Canada / 09-10-2012
Winnipeg - Police are investigating after antisemitic posters targeting Mayor Sam Katz and other prominent Jewish Winnipeggers were plastered across downtown on Friday night, angering the B’Nai Brith organization and senior Manitoba MP Vic Toews.
The unsigned posters, which were taped to light standards just prior to the Rosh Hashanah Jewish holiday, allege that Katz and certain members of Winnipeg’s business community are involved in questionable business transactions.
“To me, it’s a pretty straightforward and blatant hate crime,” David Matas, a lawyer for B’Nai Brith Canada, said of the posters bearing the headline “$Hitler’s List” and also naming siblings David, Leonard and Gail Asper, city CAO Phil Sheegl and developer Sandy Shindleman, among others.
“It’s awful to see this happen,” Matas told the Winnipeg Sun from Hamilton, Ont.
The mayor, whose name is at the top of the poster’s list, said by e-mail that he’s “extremely saddened and disheartened that an individual, or group of individuals, is posting such material.”
Katz added that he has “faith that the people of Winnipeg will not support such malice.”
The posters were reported to city cops on Friday about 9:30 p.m. after they were spotted along Broadway and “all sort of in the same downtown area,” said Patrol Sgt. Wally Antoniuk.
Though Matas suggested that the posters had been removed by Saturday afternoon, Antoniuk said it’s possible that some remained. “Obviously,” Antoniuk said of the posters, “no one is taking any credit for it.”
Toews, federal minister of public safety, says he’s “shocked and disgusted” at the posters, particularly because of their timing near important dates for Jewish people.
“It is extremely disheartening to see this type of conduct take place in Canada, especially on the eve of Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish New Year,” Toews, Conservative MP for the Provencher riding, said in a statement on his website.
The holiday begins Sunday night.
“Canadians will not tolerate antisemitism of any kind,” Toews added, “and today I continue to stand with the Jewish community in Winnipeg.”