Election sign graffiti in Dollard being investigated by police
Published Sunday, October 6, 2019 9:24PM EDT Last Updated Sunday, October 6, 2019 9:29PM EDT
The Conservative Party’s candidate in the Pierrefonds-Dollard said she’s baffled by anti-Semitic graffiti that has cropped up repeatedly on her campaign signs.
Mariam Ishak said she doesn’t know why she’s been targeted by vandals who have defaced at least six election signs. Two weeks ago swastikas were drawn on several signs and more recently another had a laminated map of Canada posted to it, with the word Canada crossed out and replaced by Israel.
That incident also included a well-known anti-Semitic Internet meme.
Ishak, the daughter of Coptic Christians from Egypt, said she doesn’t understand the vandals’ motivations but has taken heart from words from supporters.
“The amount of support and messages telling me not take it personally, just keep doing what I’m doing, is unbelievable,” she said. “Of course when all this happened the first time the most amazing message was from Corey (Fleischer).”
Fleischer has become well-known around the world for his Erasing Hate campaign, in which the power-washing entrepreneur uses his tools to erase hatred-filled vandalism. He said he first heard about the vandalism targeting Ishak while he was in Madrid but still managed to get a team to come clean it up.
“I literally spent 45 minutes on the main street of downtown Madrid trying to get Mariam’s number and after a little bit of time I was able to get in contact with her and reassure her that these sort of attacks are always extremely personal,” he said.
Fleischer said he’s returned to the same spot three different times to clean anti-Semitic graffiti off Ishak’s signs but noted she isn’t the only candidate having a problem.
“It’s an everyday thing,” he said. “I’m removing hate on political posters on a daily basis. Two years ago (during the) provincial election it was the same thing. After here I’m going to Ile-Bizzard to erase a few then I’m going into the city to erase a few then I’m going to Cote-Des-Neiges.”
Montreal police said an investigation into the vandalism is ongoing and encouraged anyone who sees hateful vandalism to call 911.