In the two weeks since a Canadian federal election was called in mid-August, the country has seen multiple instances of candidate’s election signs vandalized with swastikas, with the latest defacement occurring on Thursday.
Doug Kobayashi, who is running for the Liberal Party in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding in Victoria, British Columbia on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, told Saanich News that when he was informed on Friday of the vandalism to two of his signs, he was “horrified.”
“It was just outrage. I’ve been called a lot of things, but I have never been associated with a symbol like that in all my life,” he said.
Kobayashi, who is currently a local city councillor, called the swastika a “symbol that is just hate.”
“I unequivocally denounce that symbol. And I apologize to the people of the Jewish community for someone using my signs as a message of hate,” he said.
Kobayashi’s campaign believes that the incident occurred on Thursday night. They have informed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). However, the local RCMP said that without any witnesses, they will not be opening an investigation.
He told CHEK News that the vandalism won’t deter him.
“I’m absolutely not fearful. This is Canada. And this is why I’m running in this race right now because I believe in Canada. I’m proud to be a Canadian,” he said.
B’nai Brith Canada has previously noted that anti-Semitic incidents appear to increase in Canada during provincial and federal elections.