Canadian government leaders are converging to condemn an anti-Semitic attack late Monday night by vandals in a garage beneath an apartment building in a Jewish neighborhood of Montreal.
Five vehicles were marked with giant swastikas in red paint on the hoods, and each was the recipient of a white envelope bearing a matching swastika, containing a bullet and a threatening note.
B’nai Brith Canada called the incident, which occurred on Côte St. Luc Road, “extremely serious” and said it goes beyond simple vandalism.
“You’re not dealing with a bunch of individuals who had a can of spray paint … These guys or girls planned this. They specifically set out with bullets in their pockets, with envelopes, with notes and obviously with spray paint,” said Steven Slimovitch, B’nai Brith Canada’s national legal counsel.
The Quebec government condemned the incident and Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion Minister Kathleen Weil issued a statement saying, “These hateful and racist acts are unacceptable. They do not reflect in any way the values of Quebec society and do not have a place in our society which is inclusive and open to diversity.
“We cannot denounce these only as acts of vandalism,” she continued. “They reflect prejudice and intolerance. I wish to reassure the public that we will not accept that Quebecers be subjected to threats on account of their origin or their religious beliefs.”
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre also denounced the incidence, saying that he was “staggered” to see that “such acts could be committed toward the Jewish community.” Montreal, he said, is a “welcoming city” where all religions “must be able to live together harmoniously.
“Montrealers must denounce any such acts, whatever community is targeted. As for me, I say it loud and strong: Not in my city!”