Hate crime unit investigates antisemitic vandalism on courthouse

·1 min read
Antisemitic graffiti was written on the sign for the provincial courthouse in Ottawa, as well as on the side of the building, sometime overnight into Monday morning. (Simon Lasalle/CBC - image credit)
Antisemitic graffiti was written on the sign for the provincial courthouse in Ottawa, as well as on the side of the building, sometime overnight into Monday morning. (Simon Lasalle/CBC - image credit)

Ottawa police's hate crime unit is investigating a slew of graffiti vandalism on the sides of Ottawa City Hall and the neighbouring provincial courthouse.

Police say they were called to the area of Laurier Avenue West and Elgin Street around 8:20 a.m. Monday where someone sprayed antisemitic graffiti.

More vandalism was found on Ottawa City Hall, including a reference to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson calling him a "fraud." The mayor's office is located inside the building.

Simon Lasalle/CBC
Simon Lasalle/CBC

Both the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and B'nai Brith Canada condemned the graffiti.

"The swastika is a symbol of the murder of millions of Jews, and the terrorization of millions more," Andrea Freedman, CEO of the Jewish Federation wrote in a statement.

She said the symbols are used as intimidation tactics against Jews and as a means of appropriating their trauma. "It must stop," she said.

B'nai Brith Canada said this incident is just one example of a disturbing increase in online hate, and it called for a Holocaust Remembrance across the country "to combat Jew-hate in educational systems."

WATCH | Police hate crime unit investigating graffiti at Ottawa City Hall and provincial courthouse

Police investigating similar incidents

This vandalism is just the latest in a string of recent incidents involving hateful messaging targeting Jewish people in Ottawa.

Last week, police said they were investigating eight incidents of posters with hateful and antisemitic messages placed in public areas around the city, including a skatepark in the west end.

Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to contact the Ottawa police hate crime unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5015.

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