidence, according to CBC News.
Mariam Ishak, the Conservative candidate for Pierrefonds-Dollard, had at least three of her campaign signs spray-painted with swastikas as well. Ishak tweeted an image of one of her defaced signs with the message, "I denounce hate messages against all candidates no matter the party they belong to..."
Defacing or tampering with campaign signs in any way during an election can have serious consequences. RCMP Sgt. Dave Tyreman told Energetic City, "Defacing of campaign signs is damage to property, to wit; Section 430 CC Mischief, and if reported to us will be investigated fully."
The Canadian federal election will be taking place on Oct. 21. According to the CBC Poll Tracker, as of Sept. 17, the Conservatives lead the Liberals 34.4 to 34.1, respectively.